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SERBIA AND REMEMBRANCE DAY OF THE SREBRENICA GENOCIDE

July 30, 2009 Comments off

According to the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (YUCOM), “Following a range of actions and pressure by NGOs on Serbian authorities for the adoption of a Declaration on Srebrenica in the People’s Assembly and to proclaim July 11 a Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica genocide, there has been no official response by the authorities.”

The only response came from Serbian politicians who used the same old empty phrase that “all those who committed crime, without any difference, should be held responsible,” thus far advocating “equalization and creation of a symmetry between the Srebrenica genocide and the Serb victims during the Bosnian war.”

As YUCOM report concluded,

“The factitious [fabricated] symmetry with the Serb victims in Bratunac, which is supposed to annul or relativize the horror and magnitude of the Srebrenica crime — when in only 5 days around 8,000 Bosniaks were killed in a planned action — will continue to acquire new forms and dimensions, to end in a brutal moral inversion: in fact, it was the Serbs who were ethnically cleansed from Srebrenica under pressure, threats and blackmails by the Bosniaks. Such falsified picture will not be of any help for Serbia in the process of democratization, nor in the process of joining the European Union.”

Full report available via Peščanik:
www.pescanik.net/content/view/3470/1138/

Official web site of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights in Serbia:
www.yucom.org.rs

SREBRENICA GIRLS SHOUT “THIS IS BOSNIA!”

July 29, 2009 5 comments
HEROIC BOSNIAK GIRLS FROM SREBRENICA
Sedina Hasanović, Dženeta Nalić, Melisa Smajić

“THIS IS BOSNIA!”

Three courageous Bosniak girls from Srebrenica – one of them only 15 years old – may face criminal charges because they exercised their freedom of speech by shouting “THIS IS BOSNIA!” Girls’ reaction was simply a response to racist Serbian Chetnik provocations in Srebrenica.

On July 12, we published a story about a group of Serbian thugs who were caught on tape spitting and urinating onto the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina in downtown Srebrenica. The group came from Belgrade just a day after the 14th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. They sang fascist songs, repeatedly shouted “THIS IS SERBIA!,” verbally insulted Bosniak returnees to Srebrenica and glorifed Serbian Nazi collaborator Draza Mihailovic (background) and a former General Ratko Mladic who was in charge of overseeing the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

A group of revolted Bosniaks reacted to Serbian provocations by shouting back “THIS IS BOSNIA!” Now, these brave girls are facing criminal charges in the Municipal Court of Srebrenica (Basic Court), simply because they responded to Serbian ultra-nationalist provocations. Interestingly, local Srebrenica Police Department did NOT react to Serbian Chetnik hooliganism in Srebrenica on July 12th.

Srebrenica Municipality’s Vice-President Zulfo Salihović was also one of people who shouted back at Chetniks, “THIS IS BOSNIA!” He has not been charged with any ‘crime,’ yet. However, after learning about the “circus-charges” against the three Bosniak girls, he defiantly requested that local Serb authorities file same criminal charges against him. He is more than willing to fight them in court and he is more than willing to remind Serbs that “THIS IS BOSNIA!” whether they like it or not.

In conclusion, it is more than obvious that a genocidal entity, so called “Republika Srpska,” is not prepared to grant (in practice) a basic set of human freedoms to minorities. The freedom of speech is clearly being taken away from the Bosniak minority on a territory of “Republika Srpska,” especially in the ethnically cleansed regions where Bosniaks formed pre-war majority. In 1992, approximately half a million Bosniaks had been brutally expelled from the current-day Bosnian Serb entity. No need to mention that Serbs created “Republika Srpska” by perpetrating planned and deliberate ethnic cleansing, tortures in concentration camps, brutal massacres, and genocide. Bosniakophobia is at an all time high in “Republika Srpska,” and if something is not done to stop it, we may see a repeat of a bloody war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosnian-language version of this news report follows from Bosnia’s Federal TV:

Srebreničanke prijavljene zbog poruke »Ovo je Bosna!«
Srebrenica, 28.07.2009 – FTV

Tri djevojke iz Srebrenice, od kojih je najmlađa skoro djevojčica sa samo 15 godina, prijavljene su Odjeljenju za prekršaje Osnovnog suda u Srebrenici. Razlog je to što su 12. jula, na dan kada su, uz obilježavanje stradanja Srba, četnici orgijali po Srebrenici i Bratuncu, a one im, na uzvike “Ovo je Srbija”, zatim četničke pjesme i najteže uvrede, odgovorile porukom “Ovo je Bosna” i puštenom ilahijom s mobitela. Zbog ovog odgovora na četnička orgijanja Sedina Hasanović, Dženeta Nalić i Melisa Smajić mogle bi biti i osuđene u Osnovnom sudu u Srebrenici.

Zamjenik komandira Policijske stanice Srebrenica Adis Cibralić kaže da je policija reagirala nakon poziva kelnerice u kafiću „Davidoff“ Sanje Kočević-Milanović, a navodni razlog za poziv je odluka gazde da zabrani muziku 11. i 12. jula. Sedina i Dženeta kažu da ih ništa ne plaši – ići će, ako treba, i na suđenje uz poruku „Ovo je Bosna“. Ovu je poruku četnicima koji su orgijali Srebrenicom prvi uputio potpredsjednik Skupštine opštine Srebrenica Zulfo Salihović. On traži i da se protiv njega pokrene prekršajni postupak.

* * * * *

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT:
Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages from 1992-1995. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 people, summarily executed at least 8,372 boys, men, and elderly, and dumped them into mass graves.

RESPONSE TO CARL BILDT

July 26, 2009 Comments off
FACTS ABOUT SREBRENICA GENOCIDE THAT CARL BILDT DOES NOT KNOW
[our readers are welcome to republish this letter in other sources]

PHOTO: DNA-identified remains of the Srebrenica genocide victims

A world-renowned historical scholar and, by far, one of the most prominent experts on genocide studies – Dr. Marko Attila Hoare – recently noted on his blog that Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is on record for denying more than half the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. I would like to respond publicly to these ignorant statements made by irrelevant, non-authoritative, and failed politicians like Carl Bildt.

