Threats for Commemoration of Murdered Youth

Our partner Youth Initiative for Human Rights received a threatening letter, calling them pro-fascist and saying that everyone who took part in a march marking the 15th anniversary of murdered youth in Tuzla, should move to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We urge the Serbian authorities to act with decisiveness to protect the human rights defenders in the country, as in this case Youth Initiative for Human Rights. It is important to show that threats will not be tolerated. Basically, this is not an issue that concerns one individual or one organisation, it is rather a question of protecting the freedom of expression and the rule of law in the society,” says Marie Månson, Programme Director for Western Balkans.

Background by Youth Initiative for Human Rights:

On 7 June 2010, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) received a threatening letter bidding that members of “pro-fascist organisations Youth Initiative for Human Rights and My Initiative movement”, who partook in “Belgrade youth march in so-called memory of the youth murdered in Tuzla”, should leave their place of residence within a year and move “to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so as to feel the benefits of human rights and other rights essential to every human being”. The letter signed with “The Black Hand – Apis” was sent from Australia.

In the opening part of the letter it is stressed that “all participants in the march will be tried by the summary court for failing to fulfill the task of their relocation, while as of 15 June 2010, they will be watched over until they have completed their task”. “If there are minors among them, then their parents must also leave Serbia”, quotes the letter, underscoring that the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) was falsely accused of shelling the Gate of Youth in Tuzla on 25 May 1995, “while that was in fact carried out by the forces stationed in Tuzla under the command of American CIA, British SAS and NATO forces, with a view to blaming Serbs for the alleged massacre”.

Apropos marking the 15th anniversary of the massacre at Tuzla Gate, on 25 May 2010, YIHR organized a symbolic march along three sections of the Belgrade – Tuzla road, which ended in laying flowers at the Gate. On 25 May 1995, a shell fired from VRS position on the Ozren Mountain killed 71 persons on the promenade in the town of Tuzla, mostly youth and children.
YIHR reported the case to appropriate authorities within the Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP)