- A new, Gloucestershire-wide awards scheme for community members who stand up to hatred and intolerance and work to build better communities.
- The “We are One” Upstander Awards will be launched in Cheltenham on 11 July the national Srebrenica day of remembrance, at Cheltenham Municipal Offices at 6.30pm.
- Remembering Srebrenica’s South West Co-Chair, Anousheh Haghdadi, said: To stand up and speak out takes courage, and these awards celebrate the courage of those who are upstanders, not bystanders”.
- Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “I was honoured to be among the guests invited to Srebrenica a few years ago. What happened is a warning to the world that hate crime should never be tolerated”.
Remembering Srebrenica, the Gloucestershire Hate Crime and Hate Incident Strategic Group and Victim Support are to launch a Gloucestershire-wide awards scheme for community members who stand up to hatred and intolerance and work to build better communities.
The “We are One” Upstander Awards will be launched in Cheltenham on 11 July the national Srebrenica day of remembrance, at Cheltenham Municipal Offices at 6.30pm.
Speakers will include the Bishop of Gloucester, and Phil Sullivan, Priority Lead for Hate Crime from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Rebecca Richardson, County Hate Crime Co-Ordinator for Victim Support.
Remembering Srebrenica’s South West Co-Chair, Anousheh Haghdadi, said: “We are delighted to be launching the We Are One community awards with such fantastic partners. Remembering Srebrenica’s goal is to honour the victims of the genocide by taking action in our own communities to prevent the insidious spread of prejudice and hatred. To stand up and speak out takes courage, and these awards celebrate the courage of those who are upstanders, not bystanders”.
The genocide in Srebrenica took place on July 11, 1995. 8,372 men were murdered because of their Islamic faith and were buried in mass graves, which are still being uncovered. Over a thousand families are still waiting to give their loved ones a proper burial.
The Cheltenham Srebrenica Commemoration is one of several events being held in Gloucestershire as part of Srebrenica Memorial Week from July 7th – 15th.
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “I was honoured to be among the guests invited to Srebrenica a few years ago to find out more and pay tribute to those who died.
“The evidence of what took place remains etched into the fabric of the town and is seared into the consciousness of those who survived and are trying to rebuild their lives. Every building was riddled with blast and bullet holes like it all happened yesterday.
“The trip was paid for by the Foreign Office and other supporters and in return, I promised to help publicise July 11th as a day of commemoration across Europe in order that present and future generations will remember what happened in the hope it never does again”.
The annual Memorial Week, which takes place around Srebrenica Memorial Day on July 11th, is organised by the charity Remembering Srebrenica. The charity seeks to bring communities together by learning from the past and pledging to tackle all forms of hatred.
This year the charity also aims to highlight the courage of those who resisted a hateful ideology in the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the bravery of the survivors who now bravely speak out.
Many of the events in Britain are interfaith events designed to help also challenge prejudice and hate in local communities.
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica said: “When we are silent in the face of hatred, we allow it to grow and flourish. When we are also silent about the atrocities of the past, we allow ourselves to forget.
“We are determined not only to remember the victims of Srebrenica, but to honour their memories by taking positive action to build stronger, more cohesive communities.”
The launch event is open to all and will be held on 11 July 2018, at 6.30pm at Cheltenham Municipal Offices, The Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 9SA.
The genocide in Srebrenica
- On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić and his forces seized the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, which had been declared a UN “safe zone” in 1993. Over the following week, 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys would be murdered simply because they were Muslim.
- Mladić’s forces systematically separated men and boys (as young as 12 years old) from the women, and took them away to be killed. Women and girls were subjected to inhumane treatment, and in many cases, sexual violence. Rape was used to destabilise and terrorise the local population throughout the 1992 – 1995 war. It is estimated that between 20,000 – 50,000 women were subjected to sexual violence in Bosnia during the war.
- Both the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have ruled Srebrenica a genocide. In March 2016, Radovan Karadžić, former President of what is now known as the Republika Srpska, was found guilty of the genocide at Srebrenica. He is the most senior figure to be convicted of genocide since Nuremburg. The verdict in the Mladić trial was given November 2017 and he was also convicted on two counts of genocide.
- In 2009 the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for all European countries to commemorate Srebrenica Memorial Day on 11 July each year.
The Charity Remembering Srebrenica & Memorial Week
- Remembering Srebrenica is the UK organiser of the EU-designated Srebrenica Memorial Day on 11 July. The charity is part-funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and is supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Prime Minister.
- It is committed to sending 600 individuals on its Lessons from Srebrenica over a three-year period. Each delegate pledges to carry out an activity on their return to the UK. These are designed to raise awareness of the risks of hatred, racism and intolerance, using Srebrenica as an example of an integrated society that disintegrated.
- Over 1, 000 leaders and key figures have gone on the ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ programme to Bosnia who have all then gone on to become Community Champions organising memorial events, giving talks and educating people about genocide, as well as promoting community cohesion. The charity has also developed education packs on the lessons of the Srebrenica genocide for use in secondary schools in the UK and other education materials which have reached over 32, 000 children so far.
- Memorial Week for the 23rd anniversary of the genocide runs from 8-15th July 2018. It will both honour the victims of this tragedy as well as foster stronger community relations in Britain. The theme of this year’s memorial events is ‘Acts of Courage’ which seeks to celebrate the bravery of the survivors of Srebrenica genocide who bravely speak out.
For further information on the work of the charity please visit: