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THE PRIJEDOR WHITE BAND
Autor: Emir Ramić
Objavljeno: 31. May 2017. 13:05:41
BOSNIAN / BOSANSKI




BY EMIR RAMIC: The Serbian Republic, when in Prijedor on May 31st, 1992, issued an order via local radio that the non-Serb population mark their houses with white flags or sheets, as well as wrapping white tape on their right hand before leaving their houses. This extremely humiliating act was confirmed by members of the European observation mission, which in August 1992 in the area of Prijedor noticed a white flag on the Bosniak and Croatian homes, so they can be distinguished from the Serbian houses.
In order for the genocide in Prijedor to be committed there were required centuries of antagonism and hatred. This created a criminal ideology, which through it’s own hegemonic projects gave guidelines for concrete implementation. In order for the planners to justify the genocide, the associated criminal enterprise, had to resort to the dehumanization of Bosniaks and Croats. In order to achieve this, they needed to change the perception of their crimes to an honorable, heroic deed. With this opinion, there is a clash with “sub human” members of society, who need to be cut off in order not to be infect the other “civilized” world. The genocide in Prijedor begun with such preconceptions.

In the multitude of such procedures it should be particularly noted the utterly humiliating and stigmatizing individuals in the way of marking potential victims as the simplest form of dehumanization, which was inherited from the time Nazis in World War II forced the Jews to wear the characteristic of the Star of David on their right hand. Thus, this accounted for the end of the twentieth century in the heart of civilized Europe by self-proclaimed authorities. The Serbian Republic, when in Prijedor on May 31st, 1992, issued an order via local radio that the non-Serb population mark their houses with white flags or sheets, as well as wrapping white tape on their right hand before leaving their houses. This extremely humiliating act was confirmed by members of the European observation mission, which in August 1992 in the area of Prijedor noticed a white flag on the Bosniak and Croatian homes, so they can be distinguished from the Serbian houses. The observation mission could therefore immediately compare this situation with the Nazi proclamation from 1939, when the Polish Jews were required to wear white bands with the Star of David on their sleeves, it was in this way that they were marked for extermination. After five decades, Serbian fascists used the same ideology by exercising the same dishonest and rigid dehumanization, which is nothing but a preparation for more serious crimes against Humanity and International Law in which victims followed quickly after marking.

Although, there were no there were combat operations in Prijedor, marking non-Serbs meant nothing more than the implementation of public campaign of ethnic cleansing and the “final solution of the Bosniak and Croatian questions” on the way to complete oppression. So they quickly formed camps for those who were “marked” in which they carried out the most heinous torture and brutal torture, rape, mutilation and mass executions.

Institutional introduction of white tape for non-Serbs meant, nothing less than a license for “free hunting” at yesterday’s neighbors and friends, and now all of a sudden at the bottom of the humiliated people, who with these markings for the apartheid government became non human and were being prepared for extraction. Therefore, the people from the violent fascists groups could arrest, prosecute, pillage, murder, and commit various atrocities because these people were outlawed. In this manner, Bosniaks and Croats were murdered everywhere. The bodies of the murdered, according to to testimonials, lay for days scattered everywhere, then those who were captured were taken as prisoner and gathered on trucks which transported them to an unknown destination. In this morbid campaign of ethnic extermination of the area the Prijedor municipality, 3 172 civilians among those were more than a hundred children were killed. Some families were completely suppressed whereas in other instances only one eighth member of a family remained, such is the case with Hava Tatarevic from the village Zecovi, who lost her entire family. The Cetniks killed her husbands and six sons. In addition to mass indiscriminate killings, more than 30,000 people passed through the Prijedor concentration camps of death. In the same way non-Serb populations were deemed as outside the law, so were their religious, cultural and economic goods places outside the law, in accordance with available destructive affections as individuals, such can be said for institutions and the organ of parastatal authorities of Prijedor and the parastatal creation of the Repubic of Serbia.

Today, the continuity of fascist ideas reflect massive violations of basic human rights and freedoms of refugees and returnees, survivors, victims, and witnesses of genocide. The frustrated municipal government of Prijedor never publicly acknowledged the work of the then fascist government nor did they show remorse for the suffering experienced by thousands of Bosniaks and Croats and provide a hand of reconciliation and repentance. Oppositions of the Prijedor governing establishment regrets that it did not solve the question of the “undesirables, anti-national elements”, Bosniaks and Croats. This shows the attitude towards survivors who are prevented from publicly speaking about the crimes and the celebration of the same, when they are denied basic human rights, the right to freedom of speech and the right to memory. This is obvious proof that aggression and genocide in Prijedor continues by other means, that the fascist idea of the “end justifies the means” has its continuity in Prijedor. Denial of aggression and genocide, and the denial of the undeniable facts about the crimes of the Yugoslav National Army (YNA), military and police entities of the Republic of Serbia, the army and army of Serbia and Montenegro, volunteer groups and formations. Nothing else means much to the unchanged stance against Bosniaks and Croats in Prijedor, which according to the fascist ideology has no place in the territory of Prijedor, which Serbs and Montenegrins charted for itself.