First of all, DNA results of the International Commission on Missing Persons support an estimate of 8,100 Srebrenica genocide victims. So far, the identities of 6,186 genocide victims have been revealed by the DNA analysis. See ICMP press release as of July 11, 2009. Additionally, 30000 people were forcibly expelled from the enclave, with many women raped.

Second of all, rapes of women were an integral part of the Srebrenica genocide. The Serbs, said Johan Bos, a Dutch sergeant, “bragged about how they had murdered people and raped women….” (The Independent). “In one town, “three soldiers came onto the bus and told us to give them the youngest child …so they could slit its throat. Usually, though, the soldiers were content to rob and to rape, dragging out women of their choice, who wept and pleaded and did not return…”(UNHCR). A testimony by Zarfa Turkovic is especially moving:

“Zarfa Turkovic says she watched through half-closed eyes, pretending to sleep, hoping she would not be next, as four Bosnian Serb men raped a 28-year-old Muslim woman… Despite the presence of Dutch peacekeepers, the Turkovic says Bosnian Serbs raped a young victim from among the sleeping refugees. ‘People were silent, no one moved. She was screaming and yelling and b egging them to stop. They put her a rag into her mouth, and then we were just hearing silent sobs coming from her closed lips. When they finished, the woman was left there.'” (Associated Press)

Third of all, a number of Srebrenica genocide victims were gassed with chemical weapons. According to the Human Rights Watch, the United States government conducted “an investigation, reported to have taken place in late 1996 or early 1997. The results of this investigation have not been made public, but in late 1996 or early 1997 the U.S. intelligence community had information suggesting that chemical weapons may have been used in Srebrenica. The government’s refusal to release the findings may, according to a U.S. official interviewed by Human Rights Watch, be based on a belief that making this information public might hurt the international effort to effect peace in the former Yugoslavia.” See: Use of Chemical Weapons Requested by Chemical Tolimir.

Fourth of all, 40000 people were targeted for extinction in Srebrenica. Here is what the Presiding Judge Theodor Meron stated in a Judgment rendered against Serb General Radislav Krstic:

By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims [Bosniaks], the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity. (source)

Fifth of all, Srebrenica was a ghetto surrounded by genocidal Serb forces in heavily militarized Serb villages around Srebrenica. According to ambassador Arria, who initiated the visit of the UN Security Council delegation to Srebrenica in April 1993, and was at its head, described the situation in the enclave as “genocide in slow motion” (source). In his address to the UN Security Council on the issue Arria said, “we should call them what they are: ghettos, refugee camps, open jails, areas under threat; but we should never be so brazen to call them ‘safe areas’”. The safe areas actually gathered the people together in one place for the slaughter.

Sixth of all, In 1993, the Bosnian Government had entered into demilitarization agreements with the Bosnian Serbs. The Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. Between 1992 and 1995, militarized Serb villages around Srebrenica had been used to attack and destroy nearby Bosniak villages around Srebrenica, as well as to launch brutal attacks on Srebrenica. Serb village of Kravica had a large cache of weapons and was used to stage attacks on Srebrenica and nearby Bosniak villages. Furthermore, Serbs used their villages around Srebrenica to block humanitarian aid coming into the Bosniak enclave, which caused Bosniaks to start dying from starvation and engage in counter-attacks for the purpose of obtaining food and demilitarizing heavily armed Serbs around Srebrenica (see excerpts from Naser Oric judgment).

I can go on and on, but ignorant individuals like Carl Bildt do not deserve more of my time. Here is my challenge to Carl Bildt:

If Carl Bildt wishes to have a public debate about the Srebrenica genocide, I will be more than glad to reveal my identity and to meet him at any time. His non-authoritative accounts of Srebrenica genocide show how ignorant he really is. If Bildt has a courage to publicly debate genocide on an academic level – bring it on. My E-mail is publicly listed.

Daniel

DESTRUCTION OF MATERIAL EVIDENCE CALLS FOR A NEW LAWSUIT

July 25, 2009 Comments off

PHOTO: A forensic expert holds an old 100 German marks banknote found with remains of massacre victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide in a mass grave near the village of Kamenica July 10, 2009.

In May 2009, we reported that the U.N.-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) deliberately destroyed material recovered from mass graves of Srebrenica genocide (background). The destroyed material consisted of approximately 1000 pieces of identification, photographs and articles of clothing belonging to the victims found in the mass graves.

Now, local associations of Srebrenica genocide survivors plan to launch a lawsuit against the Office of the Prosecutor.

Hajra Catic – president of the NGO Women of Srebrenica (Žene Srebrenice) – told BIRN:

“They must have contacted the families of the people whose remains were found. They should not have destroyed the personal documents, because they could have been used as evidence in other trials.”

According to Amir Ahmić, the Bosnian liaison officer for the ICTY, “the destruction was done during the term of [former] chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. Nobody outside the tribunal knew about it. I personally consider that they should have informed the victims’ families prior to conducting some kind of a selection.”

HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT: Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages from 1992-1995. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 people, summarily executed at least 8,372 boys, men, and elderly, and then dumped them into mass graves.

Read more by visiting BIRN: www.bim.ba/en/176/10/21188/

CHEMICAL TOLIMIR IS LOSING HIS MIND

July 25, 2009 2 comments
GENOCIDE PERPETRATOR, ZDRAVKO TOLIMIR, CLAIMS THAT JESUS ANNOUNCED INJECTION OF MICRO-CHIPS IN PEOPLE’S HANDS AND FOREHEADS

A number of Srebrenica genocide victims were gassed with chemical weapons in July 1995. A man responsible for requesting chemical strikes against Bosnian Muslim refugees is now on trial at the Hague.

Zdravko Tolimir (aka: “Chemical Tolimir” / “Chemical Zdravko”), a former Bosnian Serb general who ordered chemical attacks against Bosniak convoys of refugees fleeing Zepa and Srebrenica, is reportedly losing his mind in his jail cell.

He has been charged with genocide, extermination, and other serious human rights violations. Currently, he is awaiting his trial at the Hague. According to his latest filing with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Chemical Tolimir is “asking for the guards to stop supervising his detention cell, also objecting to the placing of micro-chips in his body.”

