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KNIFE, WIRE, SREBRENICA

October 20, 2006
Slogans of hate at the stadium

Education and Sport Minister Slobodan Vuksanovic wants strict prohibition of racist behavior at sporting events. Yesterday, the Belgrade police took 152 fans of the Rad football team into custody for promoting national, racial and religious intolerance.

During the game, Rad’s fans shouted slogans such as “Knife, wire, Srebrenica” and “Serbia for the Serbs, out with the Turks.”

Among those arrested there were 47 Rad supporters who are under the age of 18.

Vuksanovic told B92 that he is concerned by this behavior shown by young people and that they have gone astray or have been disregarded at some point in their upbringing.

Vuksanovic said that the state institutions must react strongly to this racist behavior seen frequently at sporting events.

“Without strong reactions from the judicial institutions, quick processes and strict punishments, you cannot expect to have order. We should not make up and guess what the cure will be – we need to do what everyone in the world is doing in the fight against the same exact type of occurrences, which are obviously a problem in many societies.” Vuksanovic said.

Police arrest 152 Belgrade fans for racism

Belgrade police arrested 152 fans for racist insults at a Serbian second division match between local team Rad and Novi Pazar late on Wednesday .

“Police officers have arrested 152 Rad supporters, including 47 juveniles,” police said.

“The offenders shouted slogans inciting racial, ethnic and religious hatred and intolerance.”

The home fans shouted anti-Muslim slogans at Novi Pazar players and police moved in to remove them from the stadium.

Novi Pazar is a Bosniak-majority town in western Serbia. Some ultranationalist Serbs are hostile to Muslims, often glorifying the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 Bosniaks by Bosnian Serbs.

It was a second outbreak of racism at Serbia’s soccer grounds in four days after a black player was abused during a first division match on Saturday.

Borac Cacak’s Zimbabwean striker Mike Tawmanjira was insulted by the club’s fans who wore white hoods with Ku Klux Klan insignia, did a Nazi salute and held a banner saying the player was unwelcome in Serbia.

Eight of them face charges of spreading racial hatred and prison terms up to five years if convicted.

Serbia’s sports and education minister Slobodan Vuksanovic strongly condemned the incidents and said “decisive action must be taken to deal with these people who have lost their way.”

“There will be no order unless the judicial authorities react swiftly and impose harsh penalties on the offenders,” he told B 92 television.

“We don’t need to invent any new solutions, we just have to implement what the whole world already has in order to combat this deviation many societies are obviously prone to.”

Mosque goers threatened in Niš (Serbia)

The Niš police have arrested two individuals from Pirot for threatening and insulting mosque goers in Niš.

Željko C. (21) and Saša Đ. (19) from Pirot, according to the police, “urinated on the walls of the Hadrović mosque building in a visibly intoxicated state” at around midnight last night. After several mosque goers confronted them, the two began to insult and threaten the Muslim individuals and threw stones at the mosque.

The two youths were taken into custody by the Niš police.

  1. Shaina
    October 21, 2006 at 3:33 am
  2. Owen
    October 22, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    First report from B92
    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2006&mm=10&dd=19&nav_id=37435
    (plus “Why pick on us?” comments in response)
    Second report apparantly at EIN news -http://www.einnews.com/bosnia/newsfeed-bosnia-muslims
    (registration required)
    Third report from B92
    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2006&mm=10&dd=19&nav_id=37437

  3. Kirk Johnson
    November 10, 2006 at 3:18 am

    How different is this than football hooliganism in general? I’m not excusing it, but Serbian clubs are far from the only one’s with aggressively racist supporters.

  4. Michael Karadjis
    November 12, 2006 at 1:51 am

    Hey Daniel, are you aware of this, it looks like the smoking gun re the US and Srebrenica to me(despite what Izetbegovic says in his article you posted). Maybe you shoild put it on your blog with some comments:

    Report on Bosnian Murders Fuels Debate

    Marc Perelman | Fri. Nov 10, 2006

    http://www.forward.com/articles/report-on-bosnian-murders-fuels-debate/

    A French media report published last week is sparking claims that the
    United States was partially complicit in the 1995 destruction of three
    Bosnian Muslim enclaves, protected by the United Nations.

    The report, which appeared in the magazine Paris-Match, drew on an
    interview given by former American diplomat Richard Holbrooke to a
    Bosnian television station last year. In the interview, Holbrooke, a
    Clinton administration assistant secretary of state, said that his
    “initial instructions” at the time were to sacrifice the three enclaves,
    which included Srebrenica, the site of the grisly murder of some 8,000
    Muslims. These instructions, Holbrooke then told Paris-Match, came from
    Anthony Lake, national security adviser at that time, and Holbrooke
    claims he rejected them. Word that the instructions were given, however,
    has fueled speculation that Western countries not only allowed the fall
    of the enclaves, but in effect encouraged it, as well, in order to
    facilitate a diplomatic solution in which the dividing line between
    Bosnian Serb and Muslim territories would be clear.

    Holbrooke, a key architect of the Dayton peace agreements that ended the
    war, has long said that he resisted orders from the White House to
    abandon one of the three enclaves, Gorazde; however, his seeming
    admission that American policy envisioned sacrificing the two others –
    Srebrenica and one called Zepa – was in sharp contrast with all previous
    assertions by officials of the United States, including Holbrooke
    himself.

    Holbrooke told the Forward that he misspoke and that the instructions he
    received and rejected involved only Gorazde. “I was sloppy,” he said. “I
    conflated Srebrenica and Gorazde.”

    Lake, who now teaches at Georgetown University and has had a sometimes
    tense relationship with Holbrooke, said through an assistant that
    Holbrooke also had told him that he had misspoken and that he agreed
    with Holbrooke’s explanation. But Muhamed Sacirbey, who was Bosnia’s
    foreign minister at the time, claims that Holbrooke did not misspeak and
    that his words were in fact “an indictment” of Western countries.

    “It was a long, sit-down interview to mark the 10th anniversary of the
    Dayton accord, and the main topic was Srebrenica, so I have a hard time
    believing that someone like Dick Holbrooke could make such an obvious
    mistake,” Sacirbey said. “I think it’s an attempt on his part to
    disperse blame in the face of mounting evidence of Western complicity”
    with the Bosnian Serbs and Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

    In an interview with author Sylvie Matton, published in the same issue
    of Paris-Match, Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the international
    tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, asserts that Milosevic
    and Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic had a meeting
    with Western officials in the spring of 1995 in which they indicated
    their plans to take over Srebrenica. “This is the smoking gun,” del
    Ponte said, adding that there were minutes of the meeting and that she
    knew the names of the Western participants but was unwilling to divulge
    them.

    Sacirbey said that the meeting in question was part of a negotiation
    process that he now believes led to a deal in the early summer of 1995
    between Western officials and Milosevic that included the transfer of
    the three enclaves, which were under the protection of U.N.
    peacekeepers, to what would become Bosnian Serb territory.

    Holbrooke rejected the allegations forcefully, pointing to the fact that
    he had on numerous occasions called for more muscular action from NATO
    before the fall of Srebrenica. “I was continuously arguing with the
    White House and the State Department,” he said.

    Asked about the meeting mentioned by del Ponte, he said he had no
    knowledge of such sessions, noting that he first met Milosevic two
    months after the fall of Srebrenica. He added that the talks with the
    Serbian leader were handled in the spring of 1995 by Swedish diplomat
    Carl Bildt, who was representing the European Union.

    Bildt, who is now Sweden’s foreign minister, told the Forward that he
    did not have “any knowledge whatsoever” of any such meeting or deal, and
    that he found it “astonishing” that the assertions had not been
    presented at Milosevic’s trial.

    “If there had been any such meeting, the man who would have had a very
    clear interest in telling about it would have been Milosevic,” Bildt
    wrote in an e-mail. “But I’m not aware of any information coming from
    him during his years of defense that indicates anything in this
    direction.”

    Milosevic died in March while his trial was in progress in The Hague.
    Del Ponte explained in her interview that she was unable to formalize an
    account of the meeting into evidence because the participants refused to
    confirm their attendance.

    “For many years, I believed that the West gave an orange light to the
    Serbs to take over Srebrenica, but I am now convinced that it was a
    green light,” said Sacirbey, who added that although he had no
    rock-solid evidence, a series of revelations like the meeting mentioned
    by del Ponte made him reassess some of the instances he witnessed a
    decade ago.

  5. evert
    November 22, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Good to see that the Serbian authorities are treating this type of behavior with the attention it deserves. However, racist football fans and drunks threatening muslims goes on all over Europe.

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