Category Archives: 上海性息网

Are you ‘casually homophobic’?

Patrick Abboud reports.


How many times have you heard someone say the words “faggot” or “that’s so gay” at school or at work? Maybe you’ve even dropped the F-bomb yourself in ‘friendly’ banter at the pub or online.

Welcome to the language of “casual homophobia” – otherwise known as slurs that aren’t always meant to be harmful, but are often used without thinking of the consequences.

A new website shows the prevalence of “casual homophobia” on Twitter around the world in real-time using four key search terms – “faggot”, “no homo”, “so gay” and “dyke”. The site works via a sophisticated application programming interface (API) that tracks homophobic language on Twitter literally as it happens.

An interactive ticker allows you to view different timeframes and compare the four terms being tracked. If the frequency doesn’t shock you enough check out the flood of offensive terms via a continuous scrolling stream of tweets containing any of these terms. Here’s one I just pulled out randomly:

“If you wear a seat belt in the backseat, you’re a faggot”

Although the site went up in July in test mode as it was being built, its just officially launched around the globe. As you can see in the graphic above the word “faggot” has already been used more than 2.7 million times.

At the time of publishing this article today “faggot” is saturating the Twitter sphere appearing 25,890 times and counting…

“We know that homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in society. When that goes unchecked it often leads to the isolation, bullying, violence, beating and in many tragic cases suicide of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) youth,” says the sites creator, Dr Kris Wells Associate Director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta.

“Words like that’s so gay that are used a lot perhaps in schools and amongst younger people – they throw them thrown around without thinking they have any impact – where faggot is just used to mean something stupid or dumb and what we see is that people are becoming so desensitised and fail to recognise that much of this language has a great deal of painful and horrible history behind it,” he says.

Dr Wells has welcomed an overwhelming response to the site with universities, schools and community organisations from across the globe sending requests for permission to use it as an educational tool.

“I’ve been contacted by professors and faculty members from all over the world who are in awe of what this website is showing. We hope that parents will also use it to talk to their kids about the language they are using at school.”

The launch of this campaign could not be more timely says Mandy Hudson, Manager of Safe Schools Symposium for the Foundation for Young Australians.

“Websites like could provide a useful tool to highlight the use of homophobic language in our society, but we also need to create strategies to continually respond to this,” she says.

The national Safe Schools Symposium brings together for the first time initiatives from organisations around the country tackling discrimination against young GLBTQI Australians.

“The inaugural national Safe Schools Symposium is a first step towards learning from one another and creating an integrated approach across Australia in schools to work on equipping schools, educators, students and governments to create schools that are free of homophobia and transphobia,” says Ms Hudson.

Recent research in Australia shows that young, same-sex attracted people are affected by homophobic language, even if it may not be intended that way.

“People often use the word gay, not even homophobic people. They don’t see it as an insult, they’re not trying to be insulting, but I’m insulted,” says one student who responded to a questionnaire as part of the Writing Themselves In 3 report by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University.

Dr Wells set up in the hope that people will think twice before they tweet. “This kind of language is offensive, pervasive, it’s damaging. I remember seeing a tweet from a young person who saw the website and responded back saying…

“Now you know what my daily reality is like”.

The Safe Schools Symposium will take place in Melbourne on October 20th.

In the audio interview below Dr Wells explains how the site filters work to measure the frequency of the key terms in context to ensure accuracy.

Riot, arrests after Dutch Facebook party

After a night of violence when police officers were pelted with stones, bottles, tubs of flowers and even bicycles, local officials lined up to denounce those responsible and promise they would be brought to justice.


The estimate of “at least” a million euros ($1.3 million) by the Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Verzekeraars) was part of the fall-out from Friday night’s clashes in the northern town of Haren.

Insurers “would do everything” to ensure the guilty parties contributed to covering the cost of the wreckage, echoing earlier remarks by the justice minister, the association said, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Their association backed a statement released earlier by Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.

“This cannot be tolerated,” said the minister.

“The authors of these acts will be judged, punished and should pay for the damage done,” he added, ANP reported.

Local police chief Oscar Drots, speaking at a news conference aired on public television, said all 34 people arrested would be charged with public disturbance.

Officers had also taken photos of the clashes, he added, which left open the possibility of further arrests.

