On this date in 1993, Graham Bamford from Great Britain burnt himself in London, as a sign of protests against the war in Bosnia, the Institute for Research of Genocide in Canada recalled.
This nobleman from Britain spilt gasoline all over himself and burnt himself alive in the middle of the day, in front of the Lower House of the British Parliament. Dying in the most horrific agony was his way to point to the suffering of the citizens of Bosnia, who were frantically killed, persecuted and humiliated, the Institute said.
He did it as a sign of his personal protest on behalf of the inability of Great Britain to do something to help the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the aggression, they wrote, adding that Great Britain was shocked, but his death was quickly obliterated.
Bamford’s last words were: “The British people must stop the war in Bosnia, using force if necessary. The British army must not only be a guardian of honour at mass funerals. Bosnian babies, children and women are patiently waiting for the politicians to do what they should do – provide military protection. They must not stand aside and observe.”
Bamford had no connections with Bosnia and its citizens, the Institute recalled, but the images of terror from Bosnia made him sacrifice. Bamford was deeply shocked by images that came from Croatia as well. In the testimonies of his acquaintances and psychologists, he saw his own daughter in every child victim of the war in Bosnia. His condition deteriorated after the shootings of the massacre in Ahmici, on April 16, 1993, when 116 people were killed, including a three-month-old baby.
“For the majority of Bosnian citizens, Graham Bamford is a typically British name and last name, without any special significance. Although he sacrificed himself to draw the world’s attention to the war in BiH, his name is mentioned only on April 6, during the presentation of the award named after him. The award was established by the Sarajevo City Administration in 2009,” the Institute wrote in their article.
Croatian film director Nenad Puhovski also made a documentary about his action and the silence that followed it.
In their article, the Institute asked the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina what it would take for them to honour this man by building him a monument in Sarajevo?
“Political, academic and all other Bosnian leaders – is the dying voice of a good Briton, a Bosnian hero, Graham Bamford, who said, ‘We must help the children of Bosnia’ in his gravest moments, not enough to wake your conscience and build a monument in Sarajevo for this hero whose sublime act gives hope for a better Bosnia and Herzegovina,” asked the institute.
“Graham Bamford deserves the respect of Bosnian citizens wherever they are because he gave his life for this country, and the respect of the citizens of the world, because by his heroic act he warned this cynical world of the injustice, evil, immorality and shamelessness that governs it. Graham Bamford deserves a memorial in Sarajevo as a reminder to man and civilization that genocide will never be repeated to anyone else,” the Institute for the Research of Genocide concluded.