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Sarajevo researchers unveil Bosnia war crimes atlas

[JURIST] Researchers in Sarajevo on Tuesday unveiled [press release, in Croatian] a Google Earth tool mapping the sites of war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide [PPU backgrounder]. The Bosnian war crimes atlas [materials, in Croatian] was compiled by the Research and Documentation Center (RDC) [advocacy website, in Croatian], a Sarajevo-based research organization tasked with collecting data regarding the events of the three-year conflict. RDC director Mirsad Tokaca described the project as:

an educational tool offering access to facts regarding mass killings, rape, war victims, and court judgments, as well as data on the destruction of the religious, cultural and historical heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina ... represent[ing] a digital memorial to all victims of the last war, regardless of their ethnic, religious, political and social affiliation.

The atlas pinpoints [screenshot] 50,000 individual geographical locations where war crimes occurred, including those of mass killings and mass graves, in addition to the names of individual victims and court documentation. The project has been criticized [Reuters report] by prominent Bosnian Muslims for placing the estimated number of casualties at around 100,000, significantly lower than the frequently cited figure of 250,000.

The launch of the atlas came on the same day that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] denied [JURIST report] a request by former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] for additional time in preparing his defense against numerous charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for his conduct during the Bosnian genocide. The ICTY resumed the trial in absentia last week after Karadzic boycotted the proceedings [JURIST reports], citing a lack of time for preparation. Karadzic is expected to be the final indictee tried by the ICTY. His trial is expected to conclude by early 2012.

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