“An innocent call on Facebook to party led to riots, destruction, looting, fires and injuries in the centre of the town,” Haren mayor Rob Bats said at the same press conference.

The unrest had meant that 500 police officers had to be called to the scene, he added.

Twenty-nine people, including three officers, were injured during the clashes, but no one was seriously hurt, according to Dutch news reports.

Police had been on high alert after the birthday girl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party on Friday — but forgot to mark it as a private event. That prompted more than 20,000 replies.

Several websites quickly sprang up dedicated to the party, with one publishing the girl’s address and adding, “By all means bring some friends!”

Local officials said between 3,000 and 5,000 people had turned up in the small town, which is home to only 18,000 residents.

Officials had prepared for trouble by blocking access to the girl’s street, banning alcohol consumption near her home and having the teeenager herself quit the premises.

But riot police had to intervene when a couple of hundred drunken youths tried to get into the street.

After pelting the police with missiles as they tried to force their way into the street, groups of rioters moved on to the centre of the town where they wrecked cars, fencing, street lamps and signs.

Some of the party-goers wore T-shirts bearing the words “Project X Haren,” an allusion to the 2012 US teen film “Project X” — about a suburban birthday party that gets out of control after an invitation goes viral.

Previous “Project X” parties have run riot in different parts of the world including Germany, Australia and especially the United States, where teens wrecked an unoccupied Texas home, causing damage of up to $100,000.

Olympian Scott Miller gets bail

Olympic swimmer Scott Miller has been granted bail over his third round of drugs charges with his lawyer arguing he is unlikely to reoffend because of his notoriety.


Miller appeared in Sydney’s Central Local Court on Tuesday via video link from Silverwater jail where he has spent the last 10 days in custody.

Police allegedly discovered 7.75 grams of the prohibited drug ice when they searched him at Potts Point on July 20.

He was charged with supplying an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug.

In court the prosecution said Miller had a clear drug problem and was likely to reoffend if granted bail or until he received treatment.

Miller’s lawyer Gregory Goold said his client would plead guilty to the lesser offence of drug possession if testing confirmed the substance to be prohibited.

He also said the substance was initially weighed with its packaging and when weighed alone may fall below the maximum personal use amount of 5g.

“He sees the gravity of his problem,” Mr Goold said.

“He wants to get help.”

Mr Goold also said Miller was unlikely to possess illegal drugs due to his status in the community.

“The prospect of him reoffending are dimmed by that notoriety,” he said.

Magistrate Les Mabbutt considered both arguments, noting Miller’s reputation as an Olympian, and granted him strict conditional bail.

He is not allowed to enter the Kings Cross area, which is adjacent to Potts Point, he must report daily to police and he must not leave his nearby Edgecliff unit between 8pm and 7am.

Other conditions include an acceptable person providing $5000 in surety to be forfeited if he breaches his bail.

His matter will come before Downing Centre Local Court on September 17.

Outside court, Mr Goold said Miller needed rehabilitation.

“He’s pleased and he’s confident that he’ll turn his life around,” he said.

“He certainly denies that he’s a drug dealer.”

His arrest came 10 days after he appeared in Waverley Local Court and pleaded not guilty to drugs charges and possessing more than $16,000 in cash.

He was on bail for those offences at the time of his most recent arrest.

Miller will appear at Downing Centre in August on those charges.

The court also heard of his 2009 conviction of two counts of drug supply and one count of receiving stolen property.

Pat Richards eyes Challenge Cup glory

Pat Richards stands on the verge of a final Wembley appearance, but the Wigan Warriors star has no intention of underestimating London Broncos in this weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-finals.


For Richards, who will return to the NRL with West Tigers next season after eight years with Wigan, this is his last chance to repeat the club’s Challenge Cup triumph back in 2011.

The gap between the Broncos and the Warriors could hardly be bigger in Super League, with the London side rooted to the bottom while Richards and company were only removed from top spot on Monday after defeat against St Helens.

But Richards knows the knockout nature of the Challenge Cup means form goes out the window for Saturday’s clash in Leigh.

“I’ve been at Wigan eight years and I’ve only been to Wembley once so they don’t come around too often and you have to enjoy them,” Richards said.

“It’s my last chance to play at Wembley and in any year, you don’t know what’s going to happen

“We’re only 80 minutes away but we can’t be thinking about Wembley yet as we need to beat London.

