World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Hunger Strike by Accused Serb Prompts Concern

Hunger Strike by Accused Serb Politician Prompts Concern from UN War Crimes Tribunal

New York, Nov 30 2006 7:00PM

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today expressed grave concern about the actions of Vojislav Šešelj, the Serbian politician who has refused food as he awaits trial on charges of taking part in an ethnic cleansing campaign during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Mr. Šešelj is being monitored in a Dutch prison hospital after he was transferred yesterday from the detention unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague, the Tribunal said in a press statement, citing concern for the accused’s well-being.

Although he continues to drink water, Mr. Šešelj has declined food, medicine and medical care since 11 November, and the ICTY said a medical necessity requiring intervention could arise in the near future if he does not start eating again.

Mr. Šešelj, 52, has refused to allow any doctor of Dutch nationality to assess his condition, but has said he will accept a doctor from France or Serbia. However, he refused to meet a French doctor who visited the Dutch prison hospital today.

The Tribunal statement said the reasons provided by Mr Šešelj for his hunger strike keep changing, ranging from his defence counsel to the ability to receive unmonitored visits from his wife.

Earlier this week, ICTY judges assigned defence counsel to the accused, saying he had persistently obstructed the proper conduct of the trial since resuming self-representation in late October.

“But he has also made other less publicized demands, such as that the Tribunal approach a foreign State in order to unfreeze assets he holds in overseas bank accounts,” the statement noted.

The president of the Serbian Radical Party, Mr. Šešelj faces charges of crimes against humanity and others relating to the persecutions of Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb people and their expulsions from area of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Vojvodina region of Serbia, between August 1991 and September 1993.

Prosecutors allege Mr. Šešelj participated in a joint criminal enterprise with former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, among others, that led to the extermination and expulsion of non-Serb people.

In its statement the ICTY stressed that it is keeping officials from Serbia informed at all times, and has also invited the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit its detention unit and the Dutch prison hospital.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news