According to BIRN:

“In the introductory part of his handwritten motion, Tolimir said that a detention unit physician had informed him, ‘in the course of an official conversation’, that the Tribunal had decided to check his cell every 30 minutes, thus enabling the guard to visually check his state of health. He alleged that, alternatively, a micro-chip device could be placed in his body and arm. This device would send data on his state of health to the guards 24 hours per day.

‘I explained to the detention unit physician that, being a Christian, I cannot let them place micro chip-devices in my body, as the Holy Scripture, John’s Revelation, chapter 13, verses 16 and 17, and chapter 14, verses 9 and 10, says so. The detention unit physician told me that I was paranoid, as there were no micro-chips at the time when the Holy Scripture was written,’ Tolimir said.

Tolimir said he told the physician that ‘Jesus Christ was not paranoid’, adding that he knew and ‘announced’ that they would ‘eventually start injecting chips in people’s hands and foreheads’.

….’I am asking the Trial Chamber to inform me why it introduced a measure depriving me of sleep on the basis of a GP’s opinion, given the fact that medical specialists indicated in their reports, filed with the Tribunal, that I did not have any serious problems and that I was capable of attending the trial,’ Tolimir said.

The indictee considers that ‘measures of deprivation of sleep and capability to defend himself” were introduced against him, considering the fact that his cell has been under visual surveillance for 18 months already.

‘I ask the Trial Chamber to inform me to what extent it can supervise the detention conditions and to suspend the decision pertaining to sleep deprivation and the injection of micro-chips and placing other devices in my body. In God I trust,’ the indictee wrote at the end of his motion.'”

HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT: Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages from 1992-1995. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 people, summarily executed at least 8,372 boys, men, and elderly, and dumped them into mass graves.

Read more about Zdravo Tolimir’s state of mind
by visiting:
www.bim.ba/en/176/10/21210/

RADOVAN KARADZIC CHARGES TO BE REDUCED TO SPEED UP THE TRIAL

July 24, 2009 Comments off
THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE FAILS VICTIMS – AGAIN!

From 1992-1995, Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim village. In just a few days of July 1995, Serbs committed genocide against the Bosniaks in a U.N. protected enclave of Srebrenica. The Srebrenica genocide resulted in a mass scale ethnic cleansing of 30,000 and a massacre of at least 8,372 Bosniaks. Radovan Karadzic (photo above) is the architect of this genocide.

ACTION ALERT: U.N. Judges have ordered Prosecutors to cut more charges against Radovan Karadzic for the purpose of speeding up the trial. The OTP already reduced charges of Bosnian Genocide from 27 municipalities to only 11. It is unacceptable to cut more charges against the monster responsible for the genocide. If the U.N. Judges are concerned about the length of Karadzic’s trial, then they can send him back to Sarajevo and let the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina handle the case. We ask you again to tell the U.N. Judges NOT to drop any more charges against Radovan Karadzic!

The latest scandal with the international justice started when MIKE CORDER accurately reported for The Herald that “the judge preparing Radovan Karadzic’s genocide trial… was considering dropping some charges to shorten court proceedings that could take years.” His report in The Herald was, for some reason, not dated, but it appeared sometime between June 28 and July 2nd.

Then, the Congress of North American Bosniaks protested this decision with the Court and asked thousands of its members to contact the ICTY and express their concerns to both the Judges and the Prosecutor. The campaign prompted the Office of the Prosecutor to respond on July 8:

“At no point did Judge Bonomy invite the Prosecution to drop the ‘Srebrenica or Sarajevo counts’ as reported by the media. The Prosecution was told that they may need to start thinking about how to reduce the length of the trial and a number of possibilities were mentioned, including reducing the number of crime sites and not proceeding on certain counts.”

Then, on July 22nd, AFP reported that “Judges have ordered prosecutors in the upcoming trial of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic to try and reduce the charge sheet against him in a bid to speed things up.” The story continued:

[QUOTE, AFP] “Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or ICTY, pointed out the indictment covered 11 charges on crimes alleged to have been committed in 27 municipalities – already reduced from an initial 41.

The prosecution intended to call 500 witnesses, with 490 hours needed to examine them in the witness stand. But an order from the court published Thursday said if prosecutors couldn’t narrow the charge sheet down, the court would do the job for them.

The U.N. court was initially meant to finish all trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010. The court’s most recent estimates suggest its final trial, that of Karadzic, would only conclude in early 2012 while some appeals may run into 2013.

The U.N. Security Council recently prolonged the mandate of some ICTY appeal judges to Dec. 31, 2010.

Karadzic was arrested a year ago on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A trial date has yet to be set.

Key among the 11 counts against him is the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left 10,000 people dead, and the July 1995 massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Bosnia’s inter-ethnic 1992-95 war cost an estimated 100,000 lives.” [ END QUOTE]

NOW TAKE ACTION: TELL U.N. JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS NOT TO DROP KEY CHARGES AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR: VISIT OUR CAMPAIGN PAGE! THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR & OTHERS HONOR SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS

July 23, 2009 Comments off
REMEMBERING THE DAY OF THE SREBRENICA GENOCIDE
Organized by the Bosnian-American Library of Chicago

“One of the most important ways to remember the genocide in Srebrenica is to commemorate the atrocities every July 11th,” said Mr. Samuel Harris, Holocaust survivor and president of Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

“Today I am in this room with beautiful Bosnian and Herzegovinian people who have also experienced genocide in their country. We must say to the world – NEVER AGAIN,” he added.

Author: Sanja Seferovic Drnovsek
Educating Against Prejudices, Bosnian American Library in Chicago

The program Day of Remembrance of Srebrenica Genocide is given in memory of, and with deep respect to, the more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniaks) men and boys, from 14 to 70 years old, who were killed by order of Bosnian Serb, General Ratko Mladic and the 25,000 women, children, and elderly who were deported from the city of Srebrenica. This was the most heinous war crime in Europe since the Second World War, and we wish to help create a thorough knowledge of what happened in Srebrenica, so it may be incorporated into our historical remembrance. In calling the public’s attention to the events of July 11, 1995 in Srebrenica, we can no longer passively accept that genocide is – in any way – humane! It is also a warning to future generations that this crime should never happen again to any group of people, anywhere or anytime. The possibility for greater understanding in Bosnia and Herzegovina and throughout the world depends upon our realization that truth and justice are the first steps towards reconciliation.

