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Protest Letter to Eric Frey, Austrian publicist and political scientist, regarding his commentary on the Srebrenica Genocide in the Austrian national daily broadsheet newspaper Der Standard

March 30, 2016.
Mr. Eric Frey
Editor for the Austrian newspaper Der Standard
E-Mail: eric.frey@derStandard.at

Dear Mr. Frey,

The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada (IGC) strongly protests your commentary in the Austrian national daily broadsheet newspaper Der Standard, published on March 25, 2016, regarding the Srebrenica Genocide, in which you openly question this genocide.

We would like to remind you that the events that occurred in and around Srebrenica in July of 1995 have been recognized as genocide by the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the U.S. Congress and Senate, the Canadian Parliament, the Australian Parliament, and the European Parliament. Moreover, there is a general consensus among experts in the study of genocide that the systematic killing of more than 8,372 Bosniaks in Srebrenica constitute an act of genocide. For you to divert attention from these facts appears as nothing more than an attempt to absolve the Serbian leadership and the perpetrators of genocide from the responsibility of their deliberate actions during the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.

It is even more disappointing and shocking to us that you question the use of the term “genocide” with regards to Srebrenica immediately after the sentencing of Radovan Karadžić to 40 years in prison for the Srebrenica Genocide.

We believe that you have a moral responsibility to stop questioning the Srebrenica Genocide; it is hurtful to the victims and undermines the integrity of your newspaper. You have no right to do this any more than you have a right to question the Holocaust. The fact of the Srebrenica Genocide cannot be questioned, as it is one of the most documented and undeniable cases of genocide in modern history.

Individual and collective instances of genocide denial; the glorification of war criminals; degrading comments made towards Bosniaks and Croats; the ban on installing monuments to victims of the war; acts of discrimination and provocation aimed at returnees in Republika Srpska – these all demonstrate that the genocidal legacy of Radovan Karadzic continues to live on in Bosnia’s smaller entity. The failure of the ICTY to reach a conviction for genocide in the seven Bosnian municipalities is painful and insulting to the victims and survivors of the war. This will no doubt encourage a new wave of genocide denial.

It is only in fully accepting the past that we can build a future of true and lasting reconciliation. It is only through the punishing of the perpetrators of genocide that we can provide justice, so that the families of the victims can heal. And it is only in addressing evil by its proper name that we can find the strength to defeat it.

One of the most important ways to prevent genocide is to stop its denial. Thus, we respectfully ask that you issue a public apology to victims of the Srebrenica Genocide. It is the least you can do to honour the victims and preserve the truth.

Professor Emir Ramic
Chairman of the Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada