Declaration by the Athens Congress of the European Peace Forum
Milosevic case and the struggle for peace and against imperialist globalization

At the close of an academic colloquium about the topic "The wars in the Balkans and the case of Milosevic", the following declaration was passed:

In few weeks time, it will be a year ago that the chairman of the Socialist Party of Serbia and former president of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, was handed over to the so-called International Tribunal for the Prosecution of War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia. The handing over, in fact a kidnapping staged by secret services, as well as the present trial before the tribunal in The Hague, are an event unprecedented in the history of international relations and in international law.

Facts speak for themselves:

  1. It was at the time of the criminal NATO war of aggression that Milosevic was charged with war crimes. Aggressors were bringing charges against the head of the attacked state, violent criminals charged the victims of their violence.

  2. After the war, the aggressors used pressure and blackmail to force the rulers of the attacked state to arrest the president who had been brought down with massive assistance of NATO, and to extradite him, in violation of the constitution of Yugoslavia and in disregard of the ruling of the constitutional court.

  3. Finally, the aggressors took the former president of the attacked state to an illegitimate court, a tribunal established, staffed anf funded under the United Nations´ direction, in violation of their Charter.

That gross reversal of all legal and ethical standards aims at whitewashing NATO, justifying a posteriori its war of aggression against Yugoslavia and, thus, enabling repetitions of such or similar wars. It is the large-scale attempt to demonstrate to the world that resistance against the global claim for hegemony of the United States and NATO will not be tolerated, and will be severely punished.

That is the essence of the trial against the former Yugoslav president and his co-defendants, the essence of the case of Milosevic.

In the court of The Hague, the case in point is not an individual of whom one may think whatever one deems right. It is rather a matter of untruth or truth, of right or wrong. It is a matter of an individual who, for numerous reasons, has become the symbol of resistance against NATO´s conflict-fomenting policy of intervention into the internal affairs of Yugoslavia and against the NATO war. In the eyes of NATO, the war will be only be won, and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia only accomplished, if and when this symbol has been brought into discredit.

If only for those reasons, the trial in The Hague cannot leave partisans of peace and opponents of imperialist globalization indifferent.

Those who rose up against the NATO war and the 78 days of terrorist bombings in Yugoslavia cannot remain silent in view of this pseudo-legal sequel.

By now, the course of the trial in The Hague has borne out the far-reaching political intentions of its organizers, but they have not yet been able to achieve their goals. The judges´ obvious bias, the prosecutors´ paltriness and lack of evidence, Slobodan Milosevic´s initial speech, and the debacle of the witnesses in the cross-examinations he carried out, have made it more and more difficult for the managers of the trial to achieve their aims.

The man accused by NATO has become the accuser of NATO, and what was intended to become a show trial has more and more become a secret trial. Being unable to to break Slobodan Milosevic´s morale, the management of the trial is now attempting to weaken him physically, to wreck his health and resistance by unbearable prison and procedural conditions, by bringing forth more and more new "witnesses", by almost incessant proceedings. The arbitrariness of this illegitimate court must be stopped.

Joining this international protest we claim:

Athens, May 19, 2002

NOTE: Annual Congress of the European Peace Forum has been held in Athens last weekend, under slogan "FOR A EUROPEAN PEACE ORDER AGAINST THE MILITARIZATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL POLICY BY THE USA & NATO" and with participation of more than 60 representatives of peace movements and progressive organizations and associations from Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. Besides the general Declaration, the Congress has adopted the above one.

The European Peace Forum is founded on March 24, 2001 in Berlin, on the second anniversary of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia. Among the founders, together with representatives of numerous European organizations were also German admiral Elmar Schmaehling, great Ukrainian poet Boris Oliynik, Czech publicist and humanist Dr Rajko Dolecek, Chairman of the Italian "Nino Pasti" Foundation Paolo Pioppi, known Bulgarian politician and human rights activist Professor Velko Volkanov and other renown personalities - politicians, scientists, lawyers, parliamentarians.

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