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The long fight for justice of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa

Speech
Strasbourg 26/06/2019
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The long fight for justice of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa

Opening the photography exhibition “Srebrenica – Mothers’ long fight for justice” presented in the lobby of the Parliamentary Assembly during its summer session from 24-28 June 2019, the Commissioner made the following statement:


Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for coming here today for the launch of this exhibition about the Srebrenica genocide and the long fight for justice that the Mothers of Srebrenica have been carrying out for the past 24 years.

I am particularly grateful to Mothers from Srebrenica, Ms Munira Subašić and Ms Kada Hotić for travelling from Bosnia and Herzegovina to be here with us today.

I can only imagine how difficult this time of the year is for you and the other family members of the genocide victims as another 11 July approaches.

I can only imagine how painful the memories are, and the suffering the genocide caused to you.

But if we are here today it is thanks to your courage and perseverance in demanding justice for your loved ones and for all the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.

Your dedication is an example for us all. Your message of justice has resounded powerfully all over Europe, and beyond.

This exhibition is here to amplify your message, to mobilise more and more people to accompany you on this long walk. It says that we will not forget.

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.

We need to fight against the denial of genocide. This is all the more important because in the region a culture of genocide denial has taken root.

Only by educating young generations about the past in a truthful way, can a genuine reconciliation take place.

You, Mothers, are calling on the Council of Europe to mark 11 July 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.