Catriona Robertson

journeys at home and abroad

Radio links

Moral Maze (BBC Radio 4) on Karadzic and war crimes

The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has opened at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He faces 11 counts of genocide, including complicity in the Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. It was one of the worst acts of atrocity in Europe since the Second World War. But is what we are about to see justice or revenge – A show trial organised by the victors, with TV coverage broadcast throughout the world, and eagerly viewed, especially in the Balkans. Can there ever be any morally certain and globally acceptable definition of what constitutes a war crime or will pragmatism and real politique always get in the way?

No podcast but  listen again at

Heart & Soul (BBC World Service) Bosnia’s War Babies

One of the many charges faced by Radovan Karadžić at The Hague is that of organising the rape of 20,000 Bosnian Muslim women.   Fourteen years after the conflict, many of these women remain traumatised, cast out from their communities, rejected by their husbands and families, and often ending up stigmatised and impoverished.   Some had the additional humiliation of being raped in front of their parents or small children.   Yet the psychological support that so many of them urgently need is inadequate and sporadic.   Some women were kept for months and raped until they conceived.   Those who became pregnant either abandoned their babies or had them adopted.   Some decided to keep them, a constant reminder of their shame.   These children – now in their teens – are beginning to ask questions about their fathers.   The mothers now face a dilemma – should they tell the truth and risk damaging their child? Or keep their terrible secret?

Listen again and find the podcast at


This entry was posted on 1 November 2009 by in Bosnia and tagged , .
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