In the video presentation of testimonies of Srebrenica genocide survivors, Zuhra Osmanovic, stated, “On July 11th I tried to go into a truck with my kids. However, when I was trying to cross the dividing line that the Dutch soldiers posted, one Serbian soldier came to me and took my son from my hands. He asked me how old was he. Mirnes said that he was 15 but I said 13. I lied because I wanted them to let him go. I told him that he was wounded and the soldier asked who hurt him. I was afraid and I said that I didn’t know. I was fighting to hold on to my son but obviously the soldier was stronger than me and took Mirnes from my hands and took him on the left side of dividing line and after that somewhere, I don’t know where…… At that same moment the Chetniks put Memlo Osmanovic, Hasan Halic and Orhan to the left side of the tracks. They didn’t care how old they were. Memlo was around 25, my son was only 14, Orhan was 14, and Hassan 50. They took all generations of men. That’s why we can never forget the genocide that the Serbs did, especially in Srebrenica. …….And again I would like to repeat that we need to write, talk, and broadcast on the radio, TV, and newspapers the events in Srebrenica….. So that it is not repeated and does not happen again.” Zuhra Osmanovic sent her powerful message to the audience, and the world.

“And I still don’t know anything about my son. For Azem, my husband, they have already identified his bones. We had a funeral for him on July 11, 2006 . I had been hoping that he would come back but now I have no hope for him. …Now I’m living with my daughter in Chicago, Mersa. She’s married and has a beautiful child. My grandson’s name is Dino. In my Dino, my Sanja (interviewer), I see my Mirnes’ eyes. I look and look at Dino looking for Mirnes’ mouth, his eyes, his ears, but only his eyes are the same as Mirnes. I could cry and cry, but I still live in hope that I will find out news about my son whether he is alive or dead or if they can find his bones like other people from Srebrenica. And then he could rest in peace. There are many thousands and thousands of people from Srebrenica that are dead. He could rest in peace in the black soil.”

Zehra Spiodic, maiden name Omerovic, also a Srebrenica genocide survivor, said “I would never forget my father Sulejman Omerovic. He had a nice face, black hair and blue eyes. He was a peaceful man. Chetnics took him with them on July 11 1995 when he was trying to go into a truck with his family. I have never seen him again since then.

He was unarmed like all other men. United Nations Peace Keeping Troops and NATO took our weapons and the world promise to save us. It did not happened.10, 000 unarmed men were killed in Srebrenica “.

“Srebrenica in America”, the exhibition prepared by Ismet Ramic and Sanja Seferovic Drnovsek complimented these testimonies.( Chronology of Srebrenica Genocide, Information about Genocides that took place in 20 the century including Darfur today, Zuhra and Zehra Stories with pictures of their families, Samuel Harris and My Mom, Letters to Senators , Petitions)

A director of Holocaust Museum, our honored guest, Mr. Samuel Harris, talked about” The Power of Testimony”. I paraphrased a part of his speech notes.

“In 1905 George Santayana wrote :’those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.’

One of the most important ways to remember the genocide in Srebrenica is to commemorate the atrocities every July 11th .

The reason I am here today is because I was asked to share my memories in Emin’s school of gifted students at Taft Public School. The sharing of my memories in Emin’s class compelled him to write a magnificent article for the newspapers. We do not have to worry about our future because we have Emin, such a bright young man. His mom Sanja and aunt Selena, who prepared this program of Day of Remembrance of Genocide in Srebrenica, and I are doing the same things- spreading the word about Holocaust and genocide.

In Emin’s school I shared my memories as a child under Hitler in Poland to the students.

Emin remembers when we discussed the ghettos, the starvation, the beatings and the deaths. I told his class how the Jews were rounded up, beaten or shot if they did not move fast enough. That line of thousands would proceed to the cattle cars waiting at the train station.

I, at the age of about six was in that line. My father pushed me out and told me to run toward the pile of bricks nearby. My sister Sara was already there. Together we were hiding and watched the people march towards those cattle cars that carried them to the Treblinka gas chambers. That was the last time I saw my parents, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, many cousins and neighbors. ………

I wrote my book, Sammy, Child Survivor of the Holocaust, to share with the people what a bully like Hitler can do to human beings. He killed 6,000,000 Jews of which 1,500,000 were children. He killed many others as well. It was a Holocaust.

Two weeks ago, Paul Rusesabagina came to visit the Holocaust museum in Skokie. Paul was the manager of Hotel Rwanda. He saved 1,268 people. He visited for a long time as he saw the atrocities of the Holocaust. The newspaper wrote about us the next day: “ Born, nearly 20 years apart and in different parts of the world, they bonded when they met. They felt connected having experienced what no other human being should experience. This experience left each of them with the urgent need to proclaim now and forever and to all who would listen….NEVER AGAIN.’

Today I am in this room with beautiful Bosnian and Herzegovinian people who have also experienced genocide in their country. We must say to the world – NEVER AGAIN.

Bystanders must wake up and listen to the words of the German Pastor Martin Niemoeller quote:

‘First they came for communists

And I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out-

Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me-

And there was no one left to speak out for me.

We must all speak out with our testimonies for they have the power to change or there will be no one left to speak out for us.’ “. With this powerful massage Samuel Harris finished his presentation.

Jonathan Moore, a deputy head of Mission, US Embassy in Sarajevo, was another respectful guest at the Bosnian American Library. The library was completely full of Bosnian and American people who gave respect to the victims of Srebrenica genocide. He spoke about the importance of his new job which he would start in August 2009 and invited everyone to visit him in the American Embassy in Sarajevo.

Muhammad Abdelrahman., a director of Darfur organization in Illinois, was again our guest speaker and he talked about a genocide that is taking place in Darfur, Sudan, today in front of our eyes.

