Civil Society Calls for Remembrance of the Genocide in Srebrenica

A group of NGOs, including four of the Swedish Helsinki Committee’s long-standing partners in Serbia, are starting a campaign for a day of remembrance for the genocide in Srebrenica.

In an open letter to Serbian President Boris Tadic the organisations urge the president to support the demand for an official day of remembrance. The requirement is based on the EU resolution adopted 15 January 2009, to declare 11 July to Memorial Day of the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

The letter was published on 11 February and has already met reactions from nationalist voices in the media. The nationalists oppose that what happened in Srebrenica is called genocide and claim that the number of victims was less than what the international community stated.

“Serbia is responsible for genocide and the judgement of the International Court of Justice underline part of that responsibility. Serbian society must face with the recent past and take responsibility for the most serious human rights violations and war crimes committed by Serbian forces in the Balkan region,” says Goran Miletic, Human Rights Lawyer at the Swedish Helsinki Committee.

Serbia is obliged to comply with the International Court’s decision, which expressly requires that Serbia renounces war crimes. To date, however, the Serbian authorities have not reacted to the campaign.

The 11th of each month the organisers of the campaign will in different ways demand that Serbia follows the European Parliament resolution. The campaign includes Humanitarian Law Center, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and the Women in Black.