Open letters over vile tweet by Serbian official


An insulting tweet posted by the Deputy Speaker of Serbia's Parliament which seems to ridicule the death of the head of the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' association has drawn a barrage of reactions from political actors in Bosnia, with some calling for cutting cooperation with Serbia’s Parliament.

“I ask of you, as a lawmaker from Podrinje, Srebrenica, to halt any kind of cooperation with Serbia’s Assembly until someone apologises for this (…),” a state lawmaker from the Independent Bloc political party, Sadik Ahmetovic, wrote in an open letter addressed to the Chairman of the state Parliament and his deputies.  

The Deputy Speaker of Serbia’s Parliament and member of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Vjerica Radeta, took to Twitter on Tuesday and posted the controversial tweet.

“I read that Hatidza Mehmedovic from the association of Srebrenica businesswomen has died. Who is going to bury her? The husband or sons?” she wrote.

The tweet was later deleted. 

The Serbian Radical Party has repeatedly disputed the genocide in Srebrenica and called it a hoax.

Mehmedovic lost two sons, Almir (18) and Azmir (21), as well as her husband Abdulah (44), in the 1995 massacre but returned to her hometown in 2003.  

She ran the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’ association, raising awareness about the massacre in Srebrenica, often referred to as the worst crime committed on European soil since WWII. She advocated for the perpetrators to be brought to justice for more than 20 years.  

On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian enclave and rounded up the town’s Muslim Bosniaks, separated men from women and little children and systematically executed some 8,000 men and boys.  

Two international courts, The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the World Court later ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide.  

The leader of the Nasa Stranka (Our Party) political party wrote an open letter to the Serbian Embassy in Bosnia, criticising Radeta’s tweet.  

“Considering that we are speaking about a person who serves a very important function in the governmental system of the Republic of Serbia and that her statement has not only shaken Bosniaks, but all of us citizens in Bosnia, I consider it necessary to reach out to you with this letter and ask of you, as the diplomatic representative of Serbia in Bosnia, to publically distance yourself from the stance of the Deputy Head of your National Assembly,” party leader Predrag Kojovic wrote.