“The most powerful and emotional moments were,”said Selena Seferovic, a director of Bosnian American Library, “many people told me today, when they heard Mensud Basic, vocal, and Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Phil Simons (American Music Festival) and their music and words from the poem God is One Sheidi, Dzemaludin Latic, arr. Breton/Nuhanovic/Simmons Dzemaludin Latic, arr. LLya Levenson.”

They brought us very close to shehids, victims of Srebrenica Genocide. Many of us in the audience cried.

Phil Simon and American Music Festival, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra were partners with Bosnian American Library in our mission and organization for this event.

I wish you could hear their music while you are reading this poem! (English translation@2009 by Philip Simmons and Samir Hadzalic)

Shehids, you Loved Ones, where are you now?

Beside the fountain, lies knitted towel

And carafe, from which we were created.

Shehids, you Saints, where are you now?

In dust, the trace of naked feet.

Who prays now, on green carpets?

Hey, you Saints, where are you now?

Shehids, you of the Purest Scent, where are you now?

Near the villages, are your castles all over Bosnia!

Like the flowers in the garden, you are cheerful!

Like a string of beads, flickering as stars!

Shehids, like the Angels, where are you now?

Like swallows, going south, you are cheerful.

I am very proud to announce that each July 11th; Srebrenica genocide will be commemorated at the City of Chicago officially. At the City Council, on the 29th of July, the Aldermen Mary Ann Smith will present and sponsor the request of the citizens from Bosnian and Herzegovina who live in Chicago and who signed the petition on April 25 in the Bosnian American Library, which I initiated at the same event/Genocide Prevention .

We would remember Srebrenica Genocide forever!

Special thanks to Edin Seferovic who worked for the Aldermen and used his personal and professional influence on the city politicians and Haris Alibasic for sharing with me the language of Grand Rapids Resolution which passed this year in his city.

The Video presentation of two testimonies is produced by Sanja and Emin Seferovic Drnovsek and special thanks to Ferid Sefer for his help in editing.

Special thanks to Ismet Ramic for the cooperation on the exhibition , Samija Hardarevic Diab for wonderful Bosnian deserts, the Bosnian media that promoted this event: www. chicagoraja.net, www.bosniak.org, http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com, bosnjaci.net, radio “Danas”, “Hajat” TV, bosnianlibrarychicago.com and to everyone who attended this important event.

MILAN LUKIC SENTENCED TO LIFE, SREDOJE LUKIC TO 30 YEARS

July 20, 2009 5 comments
VICTIMS WERE BURNT ALIVE

PHOTO: Sredoje Lukic and Milan Lukic, convicted war criminals.

Case focused on at least 119 Bosniak women, children and elderly that were burnt alive by the Serb forces in the act of persecution and exterminations of Bosniaks. Both accused came from Visegrad’s village of Rujiste, which is located near Srebrenica Municipality. Judges concluded that Lukic’s defence experts seriously lacked credibility.

Note: Rapes were not included in the indictment! Victims from Visegrad have protested for years because the Hague Prosecution did not include numerous cases of rapes committed by Lukic cousins against Bosniak women and young children/girls (See: Visegrad Rape Victims Say Their Cries Go Unheard). The following is a summary judgment – please read it:

The Trial Chamber is sitting today to deliver its judgement in the trial of Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić. I will briefly summarise the Trial Chamber’s findings. The Trial Chamber emphasises that this is but a summary of its findings and that the only authoritative account is the written judgement, which will be made available after this hearing.

This case concerns events that took place in the municipality of Višegrad, and the town of the same name, in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 7 June 1992 and 10 October 1994. The municipality is located in the south-eastern region of Bosnia close to the border of the Republic of Serbia on its eastern side.

In April 1992, following acts of violence against the Muslim population in the municipality, the Yugoslav People’s Army, or JNA, entered Višegrad. It eventually withdrew on 19 May 1992, having established Serb control over the town and the municipality. Following the JNA’s departure, attacks on the non-Serb population, including murders, disappearances, rapes, beatings, and destruction of non-Serb property, increased. These attacks were carried out by paramilitary groups that operated in Višegrad with the complicity or acquiescence of the Serb authorities. The number of arbitrary killings and disappearances peaked in May and June 1992.

It was within this context that Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić both from the village of Rujište near Višegrad town, allegedly committed the crimes with which they are charged. Milan Lukić has been charged with committing or aiding and abetting persecution, murder, extermination, cruel treatment, and inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity and war crimes, in relation to six discrete incidents.

The incidents are 1) the killing of five Muslim civilian men at the Drina river on or about 7 June 1992; 2) the killing of seven Muslim civilian men at the Varda factory in Višegrad town on or about 10 June 1992; 3) the events leading up to and including burning alive of approximately 70 Muslim civilians in Adem Omeragić’s house on Pionirska street in Višegrad town on or about 14 June 1992; 4) the burning alive of approximately 70 Muslim civilians in Meho Aljić’s house in Bikavac, also in Višegrad town, on or about 27 June 1992; 5) the killing of Hajra Korić, a Muslim civilian, in or about June 1992; and 6) the beating of Muslim detainees at the Uzamnica detention camp between August 1992 and October 1994.

Sredoje Lukić has been charged with committing or aiding and abetting the crimes of persecution, murder, extermination, cruel treatment, and inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity and war crimes, in relation to three of the above six incidents: 1) the burning alive of approximately 70 persons in Adem Omeragić’s house; 2) the burning alive of approximately 70 Muslim civilians in Meho Aljić’s house; and 3) the beating of Muslim detainees at the Uzamnica detention camp.

In relation to the Drina river incident, the evidence shows that Milan Lukić collected seven Muslim men on 7 June 1992, and eventually drove them to the Drina river near Sase where he lined them up at the river’s edge. Milan Lukić ignored the victims’ pleas for their lives and told the soldiers with him to shoot the men with single shots. He and the soldiers then shot the men in the back, killing some of them instantly and then returning to fire additional shots into those bodies they thought to still be alive. Five men perished. Only VG014 and VG032, both of whom testified before the Trial Chamber, survived by pretending they were dead.

