Theme of 2022 UK Srebrenica Memorial Week focuses on genocide denial

NEWS 08.02.202217:00 0 komentara

The UK Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, MP Chris Heaton-Harris, officially launched Remembering Srebrenica’s 2022 UK Theme ‘Combatting Denial: Confronting Hatred’ in the Houses of Parliament to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the 1995 genocide in Bosnia.

The UK is the largest commemorator in the world of local Srebrenica memorial activities which are organised by the British charity Remembering Srebrenica UK through its eight English regional boards and three country boards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1,450 Community Champions to honour the victims and survivors of the genocide and teach people about the dangers of hatred and the importance of building more cohesive communities for all, a press release by the charity said.

Each year the organisation selects a theme that “both reflects an aspect of the genocide that must be commemorated, but also speaks to communities here in the UK” and the initiative will include hundreds of acts of commemorations taking place across the country in local communities, schools and town halls during UK Srebrenica Memorial Week between July 4th and July 11th this year.

The theme for 2022 is ‘Combatting Denial: Confronting Hatred’.

“Despite the fact that the killings at Srebrenica have been classified as genocide by both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, denial of this atrocity remains prevalent, and a failure to confront the reality of the past has led to more pain and suffering for the survivors of the genocide. Denial serves as a significant impediment to peace and reconciliation (which can never be achieved without acknowledgement), increases hatred and division and contributes to the glorification of the perpetrators. In the UK, communities are only too aware of the damaging impact that denial can have for individuals and community cohesion,” Remembering Srebrenica UK said.

Apart from Heaton-Harris, other speakers at the Theme Launch included: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, President of Remembering Srebrenica and former Minister for Faith in the UK government; Yasmin Qureshi MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Srebrenica; Alicia Kearns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Rt Hon. Ian Blackford MP, Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons; Fleur Anderson MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity; Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP, Former United Nations Commander of British Forces in Bosnia; Safet Vukalic BEM, a Bosnian genocide survivor from Prijedor; His Excellency Vanja Filipovic, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Kingdom and Hana Ceric, a second-generation Bosnian survivor.

“We are proud that our country is the largest commemorator of Srebrenica memorial activities in the world. We hope that this year’s theme will not only seek to bring people together to learn the lessons of the past in order to create stronger, more inclusive communities but also inspire future generations to take action to combat denial and challenge hatred and intolerance,” said Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica.

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