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USF Libraries Exhibits

Interviewing Kosovo Survivors

Pierre-Richard Prosper,  Special Counsel and Policy Advisor to the Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues

My involvement with Kosovo was more on the domestic front. I did not travel into the region, but I worked with the refugees that arrived here in the United States, up in New Jersey at Fort Dix. What we did is we—on the behalf, or based on the request of the United Nations Tribunal, we interviewed the refugees as they came to Fort Dix to find out about their experiences. I remember at first thinking that, you know, maybe the refugees would not want to talk to us; maybe it was something that they just wanted to put behind them, forget about, start with their new life. But in fact, it was quite the opposite. They were basically knocking down our door wanting to come in to tell their story. They wanted to be heard. They felt the need to get it off their chest and have someone take it, take that information and do something about it. What that did for us is obviously, as the person taking the interview, it puts a responsibility on you to obviously listen and to take the job seriously, and to note down every possible piece of information that may be relevant and turn it over to the prosecutor of the tribunal. Because these people, they came in to us hoping that we would be able to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.