MASSE LAUNCHES SREBRENICA REMEMBRANCE DAY CAMPAIGN: Presents motion to be introduced in the House of Commons this fall

August 29, 2009

MASSE LAUNCHES SREBRENICA REMEMBRANCE DAY CAMPAIGN: Presents motion to be introduced in the House of Commons this fall

Windsor, ON – Today Brian Masse M.P., NDP Industry, Automotive, and Border Critic along with Imam Dr. Zijad Delic, Emir Ramic, President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks-Canada, the Canadian Bosniak community and many supporters launched the campaign for a Srebrenica Remembrance Day in Canada with the public presentation of a motion to be introduced in the House of Commons this upcoming fall session.

“The time is long past due for Canada to declare July 11 Srebrenica Remembrance Day. This anniversary raises awareness of the tragic suffering of the people of Bosnia and honours and remembers those who were killed as a result of the policies of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995,” Masse stated. “With this declaration, Canada acknowledges the importance of this event in helping to bring closure for the Bosnian people through truth and justice. The institutionalization of Srebrenica Remembrance Day every July 11 will help to inform future generations and assist all of us to work towards peaceful coexistence.”

After the fall of Srebrenica on July 11th 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic (an indicted war criminal), and paramilitary units rapidly executed more than 8,000 Bosniak (Muslim) men, boys, and elderly, who had sought safety in the area. Moreover, approximately 30,000 people were forcibly deported in an UN-assisted ethnic cleansing. The European Parliament resolution referred to the Srebrenica Massacre as "the biggest war crime in Europe since the end of WWII." This atrocity has been declared an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in 2005 have passed resolutions on the Srebrenica Genocide and all the atrocities that occurred during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. The European parliament passed its resolution on January 15, 2009 institutionalizing July 11 as the day of Remembrance for the Srebrenica Genocide.

Senad Alicehajic, President of the Bosnian Club of Windsor, stated “We are also here today to recognize the fact that individuals committed these terrible acts, but it is the ideology of ethnic cleansing, fascism, racial and cultural discriminations, Nazism, and hatred that allowed them to carryout these atrocities. While the perpetrators of these crimes need to be brought to justice it is equally important that these false ideologies be condemned. The Srebrenica Remembrance Day will provide just such an opportunity.”

“The US Congress, both the House and Senate have passed resolutions. The European Parliament has done the same earlier this year. The House of Commons needs to act. With this motion the opportunity presents itself for Canada to join other countries in doing something that should have been done long ago,” Masse stated.

For more information please contact: Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816