Council of Europe Urged to Back Srebrenica Remembrance Day
Dunja Mijatovic said at the opening of an exhibition entitled 'Srebrenica - Mothers' Long Fight for Justice' in Strasbourg on Wednesday that the Council of Europe should mark July 11 as an official remembrance day for the victims of Srebrenica.
At the event, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner addressed two campaigners from the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves association, Munira Subasic and Kada Hotic.
"You, mothers, are calling on the Council of Europe to mark July 11 as an official remembrance day of the Srebrenica genocide. I join my voice to yours. For too long, the international community has looked away. The time has come to take sides and march with you to replace the seeds of hate with those of justice," Mijatovic said.
She argued that the denial of genocide must be combatted.
"Many people in Europe and the world do not know about the genocide and some do not wish to know. Some even deny it. This is an insult to the victims and a serious threat to peace and reconciliation," Mijatovic said.
"We need to fight against the denial of genocide. This is all the more important because in the [former Yugoslav] region, a culture of genocide denial has taken root," she added.
Over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in a series of massacres after Bosnian Serb forces overran Srebrenica in July 1995.
Former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic was sentenced to life in prison in March this year for the Srebrenica genocide, among other wartime crimes.
However, the current Bosnian Serb authorities and the Serbian government do not accept that the massacres constituted genocide despite the rulings of international courts.