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The State of Emergency in Serbia and the Slow Murder of Slobodan Milosevic
Nico Varkevisser's April 3rd ICDSM
[Posted 9 April 2003]
On Thursday, 3 April 2003, the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM) held a Press Conference in Amsterdam.
At the press conference, Nico Varkevisser, ICDSM Vice-Chairman in charge of media relations, addressed recent developments in Serbia; the actual conduct of the Tribunal (ICTY) including the attempt to prevent President Milosevic from meeting with whomever he chooses; and the consequences of these matters for President Milosevic's defense of Yugoslavia at the Tribunal.
Here is the statement delivered to the press.
'State of Emergency' in Serbia - Attack on Yugoslavia in The Hague
The killing was immediately followed by the imposition of a State of Emergency. This has nothing to do with fighting organized crime, as claimed by the controlled Yugoslav media, by the Western media, and by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who recently visited Belgrade. Working in the shadow of the Iraq war, the pro-NATO authorities have arrested thousands of people. They have especially attacked the defenders and family of President Slobodan Milosevic.
2.. Why was Zoran Djindjic killed? Mr. Djindjic had ceased to be useful. He and Yugoslav President Kostunica had done their job. They destroyed the economy. They violated the Yugoslav Constitution and defied the Constitutional Court by kidnapping Slobodan Milosevic and sending this defender of Yugoslav sovereignty to The Hague. They liquidated the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Djindjic was despised by ordinary people who blamed him personally for the catastrophe that followed the October 5th, 2000 coup d'Útat in Belgrade.
No longer useful to NATO as a living politician, and perhaps not completely under NATO's control, Djindjic was rendered useful by death.
3.. This assassination did not constitute merely the removal of a no-longer-useful individual. The implementation of the State of Emergency, followed by mass arrests, the specific targeting of the SLOBODA foundation, which is central to the defense of President Milosevic, including arrests and other acts intended to intimidate President Milosevic's defenders, the seizure of SLOBODA's computers in order to paralyze the work of President Milosevic's supporters, the arrest and indefinite detention of SLOBODA President Bogoljub Bjelica, and much-increased media slander and wild accusations made against President Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic - with the result that she is no longer able to visit her husband - all this indicates the nature of this, the second Yugoslav coup d'Útat.
'State of Emergency' Targets anti-NATO opposition, not organized crime
4.. To tighten its grip on Serbia, NATO has installed a State of Emergency. This means that the period during which so-called democracy could serve as a fašade, hiding the anti-democratic character of the October 2000 coup d'Útat, is over. What will come now is dictatorship, whether hard or soft.
The importance of this new dictatorship to NATO is demonstrated by the recent visit of US Secretary of State Collin Powell. Though fully occupied with the terrible war in Iraq, Powell had time to come to Belgrade to praise 'the fight against organised crime' and 'those who threaten this society'.
Who are these threats to society who have been arrested?
Journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, dissenting politicians, political activists, much-decorated Generals of the Yugoslav Army, teachers, Professors and writers. And defenders and family of Slobodan Milosevic.
5.. The claim by the Belgrade authorities and the media that President Milosevic is linked to organized crime is simply ridiculous. They speak of his 'contact' with the mysterious Mr. Legija, officer of the Red Berets. But his first contact with that gentleman occurred when Legija led a force of thousands of armed men, some masked, who arrested President Milosevic on April 1, 2001. Half a year earlier, Mr. Legija took part in the October 2000 coup d'Útat, which installed Mr. Djindjic and Mr. Kostunica in power.
The accusations against President Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic, that she was somehow involved in the death of former Yugoslav President Ivan Stambolic, are equally outlandish. Using easily available information, we have produced an analysis proving these charges cannot be true. See, "The Absurdity of the Accusations against Mira Markovic in the Stambolic Murder," in your press kit. [To be posted shortly on the Internet.]
6.. The claim that the Emergency authorities are fighting organized crime inherited from President Milosevic is a vicious lie. During Slobodan Milosevic's presidency, his government fought crime, harder than many realize; and they did it without a State of Emergency.
If President Milosevic had instituted a State of Emergency, the world would have cried that he was "as bad as Hitler". Yet the Western media has only praise for the current draconian measures.
7. There is ample evidence that those who staged the October 2000 coup d'Útat relied on organized crime. It is well known that Mr. Djindjic was intimately involved with criminals, for example the cigarette Mafia in Montenegro. In addition, since the October 2000 coup d'Útat, the new authorities have acted as criminals on a grand scale - overthrowing the elected government, routinely violating the constitution and some of the established rules of Yugoslav and Serbian democracy, giving away the Yugoslav economy to their controllers from the NATO countries.
So: criminals in their own right, and linked to the Mafia, but now they root out organized crime!
Repression in Serbia targets Milosevic's work at The Hague
8.. These developments in Serbia have had a great impact on the defense of President Milosevic. His research and support team in Belgrade is under heavy attack and his wife has been cut off from him. All this jeopardizes his ability to maintain his historic defense against NATO's court.
9.. The affect of the arrests and witch hunt against President Milosevic's family have been magnified because the Tribunal continues to prevent him from seeing lawyers and other associates of his choice.
ICDSM was prevented from meeting with President Milosevic
10.. At President Milosevic's request, in mid-December the ICDSM sent a delegation to The Hague. However, the meeting was denied by the Tribunal after we were told it would be accepted. Two reasons were given.