“Every year – it doesn’t matter if I’m going home this year or not – it’s about winning and we’re in a good position to do that.

“Over the years, it’s always been a David v Goliath sort of thing and that’s what excites you about the Challenge Cup. Like the FA Cup and football, it throws up some great occasions.”

If the Broncos are to score a major upset this weekend then a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of former St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward.

The 28-year-old was drafted in only last month with the Challenge Cup run almost exclusively in mind and the short-term signing is relishing the chance to sample the cup atmosphere as an underdog.

“This was the main reason for me coming to London this season on a short-term deal,” he said.

“I know the responsibility on my shoulders but I have to focus on my own job and see how we go from there.”

In Sunday’s second semi-final, holders Warrington Wolves face Hull FC at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.

And Wolves skipper Brett Hodgson, who spent two seasons with the Giants in Super League, cannot wait to return to his former home.

“It’s a huge game for both clubs and we’ll be treating it like a final,” he said.

“It’s also a bit like a home game for me because I still live over that way and I have some great memories from playing in Huddersfield.

“Hopefully I’ll add another one this weekend.”

There is one re-arranged game scheduled this weekend in Super League as well with reigning Grand Final winners Leeds travelling to Wakefield hoping to beat their Yorkshire rivals for the second time in a week.

SBW hit not a shoulder charge: Robinson

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is confident Sonny Bill Williams will be cleared by the NRL match review committee on Monday following his shoulder charge to the head of Newcastle’s Willie Mason.


Williams was put on report after flooring Mason midway through the opening period of the Roosters’ 28-12 win over the Knights at Hunter Stadium and looks certain to be sanctioned.

Robinson felt otherwise.

“That arm is sort of separated from the side so it’s not a shoulder charge,” Robinson said.

“Obviously he hit him high so that is probably the worry. The arm has to be tucked into the side and there’s a separation between the arm and the body. That’s not a shoulder charge.”

Williams has already been charged with a grade one careless high tackle on Parramatta’s Matt Ryan in round 13 this season and had 56 carryover points from that offence.

If he’s hit with a similar grading he’ll spend some time on the sidelines unless he opts to fight the charge in front of the NRL judiciary on Wednesday.

Mason admits he was rattled by the shot before being forced off with a suspected torn calf muscle before halftime.

“I am not the sort of bloke, in my whole career of 13 or 14 years to stay down,” said Mason, who felt he’d been targeted by his former team.

“He hit me with a shoulder to the head if you look through my whole career it’s a pretty hard head to knock out.

“But we’ll see what happens. The judiciary can take care of that.

“His tackling technique in the mid 2000s that would be legal. But now it’s illegal and now it’s up to the judiciary.”

The victory consolidated the Roosters’ spot behind leaders South Sydney but Robinson said his side needed to massively improve their discipline after being slugged 14-9 in the penalty count.

However, he was delighted with how his side held on in the second half when the Knights were on top but failed to score a try before opting to kick a penalty in front of the posts.

“We were pretty happy, the boys were pretty excited about that,” he said.

“We knew they couldn’t break our defence so they opted for the two points. That was pretty good on our behalf.”

Tries from Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Michael Jennings, Sam Moa and Williams sealed the two points with Darius Boyd and James McManus crossing for the hosts.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett wasn’t too despondent by his side’s performance and said he saw enough to leave him confident of making the finals.

The veteran coach also defended his decision to take the two points midway through the second half when a try looked certain to come soon.

“I thought we were losing our way. I just thought someone should have went to the sin-bin, first and foremost, for repeated infringements,” he said.

“It was obviously deliberate and we looked like we were getting pretty frustrated.

“I thought the next thing we’ll do is lose a ball and give a penalty away, so let’s take the two and settle ourselves down.

“We then came back with some really good shape but we threw a forward pass when we looked like we were going to do something.”

Comment: Clear copyright rules needed to take on Google Books: report

By Laura Hood, The Conversation

The headaches involved in setting up digital archives could be holding back cultural organisations from making thousands of historical documents, books and films available to the general public, a report to be launched today by the Intellectual Property Office suggests.


