inside the Yugoslavia tribunal
a project by Martino Lombezzi and Jorie Horsthuis
During the nineties, the world was shocked by the war that was raging over the Balkans. Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II was marked by grim war crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. The conflict lasted for almost ten years, left over 130,000 people dead, and led to the breakup of Yugoslavia.
On February 22, 1993, in the midst of the atrocities, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 808 to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). For the first time since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, a war crimes court was set up to prosecute the political and military leaders that orchestrated the war. While investigators started to collect evidence in the Balkans and prosecutors started to compose indictments in The Hague (the Netherlands), the hunt for the war criminals started. Ultimately, it took 24 years and over 10,800 trial days to bring the 161 indictees to justice.
In the final year before its closure, we entered behind the scenes of this international institution. We set out to tell the inside stories of the people that pioneered international criminal justice. Also, we wanted to document the places and objects that were essential to the trials, but remained closed to the public at large.