A memorial event will be held tomorrow (Wednesday 11 July) outside City Hall on College Green to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, where more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serbian nationalist forces.

Councillor Afzal Shah (Labour – Easton ward), who has also tabled  a motion for next week’s Full Council meeting, has organised the event. He said:

“The genocide at Srebrenica constitutes the worst mass murder in mainland Europe since the Second World War. It truly shocked the world more than two decades ago. More than 8,000 Muslims were killed by Ratko Mladic’s nationalist forces. Tens of thousands more Bosniaks were forceably transferred out of what was supposed to be a United Nations’ safe zone – suffering rape, abuse, and torture in the process.

Bristol is a City of Sanctuary, committed to continue Britain’s proud legacy of supporting refugees and asylum seekers, which dates back to the Kindertransport and beyond.

Recent community events like the Grand Iftar in my ward of Easton have exemplified the tolerance and community cohesion which charities like Remembering Srebrenica are working hard to promote here at home and around the world.

I invite everyone to join us outside City Hall tomorrow afternoon to remember and mark this tragic anniversary.”

Notes to Editor

Councillor Afzal Shah (photo attached); the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Lesley Alexander; and other community leaders will be speaking at the event tomorrow, Wednesday 11 July, where a memorial flag will be raised in memory of the victims. People are invited to gather at 1pm at the flagpoles outside of City Hall on College Green.

Remembering Srebrenica, a registered charity, promotes community cohesion and tolerance at home and abroad while also supporting commemoration and educational events: https://www.srebrenica.org.uk/

Councillor Shah’s motion, in full:


To be moved by Councillor Afzal Shah (Labour – Easton ward)

Full Council:

  • Notes that 2018 is the twenty-third anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which saw over 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed by Serbian nationalist forces.
  • Notes that in 2009 the European Parliament passed a resolution that 11 July should be recognised as the day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide all over the EU; and in 2015 urged the development of educational and cultural programmes that promote an understanding of the causes of such atrocities and raise awareness about the need to nurture peace and to promote human rights and interreligious tolerance. All UK political parties have supported the work of Remembering Srebrenica in this regard.
  • Applauds the work of those involved in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their surviving relatives, including the International Commission of Missing People (ICMP) and the Mothers of Srebrenica, whose courage and humility in the face of unthinkable horror is an inspiration to us all.
  • Commends the work of the charity, Remembering Srebrenica, in raising awareness of this tragic and preventable genocide and working in communities across Britain to help them learn the lessons of Srebrenica.

The Council resolves to:

  • Offer support to Remembering Srebrenica delegates from Bristol who visited Bosnia on the ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ education programme and have been working tirelessly in the community to raise awareness of the genocide and learn the lessons of Srebrenica.
  • Support Srebrenica memorial events in July each year throughout Bristol as part of the UK-wide Remembering Srebrenica Memorial Week.
  • Support the work of Remembering Srebrenica in communities across Bristol to learn the lessons from Srebrenica to tackle hatred and intolerance to help build a better, safer and more cohesive society for everyone.
  • Support the work of schools and education providers to bring the lessons of Srebrenica to young people across Bristol.
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