Eliott Behar grew up in Toronto. A long-standing interest in human rights and criminal justice led him to a career as a Crown prosecutor. In 2008 he became a war crimes prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. He lives in San Francisco.
Tell It to the World
Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction — Shortlisted
On April 5, 1999, Serbian police found a truck half-submerged in the Danube River. When they looked inside, they found it filled with human bodies. Following orders, they hid the truck and its contents. Two weeks later, on the other side of Serbia, the same thing happened.
The full picture would only emerge years later, when the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia investigated and prosecuted the chief architects of the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. These cases, which formally came to a close in 2014, exposed a secret campaign to hide terrible crimes by transporting and concealing the bodies of the dead.
In Tell It to the World, Eliott Behar, a former war crimes prosecutor, tells the true story of what unfolded. He examines the causes and consequences of mass violence, identifying a powerful and disturbing connection between the justice we seek and the injustices we commit.
Tell It to the World is a haunting and poignant and remarkable book. To read it is to gain some greater understanding of humanity.
Tell It to the World is a difficult read, but a necessary one, given that, to paraphrase Life magazine’s rationale for publishing Robert Capa’s graphic 1930s Spanish Civil War photographs, the dead need to be spoken about so that they did not die in vain.
With the clarity and precision honed through the writing of countless legal briefs, Behar makes his case by leading us from the operations of the ICTY, the trial records of massacres that took place in Kosovo in 1999 and the efforts made to hide the bodies to a profound meditation on the implications of "justice."