Monday, November 2, 2009
'I am waiting. No one has ever said sorry'In 1992 Ed Vulliamy revealed the existence of the Bosnian concentration camps. The remarkable image of Fikret Alic showed for the first time how Muslim prisoners were being brutalised by the Serbs.
A still image from video footage showing emaciated prisoners at the Trnopolje concentration camp in Bosnia in the summer of 1992. Fikret Alic is standing in the centre, at the front. Photograph: Reuters
I'm pretty sure one day I walked by Radovan Karadzic. It was here in Lisbon, I had come out of office and has the weather was good, I was walking all the way to the train station, window shopping or just gazing at people and things, as I usually love to do.
At the door of this fancy Hotel, in Avenida da Liberdade, there were some huge men, all dressed in black, you couldn't fail to notice them, because they were big, some of them were very athletic and good looking, sharp was the word for them. I particularly noticed one of them, with combed back white hair, conferencing with someone on the sidewalk, under the glances of all the others.
I thought that one must have been Radovan Karadzic. He must be in Lisbon at the time to conference with European Union officials.
Why do I remember this vague, quick encounter, I had years ago ? Because when I came across those men a chill come over me, looking at them was like tasting metal, you could sense evil and pain about them, I can't explain it better, but it was palpable, I felt it. Death travelled with them.
Radovan Karadzic is now at the Human Rights Court in the Hague, Netherlands, on trial for crimes against humanity.