Urgent Appeal by German Physicians to safeguard the life and health of Slobodan Milosevic

Initiative von in Deutschland praktizierenden Ärzten und Therapeuten

Initiative of medical Doctors and Therapists practising in Germany

 

DR. MED. UTA MADER, MATTHIAS JOCHHEIM, PROF. DR. MED. HABIL. ILSE EISEN-HAGEMANN, DR. PHIL. HANS-PETER BRENNER, PROF. DR. MED. HABIL. INGEBORG RAPOPORT, PROF. DR. MED. DR. PHIL. DR. HC. MULT. SAMUEL MITJA RAPOPORT (verst.), DR. MED. CHRISTA ANDERS, DR. MED. ERNST BELLMER, DR. MED. IRIS JONKANSKI, DR. MED. MICHEL HÜHN, BARBARA MÜHLFELD, DR. MED. HERBERT WOLF

 

 

 

 

To:       Mr. Fausto Pocar,

Mr. Patrick Robinson,

Mr. Timothy McCormack

20. November 2005

 

 

 

Urgent Appeal by German Physicians to safeguard the life and health of Slobodan Milosevic

 

Dear Sirs,

 

Three years ago, on 11 November 2002, we made our first submission to the President of the ICTY, the Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber III and the Amici Curiae in the case against Slobodan Milosevic, expressing our deep concern about the treatment, which Mr. Milosevic is receiving from the ICTY.

We stated then:

“It is not only incomprehensible, but outrageous, that Mr. Milosevic is not under constant medical observation and check-ups and does not get adequate medical treatment.
This way of dealing with a person whose life is – with all consequences – in your responsibility, can only be called irresponsible and leads to the question of motives. It is in total contradiction to various documents and resolutions of the United Nations concerning the treatment of imprisoned persons. Those regulations should be fully recognized by representatives of UN institutions.”

Later on the Trial Chamber received a report of the medical examination of Mr. Milosevic conducted by the cardiologist Dr. P. R. M. van Dijkman, confirming “essential hypertension with secondary organ damage”, mentioning “the possibility of coronary disease, cerebrovascular accident, heart attack and death”.

On 18 September 2003, we again addressed the ICTY, demanding that

“Mr. Milosevic should be provisionally released for an adequate, longer period of time, so that during the preparation of his defence he can have medical treatment and control by his long time doctors in Belgrade.”

Not only did the Tribunal not grant Mr. Milosevic provisional release, but instead, his health situation was used as an excuse to deprive him of his basic rights as an accused person, when the Trial Chamber imposed counsel on Mr. Milosevic against his will on September 2, 2004, and when the Appeals Chamber on November 1, 2004, ruled that “the presence of Assigned Counsel will enable the trial to continue even if Milosevic is temporarily unable to participate”

The threat, that in case of his illness  his Defence case would be conducted by Assigned Counsel  against his will and in violation of his basic rights, has imposed even more mental stress on Mr. Milosevic, as he is being faced with the constant fear of not being able to be present in the courtroom for medical reasons.

On 4 November 2005, a medical examination of Mr. Milosevic was conducted by three international specialists, who in essence came to the conclusion that  court proceedings would have to be interrupted, in order to allow Mr. Milosevic a period of total physical and mental rest of at least six weeks.

The Trial Chamber being aware of this conclusion nevertheless let the proceedings continue as usual, which led to Mr. Milosevic demanding the court session to be ended on Wednesday last week.

We, the undersigning physicians practising in Germany, demand that the advice of the international specialists, who have examined Slobodan Milosevic, be observed and the court proceedings be halted for at least six weeks, whereas we confirm our opinion that the most adequate solution would be a provisional release of Mr. Milosevic for an extended period of time.

Once again we express our concern about the treatment which Slobodan Milosevic is receiving from the ICTY, as no due attention is being paid to his precarious health situation.

In our view the only responsible solution for dealing with the constraints of court proceedings caused by the ill health of the accused is a proper medical treatment, not deprivation of his basic rights before the court. We strongly oppose any move to put Assigned Counsel in charge of the Defence Case, as long as Slobodan Milosevic is not able to attend the courtroom for health reasons.

 

Respectfully

 

Dr. med. Uta Mader

on behalf of signatories

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