We seek that May 31st becomes a permanent feature of the date of Prijedor “White tape”, as the term reflects the fascist apartheid, that it be institutionalized and become part of the institutional memory. It is also the opportunity for May 31st to be designated as the day for the mark against physical marking of people, morbid dehumanization, segregation and apartheid, and crimes against humanity and international law, which follows the marked victims. The genocide in Prijedor is an extremely inhumane act which was committed and directed by para-institutional regime in intention of subordination, to dehumanize and create intolerable living conditions in order to be fast and cruel process to the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb ethnic element. It was in this way that not only was it able to created a different legal status of non-Serbs in relation to ethnic Serbs, but as a complete disenfranchisement of non-Serbs on a “racial law”, which quickly achieved with the detention, torture and executions in concentration camps in Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, and many other places of detention. Especially in instances of the terrible crimes committed when deported, at Koricanske rocks near Travnik, where the “honor farewell”, where over 200 people were thrown in the ravine and killed.

We would remind the international public that the genocide and other forms of crimes against humanity and international law, within the Prijedor Municipality, lasted continuously from 1992-1995 and killed 102 children, 256 women, a total of 3,173 civilians, 31,000 people were detained in the death camps, 53.000 people are victims of persecution and deportation. In just three months 94 percent of Bosniaks. In Prijedor, Bosniaks and Croats were eradicated via a mass genocide, culturicide, ecocide, ethnocide, urbicide, eliticide, deliberate, organized mass murders, deportation, and rape.

We therefore call upon all friends of truth and justice in the world to mark the International Day of White Armbands in Prijedor, on May 31st 2015. The wearing of white armbands not only symbolises the remembrance of the persecution, but also recognises the ongoing struggle against fascism – not yet defeated in Prijedor and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Twenty years after the horrific crimes referred to herein, discrimination and crude violations of human rights and basic freedoms continue to be perpetrated against the city’s remaining Bosniak and Croat inhabitants. Different methods are used to continue the policies of aggression and genocide. Bosniak and Croat communities are deliberately and systematically being prevented from returning to their homes and reviving their legitimate, lawful presence in the municipality. Returnees are prevented from attaining their pre-war careers, positions, and property. The Municipality invests minimally, when at all in renovating/replacing/reviving those parts of the municipality that were targeted and purposely destroyed.

We call on all international political, academic, legal entities worldwide, who believe and function within systems of truth and justice; together with all who struggle for human rights and freedom – to help Prijedor’s parents to finally build a monument worthy of 102 innocent boys and girls who lost their lives to fascist genocide in Prijedor. Petition for construction of the monument was given last year, however, the city council in has not voted on the initiative of this monument. We protest against this uncivilized conduct of Prijedor political establishment, led by Mayor Marko Pavic, who continues to dehumanise the survivors of that genocide.

We ask the world’s leaders and the most important international political, academic and judicial organizations to assist in resolving this emergency, through additional efforts to seek the unconditional compliance with this just struggle of Prijedor’s surviving victims and witnesses of aggression and genocide; for memory; truth and justice – without which there will be no reconciliation or happier common future in Prijedor and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We seek that May 31st becomes a permanent feature of the date of Prijedor “White tape”, as the term reflects the fascist apartheid, that it be institutionalized and become part of the institutional memory. It is also the opportunity for May 31st to be designated as the day for the mark against physical marking of people, morbid dehumanization, segregation and apartheid, and crimes against humanity and international law, which follows the marked victims. The genocide in Prijedor is an extremely inhumane act which was committed and directed by para-institutional regime in intention of subordination, to dehumanize and create intolerable living conditions in order to be fast and cruel process to the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb ethnic element. It was in this way that not only was it able to created a different legal status of non-Serbs in relation to ethnic Serbs, but as a complete disenfranchisement of non-Serbs on a “racial law”, which quickly achieved with the detention, torture and executions in concentration camps in Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, and many other places of detention. Especially in instances of the terrible crimes committed when deported, at Koricanske rocks near Travnik, where the “honor farewell”, where over 200 people were thrown in the ravine and killed.



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