The AACL Petitions
Albanian American Civic League
P.O. Box 70
Ossining, NY 10562
Tel. (914) 923-4702 Fax (914) 762-5102 www.aacl.com
For Immediate Release
Contact: Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi
The Albanian American Civic League Petitions The
International Criminal Tribunal For The Former Yugoslavia
Ossining, New York February 26, 2002—For a decade, Slobodan Milosevic manipulated the Serbian people and world public opinion in the press. He managed to convince the world that Yugoslavia was doomed to ethnic conflict and that the Serbian people were victims of non-Slavs in the Balkans—especially the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanians of Kosova. He rose to power in 1987 on a platform of anti-Albanian racism and then fanned the flames of ethnic hatred to brutally occupy Kosova and to facilitate ten years of genocidal warfare in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosova, which left 350,000 dead and four million homeless.
Today, at his trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Slobodan Milosevic is using the same tactics. Once again he is hijacking the headlines by deflecting attention away from the atrocities that he and his henchmen committed and using the courtroom to accuse the West and NATO of creating the conditions that led to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and a decade of war. Once again he is trying to portray the Kosovar and Bosnian victims of his reign of terror, mass expulsion, and mass murder as culprits and as “terrorists” he was forced to put down for the sake of Serbia and the international community.
In his opening statement on February 15, Milosevic accused former Congressman Joe DioGuardi and the Albanian American Civic League of “the systematic expansion of the anti-Serb mood and the Satanisation [sic] of the Serb people in the American public opinion.” In reality, the Civic League has always made a distinction between the Serbian people as a whole and the barbaric acts of Milosevic and his regime. For fifteen years, the Civic League has worked tirelessly to stop the oppression of the Kosovar Albanians and to influence U.S. foreign policy to bring a just and lasting peace to the Balkans. The Civic League has petitioned the ICTY to allow Joe DioGuardi, the founder and volunteer president of the AACL, to testify not only to set the record straight about the Civic League’s activities and philosophy, but also to oppose Milosevic’s efforts to disguise his barbarism and to revise his terrible legacy before the world.
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