Prijedor, a town located in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was taken over by Bosnian Serb forces on April 30, 1992. The take-over of Prijedor was followed shortly afterward by the removal of non-Serbs, Muslims, and Bosnian Croats from positions of responsibility. The town of Prijedor became the stage of some of the most notorious war crimes.
The life of non-Serb civilians was consumed by fear and increasing tension. According to the United Nations Security Council Report S/1994/674, “at times, non-Serbs were instructed to wear white arm bands to identify themselves”. Following the takeover of Prijedor, concentration camps were set up, including the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps.
The findings relating to war crimes in Prijedor elicited a wave of international indignation, which catalyzed the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). ICTY and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina have sentenced more than 40 people to more than 600 years in prison for war crimes committed in Prijedor. ICTY made 21 judgments related to war crimes committed in Prijedor, including guilty verdicts for crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed 21 judgments for crimes committed in Prijedor, including guilty verdicts for crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians.