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Geopolitics

Siege Of Sarajevo Redux: An Appeal To Free General Divjak

Jovan Divjak, who led Bosnia's defense in the 1992-95 siege of Sarajevo, has been arrested in Austria on a Serbian warrant. Top French intellectuals demand his release, calling European policy on the Balkans a continuing “affront to reason.”

Sarajevo central cemetery
Sarajevo central cemetery
Jean Hatzfeld and Bernard-Henri Lévy

Jovan Divjak, one of the heroes of the siege of Sarajevo, was thrown in an Austrian jail on March 4, released on bail four days later, and is now being held under house arrest. Every hour that passes is a reminder of the shame and pathetic equivocation that has characterized European diplomacy toward the war in the former Yugoslavia.

General Divjak was arrested on March 3 at Vienna airport after the Serbian government put out an international warrant against him for alleged war crimes. Although Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Spindelgger quickly dismissed the possibility of extraditing Divjak to Serbia, the general's detention – while Bosnian Serb Radko Mladic is running free on the streets of Belgrade – is an affront to reason and ethics, and the notion of European justice.

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