Please join the Harriman Institute for a screening of the documentary The Unidentified, followed by a panel discussion with its director/producer Marija Ristic; author and human rights advocate Fred C. Abrahams; sociologist, policy analyst, and journalist Anna Di Lellio; and human rights and post-conflict attorney Praveen Madhiraju.
The Unidentified follows two story lines that focus on large-scale state-sponsored wrongdoing—war crimes in four Kosovo villages and the subsequent cover-up operation. Both victims and perpetrators recall gruesome memories of the attacks, when scores of ethnic Albanian civilians were killed by Serbian forces in the course of a few days in the spring of 1999.
A protected witness – once a member of one of the most notorious Yugoslav Army units deployed in Kosovo, widely known as the Jackals – chose to speak publicly about the bloody massacres in which he was involved as a 20-year-old.
Some of the bodies ended up in a police training centre in Batajnica, only few kilometres away from the Serbian capital. A police officer directly involved in the covert operation to remove bodies from a refrigerator truck that surfaced in the River Danube during the war recalls seeing even children among the dozens of decomposing corpses.
As well as the nightmarish memories of the victims and direct perpetrators, the film, which is based on a two-year investigation, reveals the names of The Unidentified – the officials who gave the orders
Marija Ristic is reporter with experience at a variety of publications. Marija joined BIRN in November 2011 as a journalist and reporter covering Serbia. In 2013, she worked as a screenwriter and producer for BIRN’s documentary ‘The Majority Starts Here’. Prior to BIRN, Marija worked as an assistant editor and science journalist at the Institute for Informatics Systems and Computer Media at the Technical University of Graz. Marija studied German language and journalism, and is currently studying for her master’s degree in international security. She has received numerous awards and scholarships from the OSCE, the Dr Zoran Djindjic Foundation, the Serbian Ministry of Education, the Austrian government and the Norway Research Council.
Fred C. Abrahams is a special advisor at Human Rights Watch and a writer who has worked for twenty years in areas marred by political crises and armed conflict, including the Balkans and Middle East.
Anna Di Lellio is a sociologist, policy analyst, and journalist, expert on Kosovo, where she worked as political adviser to the Prime Minister, Media Commissioner, and adviser for IOM and the UN on the Kosovo Liberation Army program of reintegration. She currently lectures on political communication at New York University and humanitarian intervention at the New School in New York City. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and a Masters in Public Policy from NYU. She is the author of several publications, among them The Battle of Kosovo 1389. An Albanian Epic and the editor of The Case for Kosova. A Passage to Independence.
Praveen Madhiraju is a human rights and post-conflict attorney at DC-based NGOs and a pro bono advisor to the family of three Americans executed in a war crime during the Kosovo war. He advocates for the Long Island-based family throughBytyqiBrothers.org.