OHR condemns denial of Srebrenica genocide from RS entity

NEWS 11.07.2018 18:39
Source: N1

Member of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) party Main Board Rajko Vasic published several controversial tweets on his twitter account, denying the Srebrenica genocide, to which the Office of the High Representative and the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina reacted with condemnation of his attitudes and the denial of genocide.

In one of his tweets, Vasic said the Srebrenica genocide is an alleged lie made up by the Hague Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) and Sarajevo so that Bosnian Muslims would be the ones who always suffer.

Other, more controversial, offensive and gruesome tweets published on his account will not be mentioned, however, the fact that the Office of the High Representative (OHR), in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia, and the US Embassy in Bosnia reacted immediately, speaks volumes of the severity of his tweets.

The SNSD, which is the ruling party in the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity did not provide any comment concerning Vasic’s tweets, but the OHR called on Bosnian authorities to implement the section of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity’s Criminal Code treating hate speech.

“The High Representative condemns in the strongest possible terms recent statements by a number of public figures denying the genocide in Srebrenica, glorifying war crimes and using hate speech and even threats. The genocide committed in Srebrenica is a fact confirmed by two international tribunals,” the OHR said.

“Specifically, the statement made by Rajko Vasic, SNSD Main Board member, on the Srebrenica genocide – on the day of the burial of Srebrenica genocide victims and the day of commemoration – goes far beyond a denial. Apart from being deplorable, hurtful and offensive, it threatens violence. And not any violence. It threatens genocide. This is a criminal offence. The Federation Criminal Code contains a specific incrimination, and the Federation Criminal Code is for such offences applicable wherever they are committed. The High Representative urges the competent judicial bodies to promptly react.”

The US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the OHR by retweeting their statement and saying the US Embassy “join the OHR in strongly condemning this appalling and uncivilized comment about genocide.”

 On July 11, 1995, 8,372 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys were separated and killed by Bosnian Serb forces. So far, 6,610 victims were buried and more than 1,000 persons are still missing.

The international court ruled that the Srebrenica massacre constituted a genocide. In April 1993 the UN had declared the besieged enclave of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica a safe area under the UN protection. However, in July 1995 the Dutch battalion soldiers failed to prevent the town's capture by the Bosnian Serb forces and the massacre that followed.

International and regional courts have also sentenced 45 people for what happened in Srebrenica to a total of more than 700 years behind bars. Those who the ICTY sentenced to life imprisonment are Ljubisa Beara, Zdravko Tolimir, and Vujadin Popovic.

But the most well known alleged masterminds of what happened in Srebrenica are former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic and ex Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, and both have been sentenced for it but have appealed.