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Judical Trials do not Help Victims Heal
War crimes like the ones that took place in former Yugoslavia leave terrible and indelible impressions on peoples’ lives, societies and nations that are shred by ethnic hatred, betrayal, unforgiveness and fear. People both from within such places and from outside are longing for explanations, truth, justice and healing for victims of outrageous war crimes. However, there are different opinions what could lead to such healing either individual or society/nation wide. Human rights activists, proponents of truth commissions, advocates of criminal trials and many others argue that victims, who speak publicly about what they have gone through, often experience catharsis in such trials, which as follows can lead to a process of closure, the healing. Yet paying more attention to what actually victim- witnesses of such criminal trials feel and think of the healing, one can find out for sure the opposite. Judicial trials do not help victims heal. To test this thesis the victims-witnesses of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will be investigated using Eric Stover’s research presented in his book The Witnesses. Further on will be explained different aspects proving this thesis, describing in details that such trials as ICTY do not help victims heal or even make it worse in some cases, because of having severe effects on victims lives with uncertainty and fear before the trial, stress and emotional traumas during the trial and loosing the material life and experiencing opening wounds and many more effects after the trial once they are back home.…
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