Back High time to recognise 11 July as an official International Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Srebrenica Genocide


"The Srebrenica genocide, in which 8,372 Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, were brutally killed, remains a dark chapter in Europe's collective history. That a genocide was committed in Srebrenica is not a matter of opinion, it is a historical fact, legally established by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, and domestic courts", says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović.

"Regrettably, many people are unaware of the genocide and some even deny it. This is an insult to the victims and a serious threat to justice and peace in the region.

This culture of genocide denial must be eradicated.

Political leaders in the region bear the primary responsibility for stopping the current downward spiral of denial by promoting instead a culture of truth, empathy for the victims, and reconciliation.

Education about the genocide and preserving the memory of the victims is also critically important.

The Mothers of Srebrenica have tirelessly kept the memory alive and demanded justice for the past 28 years. During their visit to the CoE in 2019 they called on the Council of Europe and the United Nations to establish an official International Day of Remembrance on 11 July.

I have always wholeheartedly supported the Mothers' call. I pay tribute to  their tireless efforts to replace the seeds of hatred with the seeds of justice.

In the face of widespread denial of the Srebrenica genocide, it is high time for the international community to stop looking the other way. Establishing a day of remembrance would show that the international community stands on the side of the truth and in solidarity with the survivors and families of the victims.

This is the minimum we can and should do to respect the dignity of victims and survivors and prevent them from being forgotten.

As my dear friend and a tireless advocate for justice and peace, Menachem Rosensaft , said last year in Potocari:

“Today and tomorrow, we who were not there stand in full solidarity with the survivors and their families. Let us dedicate ourselves together to permanently enshrining the genocide that occurred at Srebrenica and Potočari in the annals of humankind, for the sake of remembrance, of course, but also, equally importantly, as a warning.”

It is high time to recognise 11 July as an official International Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Srebrenica Genocide."

Strasbourg 10/07/2023
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