|Karadzic supported by Serb Orthodox Patriarch and by Belgrade academics and
Declaration in favour of suspending the proceedings against Radovan Karadzic before the Hague Tribunal
'The Hague Tribunal's indictments of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic cannot apply to them personally, because they were carrying out legitimate state functions. The aim of the indictments is to diminish the degree of statehood of Republika Srpska envisaged by the Dayton Agreement and to prevent further political efforts by RS in that direction.'
This is how Slobodan Rakitic, president of the Writers' Association of Serbia, explained the reasons for launching the initiative to suspend proceedings against Radovan Karadzic before the Hague Tribunal. The Declaration demanding this is backed not only by Patriarch Pavle, but also by sixty university professors and members of the Serb Academy of Arts and Sciences or of the Writers' Association of Serbia.
'It is hypocritical and logically untenable to claim that individualizing guilt would remove guilt from the Serb people, because Dr Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic have been indicted on the basis of command responsibilities pertaining to functions in which they found themselves by the people's will', says Rakitic.
According to the view of the Declaration's signatories, 'the pressure exerted by the international community on Radovan Karadzic is not legally grounded and has nothing to do with international law'. This pressure is viewed by the signatories as pressure upon the entire Serb people. 'The powers-that-be in the world are endeavouring to paralyse every political and social activity of the Serb people through the attempt to isolate totally Dr Karadzic and through the constant threats to arrest him', the Declaration's signatories consider.
'With the new pressures in connection with the elections in RS, with the change in SFOR's mandate and the transformation of the peace mission into an occupation force, with the compilation of secret lists and a real witch-hunt against Serbs, the Hague Tribunal has violated international law and the Charter of the United Nations', the appeal declares.
The Declaration will be transmitted to the UN Security Council, to all UN embassies in Geneva and to leading world press organs, and it has been translated into six languages. Signatories include Pavle Ivic, Miodrag Jovicic, Ljubomir Tadic, Vasilije Krestic, Enriko Josif, Milorad Ekmecic, Kosta Cakovski, Slobodan Rakitic, Smilja Avramov. The number of signatories has grown in comparison with the First Declaration issued last year, which likewise demanded Karadzic's 'acquittal' by the Hague Tribunal and which was backed by 20 Serb academicians and university professors.
Signatories of the First Declaration
Signatories of the Second Declaration
Nasa Borba (Belgrade), 18 October 1997