Author: Emir Ramic
As a writer for the Paris Newspaper Le Monde and a correspondant from Yugoslavia, Florence Hartmann followed the political situation there until the end of 1998. In November of 1992 Mrs. Hartmann located the first mass grave in Ovcari- a place near Vukovar. This was the first mass grave in Europe since World War II. In the spring of 1994, she was exiled from Belgrade by the Milosevic regime due to her criticism of Serbia’s role in the Bosnian war. In the summer of 1997 she received the La Fondation de France award for her bravery and professionalism. In October of 2000 Florence Hartmann became the spokesperson for Judge Carla Del Ponte at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
During her time as a spokesperson, she actively participated and presided over all important decisions and meetings, including those with the members of the European and American delegations. Florence Hartman’s position as a spokesperson for Carla Del Ponte coincided with the fall of Milosevic’s regime. From the very beginning, she conducted research and negotiations which resulted in first prosecutions for genocide and crimes against humanity in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore this resulted in bringing the first president to justice.
In May of 2006, she was invited by the Hague Tribunal to be a witness on a trial for three high ranking Serbian Generals- Veselin Sljivancanin, Mili Mrksic and Miroslav Radic.
Florence Hartmann published Milosevic, la diagonale du fou in 1999. This book is still seen as one of the most important and relevant books when it comes to analyzing Milosevic’s regime and his road towards ethnic cleansing. Mrs. Hartmann has never been under any influence or served under any political interest. Her first book, Milosevic, la diagonale du fou presents one of the best and most complete chronicles of the war in the Balkans. In this book, she clearly identifies the relations between the Serbian aggression and their participation in crimes against humanity, war criminals and their role in the genocide. As the spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, she spoke the truth publicly and never lied. In that sense she completed her duty in the international court, as a journalist and a spokesperson for truth- never selling out for any person or to politics.
Florence Hartmann’s academic work holds great historical relevance because she states the truth about the causes of war, the aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the genocide on the Bosniak population. All her statements are based on what she has seen and heard and further referenced. The articles published in Le Monde during the 1990s provided the western world with the reality of war and all that she experienced. Her work was never influenced by French politicians or the media; as a war journalist she experienced and wrote in a perspective of the civilans and victims. Harmann is a journalist who refuses to be censored and who treats her job in a professional manner. Her intent is to tell the truth for those who need the truth to be told, in this case the victims of agression and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Harmann is a fan and a true friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her story and memories from seized Sarajevo leaves most people emotional. In her own special way she remembers the victims and keeps their memory alive. Those victims were at the centre of her actions and the main motivation for her work, especially Srebrenica, where people respect her greatly.
Her battle for truth and justice shows us that she is not afraid to call on all who are not working in the interest of international justice and justice for the victims. Hartmann is responsible for bringing war criminals to justice and this is a step in the right direction.
International jurisdiction belongs to all of us because it has been created to serve humanity.
Peace and punishment presents different methods of cruelty that major aggressors are ready to use to reach their goals on the international stage. This is the story of holding the democratic powers responsible at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and to hold these powers accountable for the aggression and genocide. Florence Hartmann opens the doors to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague to show behind the scenes of international politics and justice, specifically in the case of the Milosevic trial.
The book Peace and Punishment holds a strong meaning for international truth and justice for few reasons:
- This book is very authentic. Florence Hartmann’s work is based on the collected information from her experiences over the years. Her motives were never to promote any names, media attention, and publicity or do anything for personal gains. Her motives are truth and justice for the victims and a just, unbiased and respectable international jurisdiction.
- In many cases, Florence Hartmann was the only witness to many events during the war and she was one of the best and most knowledgeable about the situation on the Balkans. She quickly understood what the war was about.
- Florence Hartmann asked the important questions to all those in the international jurisdiction, including her home country. In comparison to others who publish “their truths” Mrs. Hartmann speaks directly of all the names, countries and functions those individuals hold and/or held. She publicly names all those that worked in the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. All those judges and prosecutors, who focused on personal gains, have been exposed by Hartmann. Furthermore without restraint Florence Hartmann singled out those who did not follow the rules and guidelines of the International criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, whether providing all the evidence or information about the war criminals that are still at large.
