Peace Overseer Urges Legal Action against Politician Threatening Genocide

The international peace overseer in Bosnia called for legal action against a senior Bosnian Serb official for a “hurtful” and “threatening” tweet one day before the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of genocide at Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia.

High Representative Valenzin Inzko condemned Rajko Vasić, a senior member of the ruling party in Republika Srpska entity, the SNSD, for tweeting “… if you like that genocide against you so much, wait to see what happens the next time”.

In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces captured the Bosniak-held enclave of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war. The forces led by general Ratko Mladić separated women and men and organized an operation of mass executions of the men. More than 7,000 were killed and dumped in mass graves. Several hundred are still unaccounted for.

This July 11, a collective funeral for 35 recently identified victims was organized at the Potočari memorial cemetery outside Srebrenica. More than 6,500 identified victims were buried at the cemetery so far.

“The genocide committed in Srebrenica is a fact confirmed by two international tribunals. Those who seek to gain political benefit through glorifying war crimes and disrespecting the victims and their families are acting outside the norms of civilization,” said HR Inzko.

“Specifically, the statement made by Rajko Vasic, SNSD Main Board member, on the Srebrenica genocide – on the day of the burial of Srebrenica genocide victims and the day of commemoration – goes far beyond a denial. Apart from being deplorable, hurtful and offensive, it threatens violence. And not any violence. It threatens genocide. This is a criminal offence. The Federation Criminal Code contains a specific incrimination, and the Federation Criminal Code is for such offences applicable wherever they are committed. The High Representative urges the competent judicial bodies to promptly react.”

The United States Embassy to Bosnia joined Inzko’s statement.

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