Flying the flags to remember Srebrenica atrocity.
Newham Council is flying Remembering Srebrenica flags from its town halls in East Ham and Stratford to mark the 25th anniversary on 11 July of what the United Nations said is the single greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
In July 1995 in the small town of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina, more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered because of their religion and a hatred because of who they were. Thousands of women, children and the elderly were forcibly deported.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “The international community failed to protect them then. It’s our duty not to fail them again. We do that by remembering them and that’s why the flags are raised to renew a pledge to create a better, stronger and more cohesive society.
“The lesson learned from Srebrenica is that hatred, racism and intolerance can never be left unchallenged. That is the legacy they deserve. Only by doing so can we create a safer community for all where all are equal and hate has no place to hide.”
Remembering Srebrenica, a charitable organisation funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, encourages councils to pledge their support for their campaign, backed by the Foreign Office, to raise awareness of the genocide and to build safer, stronger communities.
Mayor Fiaz joined Deputy Mayor Councillor Charlene McLean, Cabinet member for community neighbourhoods, and other Newham councillors this week in two online memorial events. The first on Wednesday involved members of the Newham United faiths community and on Thursday they joined councillors and residents from several other East London boroughs for reflection and discussion.
Councillor McLean said: “We must never forget the thousands of Bosnian Muslims who were murdered in Srebrenica. Twenty five years may have passed but we still encounter hatred and injustice in our daily lives.
“The theme of this year’s national commemoration is Every Action Matters, which seeks to encourage each person to reflect on the effects of their own personal behaviour, the choices they make and they words they say and the impact these have on other people. We fly the Remembering Srebrenica flags from our town halls as a sign that we must stand up against hatred and prejudice in the hope we don’t experience an atrocity like it again.”