No one to this day has challenged the arguments made in her book. Everything stated on those pages regarding The Hague tribunal is proof that she speaks the truth that most international powers do not appreciate or want exposed.In this book there is a very important question that is answered: how is it that many are for protecting the documents of the high courts, refusing to make their actions public and criticizing those who have accused Del Ponte of negotiating with Belgrade? All the actions mentioned above seem finem except criticizing the judges: that seems to be a crime. Florence Hartmann is not guilty of anything except exposing the right documents in regards to the decisions made in the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Today, there are many conspiracies about the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. The discussion about the international courts was a result of the actions taken by the “wonderful” judge Nice and dire judge Del Ponte. There are no public discussions or arguments made about the major questions posed by Florence Hartmann because “the truth regarding the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia could not be hidden”.The author does not present us with the typical journalistic research; instead she presents herself as a witness who opens the closed doors of the international criminal court. All interviews and statements have been market by the author herself. As the representative and an advisor for the International Criminal Court for former Yugoslavia from October 2000 until October 2006, Florence Hartmann was at the centre of all the events which she speaks about in this book. She attended all meetings where all the tough decisions and strategies of the court were made. She attended all negotiations between Carla Del Ponte and world leaders which included being witness to all phone calls and escorting Judge Del Ponte on all her trips. Through Hartmann’s perspective we are able to see what went on behind the closed doors.
“An international jurisdiction belongs to all because it has been created to serve humanity. Uncovering the truth is essential in enabling further understanding of human rights that will help us identify the hidden motifs. The most sensitive problem that was and continues to be is the contradiction of ideologies in the international criminal court: one ideology gives priority to the search for justice while the other focuses on creating world peace. Neither weak or strong, international justice has stood by and watched as innocent people lost their lives and rejected to identify who were the aggressors and who were the victims. The barrier of the international criminal court must be knocked down and the activities of the court should be openly presented to the public” statement from Peace and Justice.
The book Peace and Justice is greatly beneficial to the Bosniak community because it explains the challenges that Bosniak representatives were faced with when it came to the interests of the international community and specifically the interests of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. Bosniaks, are sadly very trustworthy. When you read about Florence Hartmann’s experience as a spokesperson at the tribunal, she demonstrates what needed to be done to keep the innocent Bosnian politicians out of the courts. Mrs. Hartmann along with the Bosniak representatives in the international criminal court fought to expose the truth about the aggression and genocide committed on the Bosniak population. The result of that fight is saving the innocent representatives such as Alija Izetbegović, Ejub Ganić, Stjepan Kljujić, Haris Silajdžić, Selim Bešlagić, Sead Avdić and many more that cared about Bosnia and Herzegovina. The only way to protect the Bosniak politicians and army personnel was for the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia to give out certificates under the rules of the Treaty of Rome. That being said the only hope for Ejup Ganic is the Tribunal’s decision that Ganic, Kljujic and Pusina are not responsible for the “Dobrovoljacka” and that war crimes never took place there what so ever. Unfortunately, today in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is complete disorientation in all aspects of the society and especially when it comes to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court, war crimes and aggression in Bosnia and genocide on the Bosniak population.
In addition, Peace and Punishment effectively destroys all of the illusions Bosniaks have to demonstrate the truth and to create an understanding about the aggression and genocide that took place. Moreover Florence Hartmann demonstrates that the aggression and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina is clear and easily proven in all international criminal institutions. At the ICTY and all other international criminal courts, Bosniaks and all their representatives had to first and foremost protect themselves with the truth to prevent being accused of genocide. Thankfully, International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia had all the evidence to prove genocide, all other brutalities against humanity and war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this court both the Serbian and Croatian caucuses were prosecuted. Peace and Punishment is a token of all Bosniak accomplishments thus far on the long road to truth and justice.Florence Hartmann spoke up about the injustice towards Bosniak victims. Neither Jeffrey Nice nor Carla Del Ponte attempted this. International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia continues to operate and Mrs. Hartmann speaks of all the current injustice while institutions such as this one continue to exist, so that the mistakes can be fixed.
Mrs. Florence Hartmann, in the name of all Bosniak victims and all current friends of truth and justice worldwide, we thank you.