This is in part due to the lack of legislation on how to handle orphan works — documents that are still subject to copyright but for which no owner can be found. As much as 20% of the 1 million books held by the Natural History Museum in London are orphans, as are between 20% and 25% of the near 8 million documents held at the Imperial War Museum. Under the current system, publishing these works online represents a copyright infringement, even though the owner of the copyright cannot be found to make a claim.

CREATe, a Research Councils UK project at the universities of Glasgow and Bournemouth, has advised the UK government on how to tackle the issue by looking to other countries’ legislation. But after approaching agencies in Denmark, Japan and India, CREATe researchers found a baffling variety of approaches and prices.

“There are potentially hundreds of thousands of memory collections which really should, in the digital age, be made available online,” Professor Martin Kretschmer, director of CREATe said. “Empirically, if you look at the schemes for licensing orphan works that have been tried, they haven’t delivered in any of the seven countries we investigated. One has to learn from the models that haven’t worked.”

The UK should therefore seek to produce a coherent system for orphans and could help digital book projects in particular by opting for long-term licensing arrangements.

The prohibitive costs of getting a licence where one is available also holding cultural organisations back. In Canada, where the system for awarding licences for using orphan works is more advanced than in other areas, CREATe found that the cost of digitising books on a large scale for non-commercial use come in at around 9p per page. While this may not seem like a lot for individual works, huge price tags would be likely for larger projects. “If you end up with a fee of £1 million per year, then parties able to take the risk reduces to a handful of organisations,” Kretschmer warned.

And one of those organisations could be Google, which has for some years been attempting to digitise every book ever published through its Google Books project. The company has been able to take advantage of the more favourable system that operates in the US to scan an estimated 30 million books. While many of these are out of copyright, it has leant on the “fair use” clause to scan orphans and even copyrighted material. The project has been stalled as a result of legal action from authors who found that Google had scanned their copyrighted material without consent, but Google has shown little sign of giving up. Concern remains that the firm could end up monopolising the rights to many works. Public organisations in Europe face pressure to get their houses in order before it’s too late.

The UK government has attempted to legislate to solve the problem several times over the years. The 2011 Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth described the lack of regulation on orphans as the “starkest failure of the copyright framework to adapt” and warned that without tackling the problem, non-digital archives could be lost forever.

The government is due to set up an authority to deal specifically with orphan works in the near future but is yet to announce a clear approach to licensing.

Israel press bemoans price of talks resumption

“The murderers will go free,” was the top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot’s front-page headline after the cabinet agreed to release the veteran Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners, many of them convicted militants.


In a tense session lasting more than five hours, ministers on Sunday endorsed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to release the 104 prisoners imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo peace accords as a gesture to the Palestinians.

Media reports say that many of them have Israeli blood on their hands and that while the vast majority are Palestinians, a few are Israeli citizens.

The names of those to be freed have yet to be officially published, or even revealed to cabinet ministers, but Israeli and Palestinian groups have published their own lists of those in prison for more than 20 years.

They include petrol bombers whose attacks on buses killed Israeli women and children, perpetrators of fatal stabbings on city streets and the makers of bombs planted on buses and in the main Jerusalem produce market.

Yediot columnist Nahum Barnea compared the release to the October 2010 exchange of 1,027 prisoners for the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

“The early release of terrorists is disturbing to any decent person,” he wrote.

“The images of remorseless murderers celebrating on the way to the bus are a humiliating, agonising, infuriating sight.

“The Palestinians did not give anything this time, except the willingness to hold talks on holding talks. It does not take much imagination to guess what Netanyahu would have said about this, had someone else been prime minister,” Barnea added.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet in Washington later on Monday, along with US officials, after months of dogged shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry secured a resumption of talks after a three-year hiatus.

“Here we go again,” the Jerusalem Post headlined over an analysis by its diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon.

“These murderers will be hailed as heroes in Hebron and Ramallah and Jenin,” he wrote.

“Parades will be held in their honour, flowers thrown at the bus carrying them home, poems written about their ‘glorious’ exploits.

“If the Palestinians are indeed serious about the upcoming round of talks, they need to make that apparent to the Israeli public,” he added.

“One way to do this is not to celebrate the release of terrorists who threw petrol bombs into buses and incinerated innocent men, women and children.”

Maariv analyst Shalom Yerushalmi shared the general media sense of outrage.

“As always, the government has chosen the worst option,” he wrote.

