Goran Hadžić, the former Croatian-Serb rebel leader, has died at the age of 57.
Hadžić was on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) over his role in the 1991-1995 Yugoslavia war.
Last April, the Trial Chamber ordered an indefinite halt to his trial, as he battled the advanced stages of terminal brain cancer.
His health significantly deteriorated in the last two months and he spent most of that time in the hospital where he died.
Hadžić was the last fugitive arrested by the ICTY.
He was accused of having participated in a Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE). It is alleged that the purpose of the JCE was the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the Republic of Croatia in order to make it part of a new Serb-dominated state.
The accusations included the murder of civilians taken from Vukovar hospital in 1991 in one of the conflict’s darkest episodes.
He was also charged with responsibility for the massacre of Croat civilians who were forced to walk into a minefield in the Croatian town of Lovas in October 1991.
His trial opened in October 2012 following his arrest in Serbia in 2011 after seven years on the run.
Investigators had tracked Hadžić down as he was trying to sell an early 20th-century painting by the Italian master Amedeo Modigliani valued at several million dollars.
Rabaa sit in dispersal on 14 August 2013. Photo: Mohamed Gamil/DNE
In a report published yesterday and following a year-long investigation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) asserts that the systematic and widespread killing of at least 1,150 demonstrators by Egyptian security forces in July and August 2013 probably amounts to crimes against humanity. In the August 14 dispersal of the Rab’a al-Adawiya sit-in alone, security forces, following a plan that envisioned several thousand deaths, killed a minimum of 817 people and more likely at least 1,000.
The report, entitled, “All According to Plan: The Rab’a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt,” documents the death on 14 August 2013 of hundreds of protesters calling for former President Mohamed Morsi to come back. Describing a “mass killing” that could amount to a crime against humanity, HRW calls for an investigation several officials, including Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, who was elected President in May 2014. “In Rab’a Square, Egyptian security forces carried out one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This wasn’t merely a case of excessive force or poor training. It was a violent crackdown planned at the highest levels of the Egyptian government. Many of the same officials are still in power in Egypt, and have a lot to answer for.”
Kenneth Roth arrived at Cairo airport on Monday to present the report along with Sarah Leah Whiston, executive director of HRW Middle East and North Africa Division. Both were banned from entering Egypt for “security reasons.”