Demonstration Against Hague ‘War Crimes Tribunal’

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Netherlands outside The Hague War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) on Saturday 28th June to demand the release of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic and the other political prisoners who resisted the 78 day NATO bombing campaign conducted against the sovereign state of Yugoslavia in 1999.

The Yugoslav organisers of the demonstration handed the ‘Tribunal’ a list of demands which included the release of the Yugoslav political prisoners, the abolition of the illegal Hague ‘Tribunal’, an end to interference in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia and reparation payments to be made by the Nato governments responsible for all damage caused by their war of aggression against Yugoslavia.

The demonstration coincided with the 2nd anniversary of the kidnapping of Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague and represented the growing resistance to the occupation of Yugoslavia.

Before commencing the march to The Hague Detention Unit where the prisoners are held, the rally was addressed by speakers in four languages, reflecting the international nature of the demonstration.

Once outside the Detention Unit itself further speakers explained to the crowd the relevance of what happened to Yugoslavia in 1999 to what is happening today, drawing attention to the U.S. aim of creating a New World Order which would be at the expense of working people internationally.

The Socialist Labour Party contingent expressed the SLP policy that the so-called Hague War Crimes Tribunal should be abolished and that all political prisoners who resisted NATO should be released.

Sections of the colourful demonstration, waving Yugoslav flags and anti-Nato banners and placards, chanted ‘Slobo…Slobodan…Yugoslavia’ (Slobo in Serbian meaning freedom) and at 5p.m. a letter of support addressed to Mr Milosevic was handed in, bringing an end to what had been an excellent and well organised event.

The wife of one of the prisoners, who was visiting her husband during the rally, later told the demonstrators that some of the prisoners could hear them and it had greatly lifted their morale.

A short meeting after the demonstration, held on the pier at Scheveningen, determined that defence committees, in addition to those already established, for Slobodan Milosevic and the other Yugoslav prisoners, would be set up in countries throughout Europe.

The resistance is growing.