Florence Hartmann jailed for struggling for truth

The former spokeswoman of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Florence Hartman, was arrested on Thursday, 24 March, outside the ICTY building and taken to serve a seven-day jail term. Hartmann was arrested by ICTY security officers on orders of the chamber that rendered a final judgment against her. Civil society representatives from the region of the former Yugoslavia hereby voice their support for Florence Hartmann and her uncompromising struggle for truth.

Florence Hartmann was not given the jail sentence because she did something that is usually considered to constitute contempt of court, such as tampering with witnesses or refusal to give evidence before the international court, but because of exposing and countering the practice of concealing documents in order to protect the interests of some states. Namely, in her book “Paix et Châtiment” [Peace and Punishment] and the article entitled “Vital Genocide Documents Concealed’, published in January 2008, Hartmann revealed information relating to the decision of the ICTY Appeals Chamber ordering that the documents created by the Supreme Defence Council which Serbia supplied to the Tribunal during the trial of Slobodan Milošević be filed as confidential.

Let us quote the statement that Hartmann has recently given to the N1 TV Station during the Pressing talk show: “I discovered a decision in which judges say ‘we are concealing very important archives of the Milosevic regime because should Bosnia seek reparation, Serbia would have to pay millions of dollars, which would affect Serbia’s economy (…) This is the only part I used. The judges later removed the classification from these documents themselves, because I had said that was an unlawful thing to do. They disgraced themselves by accusing me, by issuing an arrest warrant for me. What matters is that we now have access to these documents“.

We are profoundly convinced that what Florence Hartmann did may be contrary to the ICTY Statute but is certainly not contrary to justice. Quite the opposite. Therefore we stand by her in her commitment to the pursuit of truth and efforts to make official state archives available to the public.

Lastly, we would like to draw attention to the fact that the Hague Tribunal made a decision to arrest Florence Hartmann at the moment when it showed weakness with respect to Vojislav Šešelj’s decision not to appear before the court for the pronouncement of the judgment against him and Serbia’s refusal to hand over Šešelj and another three members of the Serbian Radical Party accused of contempt of court for tampering with witnesses, to the ICTY. The Hague Tribunal used to apply the same standards to all accused persons in the past, so it should do so in this case too.

1. Aida Kalender, Cultural worker
2. Ajla Delkić, The Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina
3. Aldin Aranutović, Journalist
4. Aleksandar Brezar, Journalist, Translator, Screenwriter
5. Aleksandra Letić, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska
6. Amila Buturović, University of York
7. Ana Knifer, Artist
8. Association of Victims and Witnesses of Genocide, Bosnia and Herzegovina
9. Anima NGO, Montenegro
10. Boris Šiber, Journalist
11. Borka Pavićević
12. Branka Prpa, Historian
13. Centre for Civic Education, Montenegro
14. Center for Cultural Decontamination, Serbia
15. Center for Monitoring and Research – CeMI, , Montenegro
16. Center for Protection of Human Rights and Tolerance, Polimlje, Serbia
17. Civic Action, Serbia
18. Civic Committee for Human Rights, Croatia
19. Civil Rights Defenders, Serbia
20. Cultural center DamaD, Serbia
21. Čedo Prodanović
22. Dalibor Tanić, Activist
23. Danijela Majstorović, University of Banja Luka
24. Danijela Ranković
25. Darko Cvijetić, Artist
26. Denis Cerić, Photographer HINA
27. Denis Romac, Vice President of Croatian Journalists’ Association
28. Documenta, Croatia
29. Edin Ramulić, Activist
30. Edo Popović, Writer
31. Elvira Mujkić, Activist
32. Elvis Kušljugić, Activist
33. Eric Gordy, Professor
34. Eugen Jakovčić, Centre for Peace Studies
35. Faik Ispahiu, producer
36. Faruk Šehić, Writer
37. Humanitarian Law Center, Serbia
38. Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo
39. Forum for Local and Regional Cooperation – FLORES, Serbia
40. Goran Borković, Editor in chief of the portal Forum
41. Goran Miletić
42. Goran Zorić, Activist
43. Gordana Katana, Journalist
44. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
45. Hrvoje Polan, Photographer
46. Human Rights Action – HRA, Montenegro
47. Igor Čoko, Editor in chief, Grain
48. Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Serbia
49. Ivana Horvatek, Journalist, Fairpress
50. Ivica Đikić, Editor in chief, Novosti
51. Jasmin Mujanović, University of York
52. Jeta Xharra, journalist
53. Jim Marshall, Activist and Photographer
54. Joël Hubrecht, Revue Esprit
55. Ladislav Tomičić, Journalist and editor in chief of portal Lupiga
56. Larisa Aganović, Activist
57. Lejla Bakić, Activist
58. Lejla Durmišević – Pašalić, Activist
59. Lejla Omeragić – Ćatić, Activist
60. Lejla Pašalić, Activist
61. Ljilja Spasić, Activist
62. Masha Durkalić, Journalist and Activist
63. Melisa Skender, Journalist
64. Melita Vrsaljko, Journalist, Forum
65. Montenegrin Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights
66. Mustafa Galijatović
67. Nataša Kandić
68. Nerma Jelačić, Commission for International Justice and Accountability
69. NGO “Babe”, Croatia
70. Nino Bantić, Cameraman AP
71. Nora Ahmetaj, Consultant on Transitional Justice
72. NGO NOMEN, Montenegro
73. The Committee for Human Rights, Leskovac, Serbia
74. Peščanik, Serbia
75. Sabina Šabić, Activist
76. Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, Serbia
77. Sanja Despot, Journalist
78. Sanja Sarvnavka, NGO “Babe”
79. Saša Leković, President of Croatian Journalists’ Association
80. Saša Kavić, Camerman Reuters
81. Saša Kosanović, Journalist, HRT
82. Sladjana Bukovac, Journalist, HRT
83. Slobodanka Poštić
84. Snjezana Pavić, Journalist, EPH
85. Sonia Bakarić, Journalist, AFP Paris
86. Srđan Dvornik, Independent consultant and translator
87. Staton Winter, Photographer UN
88. Tanja Rudež, Journalist, Jutarnji list
89. Tomislav Jakić, Journalist and former Adviser to Croatian President
90. Vladimir Lulić, Vice President of Croatian Journalists’ Association
91. Vlatko Čerić
92. Vojislav Mazzocco, Journalist, Index
93. Vojvodinian Civic Center, Serbia
94. Women in Black, Serbia
95. Women’s Safe House, Montenegro
96. Ziyah Gafić, Photographer
97. Zlatko Dizdarević
98. Zoran Ćatić, Activist
99. Zoran Ivančić, Activist
100. Zoran Janković, Cameraman AP
101. Zoran Kusovac, Journalist
102. Zrinka Bralo, Activist
103. Žarka Radoja, Journalist
104. Žarko Puhovski, Professor