Serbia will not abandon its war generals, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said for Prva TV, adding that “an army that is not proud of its past cannot be proud of itself either.”
The minister delivered the statement in response to those who condemned the promotion of the book by convicted war criminal Nebojsa Pavkovic 'The Third Army - Seventy-eight Days Hugged by 'Angel of Mercy', in a reference to the NATO 1999 bombing of the then Yugoslavia over policy in Kosovo dubbed the Angel of Mercy.
The generals convicted of war crimes did not lose their civil rights and they are all “entitled to the right to live and think," underlined Vulin.
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) condemned on Saturday the promotion of the generals convicted of war crimes during the Belgrade's International Book Fair and stressed that the Defence Ministry showed in this way its “face of a criminal.”
A day earlier, the Humanitarian Law Centre (FHP) said that the Ministry openly ridiculed the victims by promoting and financing these books.
But, the Ministry responded on the same day saying it was proud of the army members who defended the country and its people from the “NATO aggression in 1999” and that it was proudly presenting the 'Warrior' edition which contains the memories of ex-army commanders Nebojsa Pavkovic and Vladimir Lazarevic, both convicted of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).