WHEN the genocide ended in Srebrenica, over 8,000 men and boys had been massacred in the worst act of ethnic cleansing on European soil since the Holocaust.
Now the former Bosnian Serb leader who ordered the 1995 killings is being brought to the UK to serve the rest of his sentence for crimes against humanity.
Radovan Karadžić, 75, will serve his genocide sentence in a prison in the UK[/caption]
He was convicted of crimes against humanity for his role in ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian War[/caption]
Radovan Karadžić, the so-called Beast of Bosnia, oversaw atrocities against Muslims during the 1992-95 Bosnian War.
The 75-year-old was convicted in March 2016 on 10 crimes, including genocide, and eventually sentenced to life in prison.
A former psychiatrist who disguised himself as an alternative medicine practitioner for 10 years while a fugitive, Karadžić will now spend hard time behind bars in an undisclosed British prison.
It’s thought the UK volunteered to take Karadžić as part of efforts to support international justice, The Guardian reports.
A mass grave being exhumed in Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were murdered[/caption]
Thousands of civilians also died at the Siege of Sarajevo, commanded by Karadžić[/caption]
“We should take pride in the fact that, from UK support to secure his arrest, to the prison cell he now faces, Britain has supported the 30-year pursuit of justice for these heinous crimes,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
Karadžić is one of many international war criminals brought to the UK to serve time – with others including a warlord who ordered children to hack off victims’ limbs with machetes.
Karadžić objected to being imprisoned in the UK in part because of the experience of another Serbian general jailed in England.
Radislav Krstić, 73, was a general who became the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide.
Thousands of Muslim boys and men were lined up and shot by before being buried in mass graves by Serbian soldiers during the Bosnian War.
The massacre at Srebrenica was the worst mass killing on European soil since World War Two[/caption]
They acted in part under the command of Krstić, who was captured in 1998 in an SAS and US Navy Seal operation and hauled off to the Hague to stand trial.
Krstić was convicted of genocide in 2001 and sentenced to 46 years imprisonment – the sentenced was cut by 11 years in 2004 when his conviction was changed to the lesser offence of “aiding and abetting” genocide.
He started serving his sentence in the UK seven years ago.
Then in 2010, he was targeted by a brutal attack carried out by three other inmates at HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
Radislav Krstić was the first person to be convicted of the Bosnian genocide[/caption]
The bodies were dug up at the end of the war as the government denied the genocide[/caption]
Three Muslims stormed into his cell and held him down as they slashed at his head and neck with a shiv made from a toothbrush handle and a razor blade.
The attackers, who were all serving murder sentences in his unit, were each given additional life sentences.
Krstić survived the assault and successfully sued the Ministry of Justice for over £50,000 as compensation for the psychological and physical trauma he sustained in the jail.
He was transferred overseas and is now behind bars in Poland.
Krstić on trial at the Hague in 2004 – he was later imprisoned in the UK[/caption]
He was in Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire when he was attacked by Muslim inmates[/caption]
Bosnian Serb political leader Momčilo Krajišnik was also found guilty of crimes relating to the atrocities in the Bosnian War.
He served time in Belmarsh in London but, in 2013, was granted early release to return to Bosnia, where he was given a hero’s welcome by a crowd of 2,000 Serb nationalists.
Krstić told reporters at the time he didn’t understand what the big party was about.
“After all,” he said, “I am a war criminal.”
He died in the Bosnian city of Banja Luka last September after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Child soldiers hacking off limbs
Locked up in a prison in County Durham is a man who, in the words of the judge who sentenced him, was partly responsible for “some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history”.
Charles Taylor, 73, is a ruthless warlord who became President of Liberia in 1997.
Charles Taylor in 2003 while he was President of Liberia[/caption]
He helped a group of rebels in Sierra Leone carry out a string of unimaginable horrors[/caption]
He played an important role in the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone, which raged between 1991 and 2002, claiming some 50,000 lives along the way.
Taylor provided arms to Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in exchange for blood diamonds.
The rebels’ signature atrocity during their failed bid for power was to use axes and machetes to dismember their opponents.
Many of the horrific attacks were carried out by child soldiers who were recruited and armed by Taylor.
A child soldier, nine, in Liberia in 2003 – many children were forced to fight for the RUF[/caption]
Taylor helped to arm the rebels who in turn used them to commit atrocities[/caption]
Thousands of people died during the Sierra Leone Civil War, which raged for 11 years[/caption]
Civilians were also burned alive and raped, sometimes having the letters “RUF” carved into their bodies.
Rebels supported by Taylor also forced a woman to carry a bag of human heads that included those of her children while another had her eyes pulled out after a gang rape to prevent her from identifying her attackers.
And they would also sometimes cut the unborn babies out of pregnant women after placing bets on the sex.
When Taylor was put on trial for his enabling of the atrocities in 2008, a commander in his militia even testified that Taylor had once ordered fighters to eat enemies as a means of terrorising the population.
Many people had arms, legs, and hands hacked off by RUF thugs wielding machetes[/caption]
Many of those ordered to carry out the horror attacks in Sierra Leone were kids[/caption]
Joseph “Zigzag” Marzah, who ran Taylor’s Death Squad, alleged that Taylor personally ate the organs of his enemies.
Marzah also described in chilling detail how Taylor’s militia would cook human bodies of victims, who sometimes included UN peacekeepers.
“We slit your throat, butcher you … throw away the head, take the flesh and put it in a pot … Charles Taylor knows that,” Marzah said at The Hague.
He also described setting up roadblocks which used human intestines and severed heads on sticks as Taylor encouraged his men to “play with human blood”.
Taylor on trial at the Hague in 2010 – he faced multiple charges relating to the Sierra Leone atrocities[/caption]
In 2012, Taylor was found guilty of 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The verdict made Taylor the first former head of state to be convicted by international tribunal since Karl Dönitz, Hitler’s successor for three weeks, at the Nuremberg trials in the 1940s.
He began serving his sentence at HMP Frankland in County Durham in 2013, where he reportedly befriended Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.
Taylor, now 73, made an unsuccessful bid to be moved out of the prison last year fearing for his safety amid a Covid outbreak in the jail.
‘I regret all the damage’
One war criminal jailed in the UK made history for his offences not against people, but places.
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi became the first person to be tried by the International Criminal Court for attacking religious and historical buildings in Timbuktu, Mali.
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi on trial at the Hague in 2016 for the destruction of important sites in Timbuktu[/caption]
Al-Mahdi was a member of the north African islamist militia linked to al-Qaeda called Ansar Dine.
In 2012, he was responsible for the destruction of nine mausoleums and one mosque in Timbuktu.
They did so as an attack on the Sufi-influenced form of Islam practised in the city.
One of the cultural targets was the 600-year-old Sidi Yahya mosque.
Islamists destroying an ancient shrine in 2012 – al-Mahdi sometimes wielded the pickaxe himself[/caption]
Some of the mausoleums were completely razed to rubble during the vandalism[/caption]
Ansar Dine islamists smashed down the door, which locals believed would not be opened until the end of the world.
Al-Mahdi was arrested in 2015 and, the following year, became the first war criminal at The Hague to answer charges of cultural destruction.
He also became the first person to plead guilty at the court, even apologising for his actions.
“I am really sorry, I am really remorseful, and I regret all the damage that my actions have caused,” Mahdi said after he pleaded guilty, The Atlantic reports.
Al-Mahdi was sent to HMP Shotts in Scotland, where he reportedly dislikes the cold[/caption]
“I would like to give a piece of advice to all Muslims in the world, not to get involved in the same acts I got involved in, because they are not going to lead to any good for humanity.”
He was sentenced to nine years and has spent part of his sentence at HMP Shotts in Scotland.
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“He whinges about the temperature in his cell, but he’s amazed at how easy cons have it here,” a prison insider told The Scottish Sun in 2018.
“He’s telling folk he can’t believe how comfortable prison life is for criminals in Scotland.
“Nicks in Mali are absolutely diabolical — they’re like slums — so he must feel like he’s living in luxury over here.”