“Prior to going to the negotiations in Washington, the Israeli government made a decision to free terrorists who have committed terrible crimes against innocent civilians, many of whom were teenagers and children.

“This tears at the heart of each one of us, regardless of political views.”

The left-leaning Haaretz daily grudgingly welcomed the cabinet decision.

“The Israeli government bumped into reality on Sunday,” diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid wrote.

“Like a drunk driver heading for a wall at full speed only to get a grip on himself at the last moment and hit the brakes, most government ministers came to their senses and voted in favour of releasing prisoners in order to enable the renewal of talks with the Palestinians.”

Prince Harry ‘choked up’ over Jubilee trip

Prince Harry has described his Diamond Jubilee tour as an ’emotional trip’ that’s opened his eyes to how fondly Commonwealth nations regard the Queen.


Harry said he was “choked up” by the way the countries he visited – Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica – were celebrating the monarch’s 60-year reign.

The 27-year-old Prince revealed he had set off for the seven-day tour with a ringing endorsement from his grandmother who told him “enjoy it, I hope you do me proud”.

Speaking after a polo match in aid of his charity Sentebale staged in Brazil, which the royal has been visiting to promote Britain, the Prince said: “I tell you what, it’s been an emotional trip.

“I’m absolutely exhausted but the warmth of the reception that we’ve received from every single country that we’ve been to has been amazing.

“I personally had no idea how much warmth there was towards the Queen, to me that’s been very humbling, and I was actually quite choked up seeing the way that they’re celebrating her 60 years.

“She’s thousands of miles away to some of these countries and yet they celebrated her in the way they did, and made me feel so welcome, so I couldn’t thank them more.”

Harry has remained true to himself throughout the tour, bringing his sense of humour and fun to engagements and proving himself to be an adept public speaker.

In Belize the royal enjoyed a Diamond Jubilee street party and was swept up by the genuinely warm welcome from the locals that saw him dancing with performers, tasting local food and even downing shots of rum.

The Bahamas gave the royal the chance to formally honour the Queen with the rest of the Commonwealth country at a national service of thanksgiving for the monarch.

Harry also charmed Jamaica’s staunchly republican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller, who plans to end centuries of formal ties with the British monarchy and replace the Queen as head of state with a Jamaican.

Asked if he has had any messages from the monarch, Harry replied: “I haven’t had a chance to speak to her on the trip, but I had a half-hour conversation with her before we came out where she wished me luck.

“We had a great chat, she said `enjoy it, I hope you do me proud’, it was a typical grandmother to grandson chat.”

Chiefs pip Brumbies in title thriller

The Brumbies have fallen agonisingly short of the Super Rugby title after defending champions the Chiefs clawed back a late ten-point deficit to win the final 27-22 in Hamilton.


It was the championship fight all hoped for at a sellout Waikato Stadium, the Brumbies’ territorial-based gameplan only just coming unstuck by a Chiefs side willing to run the ball from everywhere.

While many will attribute the Brumbies’ late fade to a gruelling four week-travel schedule in the lead up to the match, coach Jake White put it down to inexperience.

“With 20 minutes to go, I thought we had the game, not sewn up, but the pressure was (building),” White said.

“Obviously you’re a bit heart sore and you feel like you could have won that. But you’ve got to be proud.”

The Chiefs were 10 points down and needing to score twice when blindside flanker Liam Messam stormed over from a five-metre scrum to make it a five point ball game heading into the last 15 minutes.

The Brumbies then surrendered the lead they’d held for the entire match when replacement Robbie Robinson scored to give his side a two point buffer in the 67th minute.

Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said it was a few errors late in the game that swung momentum against his side.

“Instead of putting kicks in the spots we would have put them, or taking high balls, we dropped them,” he said.

“Next thing you know you’re defending pick and go under your posts.”

Ireland-bound Chiefs captain Craig Clarke said it was a relief to win in his last game for the Hamilton-based side.

“That’s an awesome Brumbies team who have a huge amount of heart and put us under pressure,” he said.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was almost left wondering what could have been following his decision to use flyhalf Aaron Cruden as goal-kicker ahead of renowned sharpshooter Gareth Anscombe.

While Brumbies kicker Christian Lealiifano had an unblemished night with five penalties, a conversion and a try for all 22 of his side’s points, Cruden missed three very kickable shots.