With regard to the Varda factory incident, the evidence shows that on about 10 June 1992 Milan Lukić entered the Varda factory and collected seven Muslim men from their workstations. He thereafter took them down to the bank of the Drina river in front of thefactory, where he lined them up. Milan Lukić then shot the men in full view of a number of people watching, including the wife and daughter of one of the victims, Ibrišim Memišević. All seven men were killed.

Considerable evidence was received concerning the Pionirska street incident. The evidence shows that a group of 70 Muslim civilians, most of whom came from the village of Koritnik and included many members of the Kurspahić family, were taken by a group of armed Serbs to Jusuf Memić’s house on Pionirska street, where they were robbed at gunpoint. Women and some children were then strip-searched, after which a number of women were taken away, stating upon being brought back to the house that they had been raped.

Later in the evening, the group of victims was transferred to the nearby house of Adem Omeragić, where they were locked into a ground-floor room. The evidence shows that the carpet of the room had been prepared with an accelerant. After a while, a lighted, explosive device was placed in the room which ignited an intense fire when it exploded. As the victims tried to escape the flames through the two windows of the room, they were shot at by the armed men outside the house. Other explosive devices were also thrown into the room. Witnesses VG078 and VG101, who had escaped and were hiding close by, could hear shots coming from Adem Omeragić’s house. VG101 said to VG078:

“These people are killing our mother, our mother-in-law, and our brother’s two children. They didn’t do anything wrong”.

Only a handful of people survived, and all of those who are still alive came to testify before the Trial Chamber. However, 59 people were burned alive.

The Milan Lukić Defence challenged the very occurrence of the fire in Adem Omeragić’s house through a number of experts who visited the site in January 2009. The Trial Chamber has endorsed the view of the experts that the longer a crime scene investigation is delayed, the less reliable the conclusions that can be drawn. Under crossexamination by the Prosecution, the experts qualified their conclusions to such an extent as to render their overall findings practically without foundation, including by agreeing that a fire could have taken place and that an incendiary device exploded in Adem Omeragić’s house. Therefore, the Trial Chamber has placed little weight on their evidence. On the basis of the acceptance by the Vasiljević Trial Chamber of Mitar Vasiljević’s alibi in relation to the Pionirska street incident, the Milan Lukić Defence also challenged the credibility of a number of Prosecution witnesses who recalled seeing Mitar Vasiljević there. On the evidence presented in this case, the Trial Chamber by majority, Judge Robinson dissenting, has found that Mitar Vasiljević was, in fact, present on Pionirska street during the robbery in Jusuf Memić’s house, and during the transfer to and burning of Adem Omeragić’s house.

The evidence shows that Milan Lukić was inside Jusuf Memić’s house and that he robbed the victims of their valuables. He was present and armed when the strip-searches were being carried out. He also participated in removing a number of women from the house who, reportedly, were raped. Milan Lukić participated in the transfer of the victims to Adem Omeragić’s house, and the evidence shows that it was he who closed the door once the group was inside the room. The Trial Chamber also has found that it was Milan Lukić who placed the explosive device into the room, thereby setting the house ablaze. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber has found that he shot at the windows of the house and that he shot at and wounded VG013 as she escaped.

The evidence shows that Sredoje Lukić, a police officer in Višegrad, was also present, and armed, at Jusuf Memić’s house, including while the robbery and strip-searches were taking place inside, and when the women were removed. The Trial Chamber has found that he was also present during the transfer to Adem Omeragić’s house. However, the Trial Chamber has concluded that there is no reliable evidence that Sredoje Lukić set Adem Omeragić’s house on fire or shot at the windows as people tried to escape. Nevertheless, the Trial Chamber has, Judge Robinson dissenting, found that by his presence and by being armed, Sredoje Lukić substantially contributed to the deaths of the 59 people trapped in the house. The Trial Chamber has further found that Sredoje Lukić aided and abetted in the cruel treatment and inhumane acts committed against all the members of the group.

The other incident charged in which Muslim civilians were burned alive occurred at Meho Aljić’s house in Bikavac. Zehra Turjačanin testified in relation to this incident. She presented a sad, tragic but heroic figure. Permanently disabled as a result of this event, and scarred for life, she has broken all ties with her former homeland. Her evidence, as well as the evidence of other witnesses, shows that Milan Lukić and other armed men forced a group of approximately 70 Muslim civilians into Meho Aljić’s house, locking them inside.

All the exits had been blocked by heavy furniture and a garage door was also placed against a door to prevent escape. Gunshots were fired at the house and grenades were thrown inside, setting the house on fire. Witnesses VG058 and VG035 vividly remembered the terrible screams of the people in the house, “like the screams of cats”. The Trial Chamber has found that at least 60 Muslim civilians were burned alive.

The Milan Lukić Defence also challenged the occurrence of the Bikavac fire through its experts. For the reasons mentioned earlier, the Trial Chamber has placed little weight on this evidence as relates to the Bikavac fire. It has placed no weight on the evidence of the Defence psychological expert, George Hough, who provided views on the evidence of Zehra Turjačanin, the sole survivor of the incident, without having had any contact with her. The Defence also challenged the credibility of Zehra Turjačanin because in the period immediately following her escape from the fire she gave various accounts to Serb soldiers and a doctor of how she received her horrific burns. The Trial Chamber concludes that these differing accounts do not cast doubt on Zehra Turjačanin evidence, and that she is a witness of truth.

The Trial Chamber is satisfied that Milan Lukić was present and armed throughout the incident. He used the butt of his rifle to push people into the house, saying, “Come on, let’s get as many people inside as possible.” After the victims were locked inside, he shot at the house, threw grenades into it and subsequently set it on fire using petrol.

With respect to Sredoje Lukić’s presence during the incident, the Trial Chamber by majority, Judge David dissenting, has found that Zehra Turjačanin’s evidence is inconclusive. Therefore, the Trial Chamber by majority, Judge David dissenting, is not satisfied that Sredoje Lukić was present at the Bikavac incident.

The Trial Chamber will now turn to the last two incidents in the indictment. In respect of the killing of Hajra Korić, the evidence shows that Milan Lukić searched for Hajra Korić among a group of women and children who were fleeing. Once Milan Lukić found her, he singled her out and shot her at point blank range. He was laughing when he turned her body over with his foot and shot her in the back.

