DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

08 February, 2010


Letter from the Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada to Members of Canadian Parliament

The Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
The Association of Concentration-camp Detainees Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves,
The Association of Women Victims of War,
Institute for Missing Persons,
Union of Civil War Victims of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To: Members of Canadian Parliament

Dear Members of the Parliament,

We are writing to thank you on behalf of ourselves and the countless victims of genocide throughout the world, for taking steps to recognize the genocide that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s town of Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. Motion M-416 is presently before the parliament of the Government of Canada as a parliamentary procedure which aims to mark July 11th as a day of remembrance and the week of July 11th as a tribute week that commemorates the victims of genocide of the Srebrenica Massacre of July 11, 1995.

The initiation of the parliamentary procedures to pass Resolution M-416 has genuinely and profoundly touched our hearts and souls. To the survivors of grave atrocities, in particular the thousands of mothers, wives, daughters, and grandmothers who have lost their men and boys during those evil days, this gesture of remembrance is a great honor and a reprieve from our sorrow. By passing this resolution the people of Canada will have joined us under the banner of humanity to speak on behalf of the innocent boys and men whose lives now stand as a testament to the injustices of our time. Let us stand firmly on the side of righteousness and pay homage to victims by fighting the dangers of oblivion!

Below is a list of some of the documented facts and findings regarding the evil tragedy that unfolded in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of the 20th century:

1. The Bosnian tragedy was an armed aggression against the civilians and sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In other words, according to the basic understanding and definition, the international armed conflict that ensued was a crime against peace and security of humankind, marking a clear distinction between the aggressors and the victims.

2. Systematic and abhorrent crimes against humanity, including genocide, were committed on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina against the besieged Bosniak civilian population.

3. Serbian ultranationalist elites (political, intellectual, and clerical), in accordance with the Serbian nationalist project of “greater Serbia” - namely, “all Serbs in one state” – during the last decade of the 20th century, caused an internal crisis in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and destroyed the common state.

4. The Republic of Serbia, by the Amendments to the Constitution of September 28, 1990, seceded (from SFRY) and unlawfully assumed the functions of an independent and sovereign state. In so doing, it violated the constitutional law of SFRY and committed a grave criminal offense.

5. The aggression and genocidal campaigns against Bosnia and Herzegovina were meticulously planned on an intellectual, ideological, political, military, and economic level well in advance of actual events. The objectives and operations of these crimes against humanity received command from the highest echelons of political and military centers and were executed in a planned, organized, and systematic fashion. The responsible parties that consist of leaders, planners, commanders, executors, and associates are well-known. Their crimes and motives were investigated and proven in international courts of law.

6. The genocide against Bosniaks was envisaged and efficiently executed, with an unfortunate massive involvement of the Serbian people. Based on a study of the Government of Republika Srpska, more than 25,000 persons in various capacities participated in the genocide against Bosniaks in the UN safe area of Srebrenica, in July 1995.

7. The aggression against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the consequences of the weapons and humanitarian aid embargos, as insisted upon by the United Nations, Europe, and international community, were an integral part of Milošević’s state policy.

8. Political, military, police, and the administrative-executive potential of Republika Srpska, that is, the official Republika Srpska authorities, under the direct management, organization, command, participation, and support of the states Serbia and Montenegro/Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, occupied more than 70% of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and took part in genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes against Bosniaks.

9. The leadership of the collaborationist creation of Republika Srpska, with Radovan Karadžić, Momčilo Krajišnik, Biljana Plavšić, and others at its’ head, inaugurated a “Republic” whose foundations are built on a genocidal intention to exterminate Bosniaks and all traces of their existence in the region.

10. Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence, the genocide against Bosniaks is still concealed, minimized, and/or contested. Considering rulings by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice and the results of an investigation conducted by Republika Srpska, and prominent international investigations, ignoring one of the most blatant acts of violence against humanity in the 20th century is utterly unacceptable!

11. Tragically, we continually witness propaganda campaigns aimed at spreading rumors and disinformation about the genocide victims in Bosnian and Herzegovina. Particularly troubling are opinions of academics of ill-repute who manage to spread disinformation while completely ignoring the integrity and verifiability of the actual state of affairs.

12. The planners, commanders, participants, accessories, co-perpetrators, and perpetrators of genocide are present within the “greater” Serbia ideology, politics, and practices in which they are idealized, glorified, and hailed as honored heroes of the nationalist people (in science, culture, art, education). They not only live unpunished, but worse yet profit from the loot obtained through genocide, all the while mocking the victims of their crimes.

13. No official apology to, or attempt toward seeking forgiveness from, the victims of the committed genocide has been displayed via the political and scientific elite of the Serbian people. Instead, fabrications and forged historical facts, continued genocide denial, and the transfer of responsibility to the victims of genocide, as if the aggressor and the victim are one and the same, continue to dominate discourse amongst these representatives of the Serbian people. Although these actions may not be a reflection of the Serbian population as a whole, such misrepresentations, fabrications, and denial can have a profound effect in manipulating population perspectives as already witnessed through the successful implementation of genocidal campaigns against Bosniak civilians.

14. Currently, political leadership and other structures of Republika Srpska, in accordance with the “greater Serbia” ideology, policy, and practices are obstructing the strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign state. As long the leaders of this entity continue to pursue the policy of cessation, destruction, and annulment of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stability, and justice in the region will be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Along with other forms of crimes against humanity and international law, what we have listed above are only the basic facts that are deeply engraved in the minds of all the survivors of Bosnia’s genocide. These facts constitute an integral part of a social reality that continues to exist today. As long as those responsible for the bloodshed in Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to maintain and legalize the projects on which their entity was founded on; deny the political-legal and state continuity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; deny the possibility of common living; and affirm this position through raising doubts into universal human values, freedoms and rights, civilization, and cultural legacy, the permanent stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina will never come to fruition.

Indeed, it is time to align ourselves on the side of justice and fight for the sustainability of human dignity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Canada. When we succeed, the surviving genocide victims will have their place and role, and those whose lives have been taken will be commemorated in a testament to our united struggle against injustice! In this manner, not only do we cement the truth of atrocities committed in Srebrenica, but we take one fundamental step toward thwarting genocides committed in future conflicts.

Canada’s commitment to peacekeeping is well recognized and appreciated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We hold Canadians in high regard and this motion is yet another proof of your high moral standards and commitment to human rights, peace, and justice. On behalf of all the innocent victims of genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we appeal to you to adopt the proposed Resolution M-416. As the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide will be commemorated on July 11, 2010, we sincerely hope, and respectfully ask that the initiative be taken, to have the Resolution adopted by this time. With this hope, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and respect.

Most sincere regards,

Emir Ramic, the Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada (IRGC), Chair,
Murat Tahirovic, President of Association of Concentration-camp Detainees Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Natasa Kandic, the founder and executive director of Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, Serbia,
Munira Subasic, President of the Association: Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves,
Bakira Hasecic, President of the Association of Women Victims of War,
Amor Masovic, Director of Institute for Missing Persons,
Sead Selman, Director of Union civil war victims of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina