Pismo u vezi bijelih traka

April 13, 2016.
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
On behalf of over 50,000 Canadian Bosniaks, including survivors, witnesses and descendants of the Bosnian War and Genocide (including the Srebrenica Genocide - considered to be the greatest atrocity to have taken place on European soil since the end of World War II), the Canadian Branch of the Congress of North American Bosniaks, and the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada (IGC) respectfully request that you issue a statement marking May 31, 2016, as the "World White Armband Day". This campaign aims to draw attention to the continued denial of war crimes, as well as the discrimination of non-Serb victims of the war by the local government in the city of Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2012, a global campaign titled "Stop Genocide Denial" was launched to draw attention to the violations of the rights of the victims of the war in Prijedor and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thousands of people in Canada and from around the world joined in wearing white armbands on May 31st of that year (and continue to do so every year since then) in solidarity with the families of the victims.
This campaign hopes to counter human rights violations such as: the police ban of commemorative gatherings of the victims of genocide; the refusal of Mayor Marko Pavic and the Prijedor local authorities to permit the construction of a memorial for the 102 innocent children that were killed in Prijedor during the war; their refusal to allow the installation of a monument to commemorate the innocent civilian victims that were killed in the notorious concentration camp at Omarska.
On May 31, 1992 (shortly after the beginning of the war), the Bosnian Serb authorities in Prijedor issued an order through the local radio stations instructing the non-Serb members of the population to mark their houses with white flags and to put a white armband around their sleeve whenever in public. This was the beginning of a campaign of extermination of the non-Serb population of Prijedor, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of 94% of the Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) and Bosnian Croat population from the Prijedor municipality. This was the first time since 1939 – when a Nazi decree required Polish Jews to wear white armbands with the Star of David on their sleeves – that members of an ethnic or religious group were marked for extermination in such a manner.
In May of 2012, the police in Prijedor banned a public gathering commemorating the brutal murder of women, children, and civilians that occurred in Prijedor during the Bosnian War, from 1992 to 1995. In addition, Prijedor's municipal assembly passed a directive to criminally prosecute human rights activists from Prijedor; the local police continue to implement these decisions with vigour.
On December 10, 2012, as the international community commemorated the 64th International Human Rights Day, the Prijedor police placed itself above the laws of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity of Bosnia and banned a peaceful march that aimed to mark this anniversary.
Please issue this statement and show that you stand in solidarity with the victims of human rights abuses in Prijedor and around the globe. We urge the Canadian Government to ensure that the police, in their activities and duties, do not discriminate against individuals and organizations based on their ethnicity, and request that all cases of human rights abuses and violations be investigated. Lastly, we urge Canada and international human rights organizations to stand with us in defending the freedom of peaceful assembly and the basic human rights of marginalized individuals and groups in Prijedor.
Professor Dr Emir Ramic
Chairman of the Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada