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Remembering Srebrenica - statement from Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council

Remembering Srebrenica

Remembering Srebrenica

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Remembering Srebrenica

This week, Islington joins those across the country in remembering the genocide that took place in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica 23 years ago.

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces in one of the most horrific incidents in European history.

As someone who worked in the Balkans during the early 2000s, I have a particular personal connection to the area. The awful events that took place at Srebrenica, and throughout the war in that region, have had a lasting impact on me, both personally and professionally.

Each year we mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and as part of these events we mark other genocides and tragedies, including Srebrenica. These moving and powerful events are multi-faith events and we invite local school pupils to attend to learn about the past, in the hope it will never be repeated. In 2015, we were honoured to hear from a Bosnian refugee about the genocide in Srebrenica, who spoke about their personal experiences.

Islington is a wonderful and diverse borough, that people of all faiths and backgrounds have made their home. It is that diversity which is one of Islington’s great strengths. The council works hard with the local community and partner organisations to make it clear that all forms of hate crime, discrimination and racism are not tolerated in Islington. People and organisations can show their support for reducing hate crime by signing the Islington Hate Crime Pledge here.

Our anti-hate crime work is incredibly important to me, particularly following the terrible terrorist attack our borough suffered in June 2017 in Finsbury Park. Whilst the terrorist sought to divide our community, they only brought us all closer together.

This year, to mark the 23rd anniversary of Srebrenica, the council is encouraging local people to think about those who lost their lives and what we must all do to ensure that neither they, nor the lessons of that tragedy, are ever forgotten.

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For more information on Srebrenica and Srebrenica Memorial Week please see Remembering Srebrenica