- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 30, 2007

CROATIA

Lenient sentences for Serbs decried

ZAGREB — Around 1,000 Croatians demonstrated in Vukovar yesterday against the perceived leniency of prison sentences handed out to Serbian officers accused of a 1991 massacre near the town, a report said.

The Hague-based U.N. war crimes tribunal on Thursday sentenced former Yugoslav army officer Mile Mrksic to 20 years for aiding and abetting the torture and killing of 194 Croat prisoners of war. His subordinate Veselin Sljivancanin was sentenced to five years. A third accused, Miroslav Radic, was acquitted.

Croatia’s government vigorously protested the verdict, in a letter from Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

SWITZERLAND

Right-to-die group barred from premises

ZURICH — The right-to-die group Dignitas has been barred from its premises in a Zurich suburb after neighbors objected to the use of the apartment for assisted suicides, the local council said Wednesday.

It was the second blow for the nonprofit association this year, after it was forced to move from a previous suburban Zurich apartment when residents complained. At least six persons have taken their lives at the new apartment in recent weeks, residents say.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and has been allowed since the 1940s. Non-physicians can participate in assisted suicide but euthanasia is not legal. The laws, some of the most liberal in the world, have led in recent years to “suicide tourism,” where terminally ill foreigners travel to Switzerland to die.

NETHERLANDS

‘Soldier of Orange’ dies at 90

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch World War II resistance hero, Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema — better known as the “Soldier of Orange” — died last week at his home in Hawaii, his family said in a death notice published in a Dutch newspaper. He was 90.

Mr. Roelfzema was a student at the University of Leiden when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, and he later went underground and fled to England, where he carried out numerous missions in the service of the Dutch royal house in exile.

Mr. Roelfzema was born in Indonesia in 1917, then a Dutch colony. After the war, he immigrated to the United States, where he worked for various broadcast agencies, including NBC, and in 1955, he returned to Europe to work as a producer for Radio Free Europe.

VATICAN CITY

Pope ordains six new bishops

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI yesterday ordained six new bishops in a solemn ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica, the first of his pontificate.

Among them was Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, a former personal secretary of the late Pope John Paul II, who becomes bishop coadjutor of Lviv, Ukraine.

Also receiving the bishop’s ring, miter and purple cap was Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, who was named early this month to head the Pontifical Council for Culture, replacing French prelate Paul Poupard.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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