The UN war crime tribunal (ICTY)in the Hague has upheld sentences of five men convicted over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
They had been appealing their convictions for numerous charges including genocide.
Vujadin Popović and Ljubiša Beara sentenced to life imprisonment, the harshest penalty handed down by the court for deliberately targeting and killing people based on their ethnicity.
Drago Nikolić sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment.
Radivoje Miletić sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.
Vinko Pandurević sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.
An organisation representing Srebrenica survivors was not entirely satisfied with the court’s verdict.
“I was very much hurt by the fact that the word “genocide” was not mentioned at all in the reading of the convictions, especially Miletic, whose sentence was lowered, while he is responsible for killing children, killing and raping women and killing old people,” said president of Mothers of Srebrenica, Munira Subasic outside the court.
The massacre took place just a few months before the end of the Bosnian war when 20,000 refugees fled to Srebrenica to escape Serb forces.
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica, a town that had been declared a U.N. “safe area”. Around 8,000 men and boys were killed in the space of three days, an atrocity on a scale not seen in Europe since the Holocaust.