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VIDEO ARCHIVE OF MILOSEVIC TRIAL NOW ON INTERNET Bard College and the International Center for Transitional Justice Launch Complete On-Demand Web Video Archive of Historic War Crimes Trial
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- The Human Rights Project at Bard College, in collaboration with the New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), has created a complete video archive of the landmark war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic, accessible on the Internet through an ordinary web browser.
As the dramatic case of the former Yugoslav president -- the first head-of-state to face an international trial for crimes against humanity and genocide -- unfolds at the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (Netherlands), the archived on-line broadcast will bring the proceedings daily to thousands of viewers worldwide. The trial, which began on Tuesday, February 12, is the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nazi prosecutions at Nuremberg.
The internet archive is meant to provide access to the trial to the many potential viewers eager to follow the historic proceedings but living in different time zones. An integral video archive of each day's events, with audio in English, is available at Bard's site on the World Wide Web as soon as the daily court session is complete.
"These proceedings promise to become, in effect, a public history lesson on the catastrophe that engulfed Yugoslavia, and the rest of us, in the 1990s," said Thomas Keenan, director of Bard's Human Rights Project. "There is a great deal of new interest in the work of the tribunal. Now researchers, journalists, and especially Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, and Albanians living around the world, can watch and listen to the complete trial on the Internet, virtually in real-time."
The Milosevic trial archive can be viewed at http://hague.bard.edu/.
The initiative -- supported by The Glaser Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation -- will also create a permanent physical archive of high-quality digital video at Bard for the use of researchers, including broadcast and print journalists, filmmakers, scholars, and students. Bard and ICTJ are also planning to host public forums and screenings using highlights of the trial.
"The South African experience taught us the importance of public outreach in the pursuit of any meaningful effort to achieve justice and accountability," said Alex Boraine, president of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the former deputy chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "In the former Yugoslavia, we realized very quickly that one of the best contributions we could make to the region was to help bring these historic proceedings to those who would eventually be the catalysts for peace and reconciliation in their countries."
The trial webcast is designed to reach viewers in time zones outside of Western Europe with a video feed accessible shortly after the conclusion of each day's proceedings, at around 10:00 a.m. EST. The site features an archive of the audio and video of all previous sessions of the trial, in addition to transcripts of each day's proceedings as they become available. Over the course of the trial, the site will gather news accounts, documents, and a wide range of Internet-based references on the trial and the issues it raises.
The Bard site will also soon add a complete archive of the trial in Shqip (Albanian). The Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian archive is on-line at http://tribunal.freeserbia.org/. Live webcasts are at http://www.domovina.net/Icty/eng/room1.html.
Bard and the ICTJ are creating the on-line and digital video archive in cooperation with Domovina Net (Amsterdam), the SENSE News Agency (Brussels), the Coalition for International Justice (Washington, D.C. and The Hague), Bowery Productions (New York), and AT Media (New York).
Since its creation in 1999, the Human Rights Project at Bard College has developed innovative courses, supported student initiatives and internships, and conducted a program of lectures, films, and seminars featuring human rights activists and scholars, emerging media analysts, artists, and writers from across the world. A key component of the program focuses on how advances in information technology have affected the struggle for human rights by changing the way people across the globe communicate and the way in which global events are viewed.
The International Center for Transitional Justice was founded last year by Alex Boraine and has been working in several parts of the former Yugoslavia to promote accountability through the combination of trials, truth commissions, regional cooperation, and civil society initiatives. The organization, which is supported in its Balkans work by The Charles and Stewart Mott Foundation and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, works in more than 15 countries emerging from armed conflict or repressive rule, advises governmental and non-governmental actors on strategies to address legacies of past human rights abuse.
For more information on the Milosevic trial archive and the Bard Human Rights Project log onto http://www.bard.edu/hrp. For information about the International Center for Transitional Justice, see http://www.ictj.org.
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