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‘Iron Lady’ behind bars

The week's news at a glance.

The Hague

Biljana Plavsic, wartime president of the Bosnian Serb statelet, was sentenced to 11 years for presiding over the brutal campaign against Muslims and Croats during the 1992–95 war. Because Plavsic, 72, agreed to plead guilty to one war crime, a count of “persecution,” the tribunal dropped the more serious charges against her, such as genocide. “No sentence can fully reflect the horror of what occurred,” Judge Richard May said—and some of the Serbs’ victims agreed. “I am shivering; I am completely shaken,” said Mujesira Memisevic, whose husband and children were among the hundreds of thousands slaughtered by Serbs under Plavsic’s rule. “The sentence is outrageously low.” Plavsic, a scientist, once told her people that Muslims had an “aberrant genetic makeup.”

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