The Srebrenica genocide: victims still await justice

[11/7/2013  11:30]  "Eighteen years ago, around 8 000 people were executed in and around Srebrenica, while about 30 000 women, children and elderly were forcibly displaced. Victims and their relatives are still haunted by this act of genocide, as well as by the slow pace of accountability and truth-seeking. We cannot wait longer: justice must be done", said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, participating in a commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide.

"While we commemorate today the victims of Srebrenica, we must not forget that tomorrow we still have to continue seeking the truth and fighting against impunity for serious human rights violations. The crimes committed here are of such atrocity that we cannot allow any single person responsible for them escape justice. This is the minimum that can be done to help all victims and their families find peace and have their human dignity restored."

The Commissioner further underscored the need to identify all genocide victims and clarify the fate of all missing persons as an "absolutely necessary measure to alleviate the prolonged suffering of their families". He also urged governments in the region to show determination and build more inclusive and tolerant societies drawing lessons from the past. "Governments need to look to the future and to invest more in education, especially for the young generations, in order to safeguard durable peace without ethnic, religious or other divisions in this region of Europe."

Photo: Michael Büker