Croatian Parliament Marks Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day

The Croatian parliament has held a memorial ceremony to commemorate more than 8,000 Bosniaks killed by Serb forces in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.
The ceremony marking Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day, which is observed on July 11, was held under the auspices of Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic and organised by the parliamentary group representing the ethnic minorities, MP Ermina Lekaj-Prljaskaj, and the federation of Bosniak associations in Croatia on Friday, said report by Hina and N1.
Deputy Speaker Zeljko Reiner, who represented Jandrokovic, said that the memory of 8,732 people killed reopens the wounds of their families.
“The mothers of Srebrenica have been fighting for justice for years, they have lived to see court judgments, but unfortunately they will never find their peace of mind. The affirmation of the sentence of life imprisonment for war criminal Ratko Mladic has ended a trial for the gravest crimes committed on European soil after World War II. Croatia considers this sentence to be appropriate, but not the ones that have been imposed on (Serbian security service officials) Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. We hope they will get tougher sentences on appeal,” Reiner said.
“We are also dissatisfied by the fact that top Serbian officials who participated in the joint criminal enterprise were never convicted and that many war criminals and their inciters still live peacefully, while their victims have been dead for more than a quarter of a century. We cannot be pleased that Mladic was not found guilty of numerous crimes committed during the aggression on Croatia, where he embarked on his killing campaign continued in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We remember and honour the victims of the Serbian aggression both in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
Justice Minister Ivan Malenica, representing Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, said that Croatia remembers the Srebrenica victims and sympathises with their families, while President Zoran Milanovic’s adviser on human rights and civil society, Melita Mulic, said that time will not heal the wounds, but that it is important that justice is served so that the victims can rest in peace. “It is up to us to ensure that Europe and the world never again remain silent,” she added.
Ermina Lekaj-Prljaskaj, who represents the Albanian, Bosniak, Montenegrin, Macedonian, and Slovenian minorities in Parliament, said that the killing of more than 8,000 people in Srebrenica was one of the most brutal atrocities committed on European soil after World War II.
“Srebrenica is a symbol of ethnic cleansing and a defeat of the civilised world and international community. What happened there is unacceptable and inexplicable. Hatred, extremism and intolerance are not the right way. We have an obligation to build lasting peace in this region so that nothing like that ever happens again. We owe that to the victims of Srebrenica,” she said.
Kadro Kulasin, the head of Bosniak associations in Croatia, said that they are not seeking revenge, despite the injustice done to them, but justice for the innocent victims.
“The policy of Serbian territorial expansion and the genocide of more than 8,000 people under the leadership of Ratko Mladic happened before the eyes of the United Nations and the Security Council,” Kulasin warned, adding that more than 1,000 residents of Srebrenica were still unaccounted for.
Hasan Hasanovic, one of the survivors of the massacre, said: “One cannot live off the past, but without truth we will not have a future.” Recounting his ordeal on the way from Srebrenica to free territory, he said he had carried his wounded younger brother for nine and a half hours, who later died, and seen the dead bodies of at least 1,000 people along the way.
Another survivor, Nermin Mujkanovic, said that the genocide had been planned and executed, after which attempts had been made to cover it up. “The last phase is its denial,” he said.
“The international community should have done more to prevent the genocide. We call for peace and for protection of human dignity,” Mujkanovic said.