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Remembering Srebrenica

Published Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Coventry remembered the victims of the genocide at Srebrenica, when councillors stood in silence, 22 years after thousands lost their lives.

The city joined a nationwide movement led by charity Commemorating Srebrenica to make sure the horror during the Bosnian Conflict is never forgotten.

Srebrenica was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.

In July 1995, more than 8,000 Muslim Bosnians, mainly men and boys in and around the town of Srebrenica, were massacred. Over 25,000 women, children and elderly people were also forced from the area and suffered terrible abuse.

Councillors at Tuesday’s (11 July) meeting of the Full Council stood for a minute’s silence after Lord Mayor Councillor Tony Skipper read a short statement about the anniversary and how Coventry, as a city of peace and reconciliation, will work with others to try and make sure that all people can live a life free of war and terror.

The silence was also a tribute to the victims and those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy and terror attacks at Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park Mosque.

The Lord Mayor said: “It is important that we remember the horrors of the past - not just as a mark of respect for the victims, but so we can learn from them and make sure they are never allowed to happen again.

“Coventry has been leading the call for an end to conflict and for people to live together in friendship for over 70 years – a message that has sadly become even more relevant to us all after the recent terror attacks.

“We lead by example in our wonderful multicultural city, where people of all faiths and races live as one happy, united community and our city is a symbol that we can emerge from the dark days of war and build a brighter future.

“And we reach out to others around the world, such as our twin city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to work with them and show that hatred and intolerance have no place in today’s world.

“We are proud to be joining others around the country to show our respect for the city and the people of Srebrenica and to send them the wishes of the people of Coventry for a peaceful, brighter future.”

The UK's Srebrenica Memorial Week, this year runs from 9-16 July and will see a number of services and public events.

It is organised by Remembering Srebrenica, a British charity that works to counter discrimination and build stronger community relations.

The theme this year is 'Breaking the silence: Gender and Genocide', which aims to raise awareness of the devastating use of sexual crime as a weapon of war, as well as highlight the extraordinary courage displayed by Bosnian women.

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