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The institute for Research of Genocide Canada
THE ONGOING VIOLATIONS OF GENOCIDE VICTIMS' RIGHTS IN PRIJEDOR
In Prijedor mass genocide, culturecide, ecocide, ethnocide, urbicide, elitocida, massive, deliberate, organized killing, expulsion, rape of primarily Bosniaks and the Croats was conducted. Killing of Bosniaks were carried out everywhere, dead bodies were present on the streets for days, and then they were collected and transported to different locations. A particular example is the killing of inmates in the region of Koricanske rocks (Municipality Skender Vakuf), on 21 August 1992. More than two hundred detainees were killed. Members of the intervention platoon of the police killed individuals and threw the dead bodies in the ravine 200 meters deep. In addition to the mass (128 graves, with 1511 bodies) and individual (278 graves, with 278 bodies) graves exhumed in the municipality of Prijedor, bodies were also found in mass and individual graves in 16 other cities. Out of 312 exhumed bodies, 276 were identified.
The genocide in Prijedor was explored at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) during Slobodan Milosevic’s trial and in the interim indictments against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. The genocide in Prijedor so far convicted 28 people, in the ICTY. However the prosecution of genocide in Prijedor was also present in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the District Court in Banja Luka.
Twenty years later, the genocide in Prijedor continues through other means. Survivors are not entitled to mark the truth about these atrocities, they do not have the right to justice and no right to remember the crimes that shocked the whole world, demonstrating that the lessons of the Holocaust have not been learned. Without truth about the genocide in Prijedor and justice for the victims of these crimes there is no true coexistence. Allowing residents to commemorate the genocide is necessary to restore the old and true city of Prijedor, which at the moment is not a city.
When discussing such a serious event it is important to ask, whether Mr. Marko Pavic, president of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly, together with his yes-men, the former creators and perpetrators of the atrocious crimes are entitled to deny the surviving victims of genocide in Prijedor the right to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of this genocide? Are the deputies of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor entitled to make decisions about the continuation of genocide? Is the police in Prijedor and the Republika Srpska allowed to demonstrate genocidal intent twenty years after the genocide?
Will 31st May 1992 be repeated when the Serbian authorities in Prijedor issued the marking of houses with white flags and bed sheets of non-Serb population? Will 31 May 1992 be repeated when the Serbian authorities ordered the non-Serb population of Prijedor to wear white stripes on the sleeves when leaving their houses? These instances were a clear demonstration that the world has not learned the lessons from the Holocaust?
How long will the world keep silent about the crimes and the elimination of 94 percent of the Bosniak and Croat population from the Prijedor Municipality, tolerating violations of the rights of victims of genocide and allowing the reawakening of Ravna Gora Chetnik movement with more than 200 people in black with Chetnik uniform participating? This was a movement that was on the side of fascism and Nazism during the Second World War?
Until when will the Bosniak political establishment keep silent about the genocide in Prijedor, calmly watching the continuation of torture of survivors of genocide, ingratiating themselves with the enemies of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosniaks in particular, tolerating a daily movement of criminals on the streets of Prijedor. Until when will the Bosniak political establishment stand by as the privatization of the former concentration camp of Omarska by ArcelorMittal takes place, prohibiting victims entry to the camp. This privatization also goes for the concentration camps camps Keratern and Trnopolje by the Municipality. Through privatization of public property, there is an aim to undo all the testimonies of the genocide in Prijedor.
On this day twenty years ago Serbian authorities forcibly seized the town of Prijedor from its citizens and issued orders to all non-Serbs to wear white white armbands and place white sheets on their windows for the purpose of easy recognition to the Serb forces. Such crimes cannot be remembered since the Holocaust, which the same tactics were used before the mass executions of Jews. Such crimes must be sanctioned and commemorated so they never happen again. Thus The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada invites all our friends of truth and justice to wear a white armband around the your arm in solidarity with all the victims of genocide in the world, for the victims of these crimes currently living in North America and the Bosnian Diaspora in general.
The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada invites all of the world’s most influential political, and legal entities, as well as organizations and institutions that are fighting against genocide in the world to protect human rights and freedoms and to protect the right of the survivors of genocide and families of victims in Prijedor. We call upon you not for the sake of
revenge, but for a better future for Prijedor and Bosnia and Herzegovina to help make this happen so that genocide should never happen again. At this moment the only options are truth and justice.
Director of the Institute for the Research Genocide, Canada