In relation to the Uzamnica camp, the evidence shows that both Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić were opportunistic visitors to the camp, although Sredoje Lukić came to the camp less frequently than Milan Lukić. When at the camp, both Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić severely and repeatedly kicked and beat the detainees with their fists, truncheons, sticks and rifle butts. Several victims testified before the Trial Chamber about these brutal beatings and the grave injuries and permanent injuries they sustained and the suffering they endured.

Milan Lukić presented alibis for the Drina river, Varda factory, Pionirska street, Bikavac and the Uzamnica camp incidents. The Drina river and Varda factory alibi is that Milan Lukićwas in Belgrade and Novi Pazar in Serbia from 7 to 10 June 1992. The Trial Chamber has found that the purported alibi suffers from a number of glaring inconsistencies, and has held that the evidence of two key witnesses, MLD1 and MLD10, is lacking in credibility. MLD10 also testified in support of the alibi for the Bikavac incident, that at the end of June 1992 Milan Lukić was in Rujište for three or four days. Also in this respect has the Trial Chamber found MLD10’s evidence to be wholly unreliable. Particularly damaging to MLD10’s credibility overall was the credible and reliable evidence of Hamdija Vilić that MLD10 received payment in exchange for false testimony.

Milan Lukić’s alibi for the Pionirska street incident is that on 13 to 15 June 1992, he was deployed as a reserve policeman in Kopito. The Trial Chamber has found that the evidence of witnesses who are fundamental to the alibi as a whole, notably MLD4, MLD7 and Goran Ðeric, display discrepancies on matters that are central to the alibi. The Trial Chamber has also found MLD4’s and Goran Ðeric’s evidence to be unreliable. There was little evidence advanced in support of the alibi for the Uzamnica detention camp charges, according to which Milan Lukić was imprisoned for some of the relevant time. The Trial Chamber has found that Milan Lukić’s imprisonment for some time in spring 1993 and possibly 1994 has no bearing on the evidence showing that he beat the detainees because it does not correspond to the same time period.

Sredoje Lukić presented alibis for the Pionirska street and Bikavac incidents. In light of its majority finding that the Prosecution has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sredoje Lukić was present at the Bikavac incident, the Trial Chamber has not made any findings in relation to the alibi for the Bikavac incident. In relation to the alibi for the Pionirska street incident, which is that Sredoje Lukić met Veroljub Živković and Branimir Bugarski in Obrenovac, Serbia, in the evening of 14 June 1992, the Trial Chamber has found that aspects of the evidence presented are implausible and that the evidence of Veroljub Živković, a key witness, is neither credible nor reliable.

For each incident where an alibi has been presented, the Trial Chamber has considered the evidence as a whole, that is, the evidence led by the Prosecution and the evidence led by the Defence, and found that the alibi is not reasonably possibly true. In particular, the Trial Chamber has rejected the alibi for the Drina river and Varda factory incidents as a cynical and callously-orchestrated artifice. The Trial Chamber has concluded that the Prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the relevant charges.

A very large amount of evidence was presented of other crimes that were committed in Višegrad during the indictment period, including specific instances of murders, rapes and beatings, some of which were allegedly committed by Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić. A significant proportion of this evidence, including several incidents of rape, was presented by the Prosecution for the purpose of rebutting the alibis presented. As Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić have not been charged with any crimes arising out of these incidents, the Trial Chamber has not made any determination of guilt in relation to them.

The perpetration by Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić of crimes in this case is characterised by a callous and vicious disregard for human life. The Trial Chamber has found that Milan Lukić personally killed at least 132 Muslim people. In early June 1992 and within a matter of days, Milan Lukić summarily executed 12 Muslim men at the Drina river with indifference and deliberateness. He carried out the cold-blooded murder of Hajra Korić in a flippant and cavalier manner. As opportunistic visitors to the Uzamnica camp, bothMilan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić came for no other reason than to inflict violence on the detainees. Although Sredoje Lukić came to the camp with less frequency than Milan Lukić, both accused beat the detainees with extraordinary brutality, causing them serious and permanent damage.

The Trial Chamber has found that Milan Lukić played a dominant role in both the Pionirska street and Bikavac incidents, in which, respectively, 59 people and at least 60 people burned alive. While Sredoje Lukić did not himself set Adem Omeragić’s house on fire himself, he knew what would happen to the victims that he helped herd to AdemOmeragić’s house.

The Pionirska street fire and the Bikavac fire exemplify the worst acts of inhumanity that a person may inflict upon others. In the all too long, sad and wretched history of man’s inhumanity to man, the Pionirska street and Bikavac fires must rank high. At the close of the twentieth century, a century marked by war and bloodshed on a colossal scale, these horrific events stand out for the viciousness of the incendiary attack, for the obvious premeditation and calculation that defined it, for the sheer callousness and brutality of herding, trapping and locking the victims in the two houses, thereby rendering them helpless in the ensuing inferno, and for the degree of pain and suffering inflicted on the victims as they were burnt alive. There is a unique cruelty in expunging all traces of the individual victims which must heighten the gravity ascribed to these crimes.

Lastly, Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić are alleged to have committed the crime of persecution through a number of underlying acts. The Trial Chamber has found that Milan Lukić acted with discriminatory intent when committing the underlying acts charged. It has also found that Sredoje Lukić acted with discriminatory intent when aiding and abetting the underlying acts charged. Judge Robinson dissents from this Trial Chamber’s finding insofar as the underlying acts pertain to the transfer of the approximately 70 Muslim civilians to Adem Omeragić’s house and their detention and murder in that house during the Pionirska street incident.

Milan Lukić, please rise.

