Genocide Remembered: Srebrenica Memorial Day on 11 July at Lancaster House, London

July 10, 2013 12:54 PM

Srebrenica-Potočari_Memorial_Center_2008Three survivors of the Srebrenica Genocide speak out in London for the first time against a genocide declared the worst crime in Europe since the Second World War. During 11-16 July 1995, the genocide, which Prime Minister David Cameron believes “shamed Europe and shamed the world,” culminated in the brutal murder of 8,372 Bosnian men and boys, and the inexplicable mass rape and torture of tens of thousands of women, with men sent to concentration camps by the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska, under the command of General Ratko Mladic.

“We must never, ever forget what happened at Srebrenica – right here in Europe. The world failed Bosnia in its hour of need… So we must learn and act on the lessons of Srebrenica, on the need to act in the face of evil…Britain has always been clear: international justice has a long reach and a long memory”, said Prime Minister Cameron.

Boris Johnson claims the gruesome and inhuman crimes are part of the “darkest chapters of the 20th century.”

For the first time in history, survivors, politicians and government officials will gather in London at Lancaster House to commemorate the anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide organised by UK-based charitable initiative Remembering Srebrenica. The UK is the only country in Europe outside Ex-Yugoslavia to commemorate Srebrenica Memorial day, in accordance with a 2009 EU Resolution establishing 11 July as the official day of remembrance for the victims of the Srebrenica Genocide.

The three Genocide survivors at the ceremony will be Hasan Hasanovic, Saliha Osmanovic and Hasan Nuhanovic. Hasanovic is one of the few survivors of the 63 mile ‘Death March’ from Srebrenica to Tuzla, which claimed the lives of his father and twin brother. Some 15,000 men set off, but thousands were massacred in the forests. Hasanovic reflects “we were just ordinary men who were unprepared and unarmed, yet Bosnian Serb troops wanted us dead by virtue of our religion.” Osmanovic witnessed the murder of her husband and son through a video filmed by Bosnian Serb troops on the Death March. Author Nuhanovic’s family were denied UN protection, and handed over by the Dutch to the Bosnian Serb Army. Their remains were unearthed in mass graves. Nuhanovic sued the Dutch government and won.

The event will also feature a screening of a Srebrenica Memorial film, performances by Bosnian musicians, and addresses from Foreign Secretary William Hague, Senior Minister of State Baroness Warsi, The Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and others.

 

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