The chairperson of the American Helsinki Commission, Senator Ben Cardin, stated that he was upset by the Montenegrin Justice Minister's statements questioning the conclusion of international courts on the events in Srebrenica from 1995.
“The facts about what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995 have been documented. International courts have confirmed, and the international community has widely accepted, that these facts meet the definition of genocide,” Cardin told the Voice of America.
“I am disturbed that any official of any country neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina would question that conclusion – especially someone who understands the dangerous extremes of nationalism in the Balkans and who is responsible for advancing the rule of law,” Senator Cardin said in a written statement when asked by the Voice of America that the Helsinki Commission comment on the recent statement of the Montenegrin Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavic that he will recognize the genocide in Srebrenica “when the facts are unequivocally established.”
Cardin, a Democratic senator from Maryland and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took over as chairman of the Helsinki Commission last week, where he has been since 1993.
The State Department, also in response to a Voice of America inquiry, said Monday that “the United States’ position on the Srebrenica genocide is long-lasting and unwavering,” and that “a painful chapter in European history must never be denied or forgotten.”
The United Nations, the European Union and numerous Western embassies, including the American one in Podgorica, issued a message that genocide must not be denied or relativized, following the allegations of the Montenegrin Minister of Justice.