The Trial Chamber finds you, Milan Lukić, GUILTY pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of committing:

  1. Persecutions, a crime against humanity, count 1
  2. Murder, a crime against humanity, count 2
  3. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 3
  4. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 4
  5. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 5
  6. Murder, a crime against humanity, count 6
  7. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 7
  8. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 10
  9. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 11
  10. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 12
  11. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 15
  12. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 16
  13. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 17
  14. Murder, a crime against humanity, count 18
  15. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 19
  16. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 20, and
  17. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 21

The Trial Chamber by majority, Judge Van den Wyngaert dissenting, finds you, Milan Lukić, GUILTY pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of committing:

  1. Extermination, a crime against humanity, count 8, and
  2. Extermination, a crime against humanity, count 13

The Trial Chamber sentences you to a term of imprisonment for the remainder of your life.

Pursuant to Rule 101(C), you are entitled to credit for time spent in detention, which as of the date of this judgement amounts to 1443 days, and for such additional time you may serve pending the determination of any appeal. This information is provided in the event that it becomes necessary in any subsequent proceedings. Pursuant to Rule 103(C), you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the State where you shall serve your sentence.

Milan Lukić, you may sit.

Sredoje Lukić, please rise.

The Trial Chamber by majority, Judge David dissenting, finds you, Sredoje Lukić, NOT GUILTY on the following counts:

  1. Count 8: Extermination, a crime against humanity
  2. Count 13: Extermination, a crime against humanity
  3. Count 14: Murder, a crime against humanity
  4. Count 15: Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war
  5. Count 16: Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity
  6. Count 17: Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war

The Trial Chamber finds you, Sredoje Lukić, GUILTY pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of committing:

  1. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 20 and
  2. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 21

The Trial Chamber finds you, Sredoje Lukić, GUILTY pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of aiding and abetting:

  1. Persecutions, a crime against humanity, count 1,
  2. Inhumane acts, a crime against humanity, count 11,
  3. Cruel treatment, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 12

The Trial Chamber by majority, Judge Robinson dissenting, finds you, Sredoje Lukić, GUILTY pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of aiding and abetting:

  1. Murder, a crime against humanity, count 9
  2. Murder, a violation of the laws and customs of war, count 10

The Trial Chamber sentences you, Sredoje Lukić, to a sentence of 30 years of imprisonment.

Pursuant to Rule 101(C), you are entitled to credit for time spent in detention, which as of the date of this judgement amounts to 1404 days, and for such additional time you may serve pending the determination of any appeal. Pursuant to Rule 103(C), you shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending finalisation of arrangements for your transfer to the State where you shall serve your sentence.

Sredoje Lukić, please sit.

The hearing is adjourned.

GRAND RAPIDS IN MICHIGAN PROCLAIMS SREBRENICA REMEMBRANCE DAY

July 19, 2009 Comments off

City of Grand Rapids, Michigan adopted the proclamation proclaiming July 11, 2009, as Srebrenica Remembrance Day and the week of July 11, 2009, as Bosnia and Herzegovina Tribute Week in the City of Grand Rapids.

Since 2005, City of Grand Rapids’ Mayor George Heartwell supported Srebrenica Rememberance Day and Bosnia and Herzegovina Tribute proclamation. Grand Rapids is home to a large number of Bosnian Americans. Congress of North American Bosniaks is thankful to the City’s elected and administrative officials support for Bosnian Americans.

Earlier we reported that the State of Michigan also adopted the Srebrenica Genocide Resolution, read here.

HISTORY: From 1992-1995 Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had forced approximately 40,000 Bosnian Muslim refugees to live in the Srebrenica ghetto with little or no means of survival. Furthermore, Serbs around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population by constantly attacking neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 Bosniaks, and summarily executed at least 8,372 Bosnian Muslims – boys, men, and elderly.

HIGHLAND PARK IN NEW JERSEY ADOPTS BOSNIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION

July 19, 2009 Comments off
BOROUGH OF HIGHLAND PARK
NO. 7-09-215

RESOLUTION PROCLAIMING THE BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA WEEK AND JULY 11 AS THE DAY OF COMMEMORATION OF THE BOSNIA GENOCIDE AND SREBRENICA REMEMBRANCE IN HIGHLAND PARK, NEW JERSEY

See Full Size Document

RESOLUTION: Council as a Whole

WHEREAS, both the United States and the United States House of Representatives passed resolutions in 2005 acknowledging the genocide that the Serbian forces perpetrated in Srebrenica, and all of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) from 1992 to 1995; and

WHEREAS, July 11, 2009 is commemorated as the 14th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in which at least 8,372 innocent Bosniak civilians were summarily executed and 30,000 were expelled from their homes in the worst atrocity in Europe since the Holocaust; and

WHEREAS, this anniversary raises awareness of the tragic suffering of the Bosnian people and honors and remembers those who died as a result of the policies of ethnic cleansing and aggression; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) the umbrella organization representing Bosniaks in the United States and Canada, requested this resolution; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey and Borough of Highland Park recognizes the importance of this event to bring closure for the Bosnian people through justice and truth;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Borough Council of the Borough of Highland Park, in the State of New Jersey, that the members of this legislative body proclaim the day of July 11, 2009 of every consecutive year, as Bosnia Genocide and Srebrenica Remembrance Day and the week of July 11th of every consecutive year, as Bosnia & Herzegovina Tribute Week in the State of New Jersey and Borough of Highland Park.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that they call upon all citizens of the world in the United States and Bosnia & Herzegovina to work toward ending the cycle of violence and promoting peaceful coexistence among all.

ADOPTED: July 7, 2009
ATTEST:

___________________________
BOROUGH CLERK
I, Joan Hullings, Borough Clerk of the Borough of Highland Park, New Jersey, do hereby certify the above to be a true copy of a resolution adopted by the Borough Council of said Borough on the 7th day of July, 2009.

__________________________
Joan Hullings, Borough Clerk
RECORD OF COUNCIL VOTES
Erickson: Absent
Foster-Dublin: Ayes (YES)
Millet: Ayes (YES)
Minkoff: Absent
Morris: Ayes (YES)
Pichinson: Ayes (YES)

HISTORY: From 1992-1995 Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had forced approximately 40,000 Bosnian Muslim refugees to live in the Srebrenica ghetto with little or no means of survival. Furthermore, Serbs around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population by constantly attacking neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 Bosniaks, and summarily executed at least 8,372 Bosnian Muslims – boys, men, and elderly.