“A bit hit and miss, but I was just stoked to see the last couple go through,” Cruden said.

Another magnificent performance at the breakdown from Brumbies flanker George Smith wasn’t enough to earn him the fairytale send-off from Australian rugby he desperately wanted.

“He’s phenomenal. Everyone is talking about his performance,” White said.

“He epitomises everything we’re trying to get to at the Brumbies.”

The Brumbies stormed out of the blocks with three early penalty goals to lead by nine points after repelling several waves of attack.

But the defending champions bounced back, Cruden recovering from a shanked first penalty attempt to land his next three and level the scores.

“They disrupted and stole a lot of our ball and it took us a while to work out a strategy to sort that out,” Rennie said.

After several close intercept attempts, Lealiifano showed great handling skills to thieve a long pass from Chiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow to race away for the opening try to give his side a seven point lead into the break.

The situation became more dire for the Chiefs on the other side of halftime when Smith isolated Barlow to earn another three points and a 19-9 lead.

But the Chiefs managed to overturn the deficit late to become the fourth team to win consecutive Super Rugby titles.

Mladic appears in the Hague

Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic went on trial Wednesday accused of carrying out a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, including Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.


“Ratko Mladic assumed the mantle of the criminal goal of ethnically cleansing Bosnia,” prosecutor Dermot Groome told the judges at the Yugoslav war crimes court in The Hague.

Mladic, 70, has been indicted on 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the Balkan country’s brutal 1992-95 war that killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million homeless.

“The prosecution will present evidence that will show without reasonable doubt the hand of Mr Mladic in each of these crimes,” Groome added after Mladic, dressed in a dark grey suit and patterned tie, sarcastically briefly applauded judges as they walked into the courtroom.

Mladic pleaded not guilty to the charges at an earlier court hearing last June.

Outside the courtroom, a group of 25 women belonging to the “Mothers of Srebrenica” organisation representing widows and victims of the Srebrenica massacre, held a demonstration.

“This is the biggest butcher of the Balkans and the world,” Munira Subasic, 65, told AFP. She lost 22 relatives to Bosnian Serb military forces when the enclave of Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995.

“I’ll look into his eyes and ask him if he repents,” said Subasic, who said she would watch the trial’s opening from the public gallery.

Almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered as Bosnian-Serb forces under General Mladic’s command overran the town and Dutch UN peacekeepers helplessly looked on.

Prosecutors also hold him responsible for the 44-month siege of Sarajevo where his forces waged a “terror campaign” of sniping and shelling that left an estimated 10,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians, dead.

Two days ahead of the trial, his lawyers filed a request for a six-month adjournment, saying they needed more time to prepare a defence.

President Judge Alphons Orie said at the trial’s opening the court was still considering whether to postpone the case, on the grounds that the prosecution made a “significant error” which could affect the course of the trial.

During a string of pre-trial hearings, the ageing former general spoke about little else except to complain about his poor health and to ask presiding Dutch Judge Alphons Orie if he could wear his military uniform.

His lawyer Branko Lukic said Mladic suffered three strokes in 1996, 2008 and 2011 and was partly paralysed on his right side.

The tribunal’s president Judge Theodor Meron on Tuesday denied a defence request to have Orie removed from the bench after Mladic’s lawyers questioned his impartiality as he had previously sentenced several former subordinates of Mladic.

Radovan Karadzic, who as the Bosnian Serb political leader was Mladic’s boss, is already on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Both men are believed to be the main players in a plan to rid multi-ethnic Bosnia of Croats and Muslims during the bloody break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

It was in pursuit of a “Greater Serbia” that Mladic allegedly ordered his troops to “cleanse” Bosnian towns, driving out Croats, Muslims and other non-Serb residents.

After the war, Mladic continued his military career but went into hiding in 2000 after the government of then Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic fell.

He was on the run until May 2011 when he was arrested at a relative’s house in Lazarevo, northeastern Serbia and flown to a prison in The Hague a few days later.

Better known from media images as a blustery commander in military fatigues, last June a sickly and haggard-looking Mladic made his first court appearance, opening proceedings by saying: “I am general Ratko Mladic… I defended my country and my people.”

The trial is to continue on Thursday, before resuming on May 29. It could go on for three years before a judgment is handed down.

If found guilty, Mladic could face a life sentence.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments