War crimes convict, an honorary citizen in Serbia

Authorities of the Pantalej municipality of Nis have awarded former Serbian army commander Vladimir Lazarevic as an honorary citizen.

Lazarevic served ten years in prison after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague found him guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing against Kosovo Albanians during the 1998-1999 war.  

Radio Free Europe reports that officials in Pantalej, one of five municipalities composing the town of Nis, announced Lazarevic’s award along with 10 others on an annual “glory” day earlier this week. It did not cite any basis for the honor.

According to RFE, the award was backed by the municipal assembly controlled by the ruling national Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of President Aleksandar Vucic. Lazarevic returned to Nis in December 2015 following his release after serving two-thirds of his Hague sentence.