Life After Release
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After release

lifeafter 1Welcome in Croatia of Dario Kordic after his early release by the ICTYIn domestic criminal proceedings individuals are after being (early) released usually subjected to reintegration programmes and supervision of a parole officer. Nothing of this sort exists at the international level. After their release, the international prisoners simply disappear from the radar of the international community (unless they enter a witness protection programme and cooperate with the tribunals) and there is no supervision of their conduct or any attention paid to their activities. Some go back to their countries of origin and return to political posts they held prior to or during the periods when crimes were committed. Some return as celebrated wartime heroes, write a bestselling book about their ‘unfair’ treatment at the tribunal and become public figures frequenting TV shows. Some just go back to their old house, cannot find a job, feel rejected by a society, lose their pension entitlements, and fight to make a living.

lifeafter 2Book written by Veselin Sljivancanin that became a bestseller in SerbiaSome simply cannot go anywhere since no country is willing to accept them and get stuck in the UN safe house together with those acquitted by the same international criminal tribunal who ended up in the same “limbo” situation. In general, the faith of released international prisoners is to a large extent determined by the way the conflict ended in their respective countries. The former Yugoslavia disintegrated into various successor countries to a large extent reflecting ethnic lines of the former fighting groups. The ICTY Serb prisoners are thus free to return to Serbia, Croats to Croatia, or Bosniacs to Bosnia, and are often welcome as war heroes in their respective countries. In contrast, Rwanda is now governed by a Tutsi based government and the ICTR Hutu defendants do not want to return to Rwanda fearing discrimination or additional prosecutions.

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