Slobodan Praljak's Courtroom Suicide

Slobodan Praljak's Courtroom Suicide

Updated Oct 15, 2020 at 06:40AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Nov 30, 2017 at 10:27AM EST by Adam.

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Slobodan Praljak's Courtroom Suicide refers to the death of former Croatian general Slobodan Praljak, who drank poison in The Hague after judges upheld his 20-year prison sentence for war crimes and crimes humanity related to Croatia's involvement in the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. The moment was captured on film and images of Praljak's suicide began spreading online shortly after, leading some to use the image as a reaction image in memes.


On November 29th, 2017, Slobodan Praljak and five other defendants appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia at the Hague.[1] Moments after judges upheld Praljak's 20-year prison sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Praljak stood up, stated "Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal," proceeded to drink from a container, then announce "I have taken poison" (shown below). Praljak later died in a Dutch hospital. He was 72.


The incident immediately led many to wonder how Praljak had smuggled the poison into the heavily-secured Hague. Dutch investigators labeled the courtroom a crime scene and launched an investigation into the incident. The moment became an international news story and was covered by nearly every major global publication, including Reuters,[2] NPR,[3] The Guardian[4] and many more.

Online Reaction

Online, internet users reacted to the event with dark humor, turning Praljak's suicide into a reaction image. On Twitter, user @BrandyLJensen[5] used the image of Praljak with the caption "when I receive even the mildest criticism or face a minor obstacle," gaining over 260 retweets and 1,900 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @m2qm1i[6] posted a joke that used an image of Praljak as a Pacha Edit, gaining over 260 retweets and 1,200 likes (shown below, right).

Brandy Jensen @BrandyLJensen Following when I receive even the mildest criticism or face a minor obstacle ICTY online rain man @m2qm1i Follow when the suicide poison just right

On Reddit, jokes about Praljak were submitted to /r/dankmemes. A post including Praljak in an image of people who did nothing wrong gained 50 points in 3 hours on the subreddit[7] (shown below, left). A post on Imgur, a post mixing Praljak with Cracking Open A Cold One With The Boys gained 29 upvotes[8] (shown below, right).

PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG Man cracking open his last cold one with the boys. 2017 colorized ICTY

Various Examples

kreayshawn carter @FranziaMom Following when i'm being self deprecating to make my friends pay attention to me RadioFreeEurope Reuters Stop,please. Please sit down. ust christina for now @floozyesq Follow Okay, so you're a Bosnian general who swallowed a bottle of poison in front of a crowd after having your 20 year sentence for war crimes upheld in The Hague and then died That don? impress me muc GIF When ya homie about to do something stupid but u kinda wanna see whats gonna happen ICTY Girlfriend: I took a look at your browser history... Me: watashi a mou shindeiru

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments


in reply to Gallard

War crimes against Muslims. Namely, blowing up the Stari Most bridge, operating the Dretelj camp (where Bosniaks where apparently tortured, starved, etc. Rounding up civilians to put into these camps was part of it). More explicitly:

*nine counts of grave breaches of the Geneva conventions (wilful killing; inhuman treatment (sexual assault); unlawful deportation of a civilian; unlawful transfer of a civilian; unlawful confinement of a civilian; inhuman treatment (conditions of confinement); inhuman treatment; extensive destruction of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly).
*nine counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (cruel treatment (conditions of confinement); cruel treatment; unlawful labour; wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or destruction not justified by military necessity; destruction or wilful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion or education; plunder of public or private property; unlawful attack on civilians; unlawful infliction of terror on civilians; cruel treatment), and
*eight counts of crimes against humanity (persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds; murder; rape; deportation; inhumane acts (forcible transfer); imprisonment; inhumane acts (conditions of confinement); inhumane acts).[21]


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