The first reason, claimed the Tribunal, was that Ramsey Clark had visited President Milosevic the day before, and in the opinion of Tribunal officials, this sufficed. ICDSM Attorney Tiphaine Dickson spent a week at The Hague trying to reverse this ruling; President Milosevic protested as well; but all to no avail.
Aside from the fact that Mr. Clark's visit bore no relation to the work of the ICDSM, and apart from the fact that Tribunal officials were fully aware of the request by President Milosevic to meet our delegation well before the impromptu visit of Mr. Clark, the reality of this situation, where the Tribunal arbitrarily decides who can and who cannot see President Milosevic, and uses one visit to cancel another, is absurd, unacceptable and in violation of President Milosevic's most basic rights.
The second reason for denying our visit, according to the Tribunal, was that they had concluded from reading the ICDSM Website that we meant to report to the media what President Milosevic told us.
This is remarkable. The Tribunal staff and Prosecution regularly make anti-Milosevic statements to the press. The press lies about what transpires during Tribunal proceedings. But not only is President Milosevic forbidden to talk to the press, on pain of being entirely cut off from the outside world, but members of his support committee are forbidden to talk to the press as well. We protest this attempt to gag us. Of course it demonstrates the profound insecurity of the Tribunal. So much power, so frightened of daylight.
You will find in your press kit a copy
of the Tribunal's fax denying President Milosevic his
right to meet with our delegation. [Note: This fax is now
posted on the Internet.]
Murder in slow motion
11.. And there is more. We continue to have the most serious concerns about President Milosevic's medical care. When his heart problems became more serious, in the beginning of last year, the Tribunal initially treated his condition with aspirin. They refused to let Yugoslav and other specialists examine him. In November of last year we read in the Dutch press that President Milosevic had been given the wrong medicine.
Apparently nothing was done about this, despite a flood of protests, because President Milosevic continued to complain about the side affects of the medicine he received, which caused dizziness and insomnia, making it hard to function.
That this was caused by faulty medicine is indicated by the fact that when, very recently, President Milosevic was given different medication, the symptoms went away.
12.. Is the problem mistaken diagnosis? Or something worse?
Events make clear that this mistreatment is deliberate.
Last July, Judge May read in court the statement of a doctor who had examined President Milosevic. The doctor said that because of his serious heart condition, President Milosevic should have more time for rest. Instead, the Tribunal increased his work hours.
Not only has the Tribunal refused to let coronary specialists examine President Milosevic, but in a session of the Tribunal, at which President Milosevic was not present, Judge May accused him of refusing medication. This is simply a lie.
Four hundred *thousand* pages
13.. The Tribunal has recently given President Milosevic 400.000 (four hundred thousand) pages of "relevant" documents to read. If one were to read 500 pages a day, obviously an impossibility, this would take two years.
The intent is obviously to put an unbearable strain on the former Yugoslav head of state, whose heart condition responds negatively to stress. This, combined with the spiteful medical 'care', gives a picture of machinery operating to destroy a man it cannot politically defeat.
If you can't defeat him, kill him
14.. Perhaps The Hague proceedings were planned to be a show trial. But immediately the trial began, President Milosevic's forthright, accurate and devastating opening comments about what NATO had done to his country frightened those who control the Tribunal.
They realized that if ordinary people were permitted to witness the proceedings, the world would learn that the media-created impressions of President Milosevic, the Serbian people, and what had happened in Yugoslavia, were all based on lies.
Within days, virtually all television and in-full newspaper coverage was stopped cold.
Why this case is so important
Now, instead of a show trial, we are witnessing a slow political murder! We call upon on all people concerned with the truth and with justice, upon all who have realized NATO was wrong in Yugoslavia, upon all who support President Milosevic, upon all who support fair play, to undertake initiatives to support his demand to postpone this so-called trial, to give President Milosevic time to recover, with proper medical care, and in freedom, to prepare his continuing counterattack against NATO's lies.
15.. Whatever their faults, national and multinational states are today a crucial component of ordinary people's rights - often the very right to live - won over centuries of struggle. All who now strive for peaceful solutions to the problems of our world should realize: Yugoslavia is the model for national destruction in this new Empire.
By refusing to make a legalistic defense of just himself, by standing up to NATO's lies about Yugoslavia at The Hague Tribunal, President Milosevic is not only defending the peoples of Yugoslavia.
He is defending us all.
1. To obtain the media kit, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
2. To be added to the ICDSM media list, write email@example.com
3. For further information contact Nico Varkevisser
Phone ++ 31 20 615 1122
Fax ++ 31 20 615 1120
The ICDSM urgently needs your help!
In order to assist in President Milosevic's defense, we must pay phone bills, travel expenses, and operational costs for our office and legal work in the Netherlands. For this we depend entirely on those who care about President Milosevic's attempt to tell the truth at The Hague.
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Footnotes and Further Reading
1) "Media Misrepresentation Of
Milosevic's Words: A Review Of The Evidence," by
Prof. Francisco Gil-White at
2) "KLA Attacks Everyone; Media Attacks...Milosevic?" by Jared Israel at
3) Regarding our charge that the ICTY
is NATO's instrument, see "Official Statements Prove Hague 'Tribunal'
Belongs to NATO," at
4) Here are 'Judge' May's own words during the session of the so-called trail on the 25th:
As a group of Nobel Prize winning physicians from Germany noted in their open letter to The
Hague, since Judge May made this statement, the ICTY has
done exactly the opposite.