Skip to main site content.
Florence Hartmann is arrested in The Hague. (ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)


French journalist jailed by war crimes tribunal, on suicide watch

March 28, 2016

French journalist Florence Hartmann has been jailed by the war crimes tribunal at The Hague, where she once worked as the court’s spokeswoman, for contempt of court after disclosing confidential documents. Hartmann was originally sentenced to pay a $7000 fine in 2009 for revealing in her book that the court had sealed crucial information on Serbia’s involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, but that changed to a seven-day jail sentence when the court found she had not paid.

France had refused to extradite her in 2011, but she was eventually arrested in The Hague on Thursday, where she had travelled to witness the verdict against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, along with survivors and the families of victims of the war in Bosnia.

Hartmann’s lawyer Guénaël Mettraux called the situation disgraceful, telling the press that Hartmann is being kept on suicide watch “which in practice means that the light is on 24 hours a day and she is checked on every 15 minutes.” He told The Guardian that he had called Hartmann while in detention, where she is in the bizarre position of “watching General Ratko Mladić [the accused Bosnian Serb military leader] walking around the yard and associating with other prisoners while I’m locked away in a cage.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.