Remembering Srebrenica

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Remembering Srebrenica is a United Kingdom charitable initiative that promotes Srebrenica Memorial Day on 11 July, runs 'Lessons from Srebrenica' educational visits programme and leads year-round public awareness campaigns and activities to teach the consequences of hatred and importance of building stronger cohesive communities.[1]

Its chairman Waqar Azmi founded the initiative in 2013[2] and current director is Amy Drake[3] Its Honorary Patrons and Ambassadors include Paddy Ashdown, Bob Stewart (British Army officer), John Mann (British politician), Asmir Begović, Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Warsi, Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, Bianca Jagger, Ann McKechin, Angus Robertson, Lorna Hood, Yasmin Qureshi, Jim Wallace, Martin Bell, Stephen Doughty and Ruth Davidson.[4]


In 2009, The European Parliament adopted the resolution on Srebrenica calling "on the Council and the Commission to commemorate appropriately the anniversary of the Srebrenica-Potočari act of genocide by supporting Parliament's recognition of 11 July as the day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide all over the EU, and to call on all the countries of the western Balkans to do the same".[5]

In implementing the European Parliament Resolution, Prime Minister David Cameron announced support for Remembering Srebrenica on the 18th anniversary of Srebrenica Memorial Day. The Prime Minister said: "Srebrenica was a stark demonstration of what can happen when hatred, discrimination and evil are allowed to go unchecked. I am pleased that the government has been able to work with Remembering Srebrenica, an initiative dedicated to commemorating and honouring the victims of Srebrenica". On Srebrenica Memorial Day, Prime Minister David Cameron also "met with three survivors of the Srebrenica genocide at Downing Street. The survivors shared their experiences of Srebrenica, and the Prime Minister stressed how important it was that we never forget what happened during this most shameful moment in European history".[6]

In 2014, Foreign Secretary William Hague MP, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie during their visit to Srebrenica announced "new UK funding that will enable 750 young people from Britain to visit Srebrenica over the next two years through the Remembering Srebrenica programme, so that the lessons from the Bosnian conflict are never forgotten.[7]


The United Kingdom's Srebrenica Memorial Day received broad support. Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said: "It is our duty to teach the generations that follow us the devastation caused through discrimination, prejudice and racial hatred so that they learn to challenge it, which is why the Remembering Srebrenica project is so important".[8] Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party said: "Despite the fact that the genocide in Srebrenica took place during my life- time, public knowledge of this atrocity is low. Therefore we must begin by recognising that over 8,000 people were brutally murdered in Europe less than 20 years ago".[9]

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: "That (Srebrenica) was committed on the basis of ethnic and religious identity requires us all, especially religious leaders, to be vigilant in the language we use and confront the discrimination and hate promoted in the name of religion".[10] Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: "Srebrenica Memorial Day is an opportunity to salute the work of all those who have worked to shine a light on all that happened in the dark days of 1995".[11] Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis stated that "Remembering painful truths about the past is the key to our shared quest for a better and more tolerant world".[12]

Srebrenica Memorial Day[edit]

The UK held its first Srebrenica Memorial Day in 2013 to mark the 18th anniversary of the atrocity with survivors, senior politicians and religious leaders paying their respects to the victims at Lancaster House in central London including Foreign Secretary William Hague, Secretary of State Eric Pickles, Shadow Secretary of State Hilary Benn, Lord Paddy Ashdown Cardinal Vincent Nichols.[13] The Independent ran the story of a survivor, Saliha Osmanovic whose whole family including her husband, Ramo, and son, Nermin were murdered[14] and BBC interviewed the survivor, Hasan Nuhanovic.[15] The Prime Minister David Cameron met the survivors at Downing Street.[16]

In 2014, a whole week of memorial events were held with over 600 acts of remembrance[17] including three national Srebrenica Memorial Days in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh.[18] Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met the survivors.[19] Survivors were also hosted by Lambeth Palace and Scotland’s External Affairs and International Development Minister, Humza Yousaf at Bute House.[20]

In 2015, the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica Memorial Day is being held at Westminster Abbey.[21]

Lessons from Srebrenica visits programme[edit]

'Lessons from Srebrenica' is a flagship education programme established to help strengthen British society with 750 people taking part from the UK over a two-year period. These individuals come from all walks of life, all ethnicities, and all faiths or none, but have one thing in common: the desire to promote positive change within their local community by agreeing to undertake a pledge to promote social cohesion. In 2014 these pledges helped create 200 local champions against hatred and intolerance with 3000 children benefiting from school assemblies delivered by the champions and 30 local Srebrenica Memorial events organised across the UK to promote community cohesion and integration. The champions are organised under six English regional boards, two country boards and one United Kingdom board.[22]

Public education[edit]

During 2014, one million people were reached through key messages on cohesion and tackling hatred with 10,000 Remembering Srebrenica books distributed and education packs prepared to reach 10,000 pupils in 2015.[23]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Sarah Joseph and Ayman Khwaja (2013), Remembering Srebrenica, page 6, London: Emel Media
  2. ^ Jo Siedlecka, Friday, July 12, 'Archbishop Nichols speaks at Remembering Srebrenica memorial day', London: Independent Catholic News,
  3. ^
  4. ^ Remembering Srebrenica Annual Report 2014
  5. ^ European Parliament (2009) OJC 157 E, 6.7.2006, p. 468,
  6. ^ Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, 11 July 2013, '18th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Prime Minister’s statement', London,
  7. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (27 March 2014), 'Foreign Secretary and UNHCR Special Envoy visit Bosnia ahead of Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict', London,
  8. ^ Sarah Joseph and Ayman Khwaja (2013), Remembering Srebrenica, page 9, London: Emel Media
  9. ^ Sarah Joseph and Ayman Khwaja (2013), Remembering Srebrenica, page 10, London: Emel Media
  10. ^ Sarah Joseph and Ayman Khwaja (2013), Remembering Srebrenica, page 12, London: Emel Media
  11. ^ Sarah Joseph and Ayman Khwaja (2013), Remembering Srebrenica, page 12, London: Emel Media
  12. ^
  13. ^ The Huffington Post UK, 11/07/2013, 'Srebrenica Genocide Remembered As Hague, Pickles Pledge Support For Bosnia Genocide Education',
  14. ^ The Independent, 10 July 2013, 'Srebrenica Memorial Day: Our continuing horror',
  15. ^ BBC World, 11 July 2013, 'BBC World interviews Srebrenica Genocide survivor, Hasan Nuhanović for Srebrenica Memorial Day',
  16. ^ Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, 11 July 2013, '18th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Prime Minister’s statement', London,
  17. ^ The Asians, 9 July 2014, '600 Mosques will Remember Srebrenica Massacre',
  18. ^ Sarajevo Times, 8 July 2014, 'UK Leads World in Remembering Srebrenica Genocide',
  19. ^ Asian Lite News, 11 July 2014, 'Clegg joins Srebrenica Memorial',
  20. ^ David Pratt, 8 July 2014, 'INSIDE TRACK: Lessons for Scotland from horrors of Srebrenica', Herald Scotland,
  21. ^ The Westminster Abbey, March 2015, 'A Solemn Commemoration for Srebrenica Memorial Day',
  22. ^ Remembering Srebrenica Annual Report 2014
  23. ^ Remembering Srebrenica Annual Report 2014

External links[edit]