I urge you to seriously reconsider Mr. Dodik's visit

Dear Kevin Eric Laney, Radmila Gorup, John Micgiel, Katherine Brooks, John Coatsworth, Timothy Frye, Gordon Bardos

I wish to express my grave concern and disappointment over the visit of the Republika Srpska (RS) President, Milorad Dodik, to an institution as serious and as renowned as Columbia University. It is a great perversion of academic freedom to welcome a genocide denier who tirelessly promotes ethnic division within Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Mr. Dodik has openly stated that "Bosnian Serbs will never accept that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8,000 Muslims was genocide." Would any institution in the US welcome a person who denies genocide of Jewish people in World War II? By denying genocide, Mr. Dodik is actively working against the peace and reconciliation process within BiH. Both the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have ruled that what happened in Srebrenica was genocide. In addition, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 199, which defined the crime as genocide.

Mr. Dodik's morally reproachable rhetoric on Srebrenica and his obstructionist attitude towards Bosnia as a unified state threatens the peace, stability and prosperity of not only BiH but also Southeast Europe. He constantly menaces the country with the possibility of secession by the RS (territory which exists solely as a result of mass ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs), denies the validity of the BiH state court system, and intensely opposes the prosecution of war crimes committed during the aggression on BiH in the early 1990s.

By allowing Mr. Dodik to propagate his destructive agenda at Columbia University, you are permitting the spread of hate, intolerance and the denial of genocide. I urge you to seriously reconsider Mr. Dodik's visit. It is a liability that no neutral institution would want.


Professor Emir Ramic

Director Canadian Institute for Genocide