Media in Serbia Silent about Biljana Plavšić’s Crimes

The media in Serbia reported on the release of the former President of Republika Srpska from prison and her arrival in Belgrade as if she were a pop star and not a war criminal found guilty of persecution and crimes against humanity.

Count 3 of the indictment, to which the accused admitted and on which basis she was convicted, states that Plavšić, acting individually or in concert with other participants in the joint criminal enterprise, planned instigated, ordered, or committed or otherwise aided and abetted persecution of non-Serb population in 37 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Hague Tribunal Trial Chamber accepted that this is a crime of utmost gravity, involving a campaign of ethnic separation which resulted in the death of thousands and expulsion of thousands more in circumstances of great brutality.

Questions posed by Serbian journalists to Plavšić after her release mainly related to how she felt, whether she plans to live in Belgrade, whether she will visit Banja Luka … Journalists also devoted a great part of their articles to trivia such as the Plavšić’s family reunion, the food and drinks she ordered, the song an anonymous accordionist played on the street in front of her apartment building … Plavšić’s friends and followers, who openly negate her guilt, were quoted.

No one mentioned the victims or crimes that Plavšić was found guilty of. The media in Serbia ignored the crimes committed by the system lead by Plavšić which resulted in the killing of approximately 100,000 people in BiH, while more than two million people were forced to leave their homes.

Present Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska, Milorad Dodik, gave a statement to the media in Belgrade that he considered it was his “political, human, and moral obligation” to be present “when an older lady who served her sentence was coming”.

Such a statement represents a form of public manipulation because Biljana Plavšić was neither indicted nor convicted as an “older lady”, but as a high official in a political and military system responsible for the death and suffering of a large number of innocent people. All other social roles of Biljana Plavšić, her role as a woman, a sister or a professor, are insignificant in front of the real reason for her conviction, which is her role as the commander of expulsion and torture committed against people of different national and religious background.