The Suppression of Cultural Memory and Identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter identifies an orchestrated effort in “Republika Srpska”—an entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina that was recognized by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement − that is designed to prevent survivors of the genocide from erecting memorials to the victims in such locations as Višegrad, Prijedor, and Foča. While memorials for victims have been prohibited, and survivors have been prevented from using the term “genocide,” memorials to the perpetrators have been installed in the center of Višegrad, and near the Trnopolje concentration camp in Prijedor Municipality. In the hills above Sarajevo, in a location from which the city’s residents were attacked during the siege, a plaque honoring indicted war criminal Ratko Mladić has been installed. Accordingly, this chapter considers the extent to which the discriminatory practices regarding memorials in Republika Srpska constitute a violation of human rights. Further, the chapter argues that, following Raphael Lemkin’s definition of genocide, the prohibitive policies in Republika Srpska with respect to memorials and commemorative practices constitute nothing less than a continuation of the genocide, a second phase of the genocide designed to ensure the permanent erasure of a world that was destroyed. These human rights violations and the continuation of the genocide are a troubling testament to the failure of the international community in Bosnia, and to the problematic legacy of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Keywords

Apartheid Cultural memory Human rights Prohibited memorials Raphael Lemkin, Dayton Peace Agreement 

Notes

Acknowledgements

My thanks to Eric Cavallero, Smail Čekić, Hariz Halilovich, Refik Hodžić, Hikmet Karčić, Peter Lippman, Sheila Magnotti, Kemal Pervanić, Satko Mujagić, Emir Ramić, Velma Sarić, Sanja Seferović-Drnovšek, Markéta Slavková, and finally, Bakira Hasečić , for their help with my research and with the preparation of this essay. An earlier version of the essay appeared in Etnické komunity—Balkánské cesty, ed. Dana Bittnerová and Mirjam Moravcová (Prague: FHS UK, 2015).

References

  1. Al Jazeera Balkans (2013). Vlasti Višegrada ruše uspomenu na svirepa ubistva. November 16. http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/vlasti-visegrada-ruse-uspomenu-na-svirepa-ubistva. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  2. b92.net (2014). Monument to Gavrilo Princip unveiled in East Sarajevo. http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2014&mm=06&dd=27&nav_id=90812. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  3. BBC News (2013). Huge Bosnia mass grave excavated at Tomasica. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24778713. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  4. Burns, J. F. (1992). Serbian guns resume heavy shelling of Sarajevo. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/06/world/serbian-guns-resume-heavy-shelling-of-sarajevo.html. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  5. Daily Sabah (2016). Bosnia’s Serb Republik honors convicted war criminal Karadzic. https://www.dailysabah.com/balkans/2016/10/24/bosnias-serb-republika-honors-convicted-war-criminal-karadzic. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  6. Halilovich, H. (2013). Places of pain: Forced displacement, popular memory and trans-local identities in Bosnian war-torn communities. New York: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  7. Hodzic, R. (2012). Shadow of London ‘orbit’ in Bosnia: Steel, blood, and the suppression of memory. The International Center for Transitional Justice. https://www.ictj.org/news/shadow-london-“orbit”-bosnia-steel-blood-and-suppression-memory. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.Google Scholar
  8. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2007). The Prosecutor v Vojislav Šešelj. (Third Amended Indictment) IT-03-67-T. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/seselj/ind/en/seslj3rdind071207e.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  9. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2009a). The Prosecutor v Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić (Trial Judgement) IT-98-32/1-T. § 740 and § 1062. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/milan_lukic_sredoje_lukic/tjug/en/090720_j.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  10. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2009b). The Prosecutor v Radovan Karadžić (Third Amended Indictment: Prosecution's Marked-Up Indictment) IT-95-5/18-PT. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/ind/en/markedup_indictment_091019.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  11. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2011). The Prosecutor v Ratko Mladić (Fourth Amended Indictment) IT-09-92-PT. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/ind/en/111216.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  12. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2012). The Prosecutor v Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić (Appeals Judgement Summary) IT-98-32/1-A. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/milan_lukic_sredoje_lukic/acjug/en/121204_summary.pdf. Accessed 22 February 2016.
  13. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2013). The Prosecutor v Radovan Karadžić. (Appeals Judgement Summary). IT-9S-SI18-AR98bis. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/acjug/en/130711_judgement_summary_rule98bis.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  14. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2014). The Prosecutor v Vojislav Šešelj (Order on the Provisional Release of the Accused Propio Motu) IT-03-67-T. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/seselj/tord/en/141106.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  15. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2016a). The Prosecutor v Radovan Karadžić (Judgement) IT-95-5/18-T. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2016.
  16. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2016b). The Prosecutor v Vojislav Šešelj (Judgement Summary) IT-03-67. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/seselj/tjug/en/160331_judgement_summary.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2016.
  17. Klix.ba (2014). OHR mirno posmatra: Dodik najavio priznanje za Karadžića i Mladića, ponovo negira genocidi BiH. http://www.klix.ba/vijesti/ohr-mirno-posm-dodik-najavio-priznanje-za-karadzica-i-mladica-ponovo-negira-genocid-i-bih/140710004. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  18. Kniga Nestalih (2012). Ni Krivi Ni Dužni. Bosne i Hercegovine: Knjiga nestalih.Google Scholar
  19. Kovacevic, Danijel. (2017). Bosnian Serbs Unveil Monument to Russian War Volunteers. BalkanInsight. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnian-serbs-unveil-monument-to-russian-war-volunteers-04-12-2017. Accessed 24 Apr 2017.
  20. Lemkin, R. (1944). Axis rule in cccupied Europe: Laws of occupation − analysis of government − proposals for redress. Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
  21. Maccarty, Charles. (2016). Before war crimes verdict, Serbian radicals hail Karadzic. VideoNews. https://news.videonews.us/before-war-crimes-verdict-serbian-radicals-hail-karadzic-2450605.html. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  22. Nancy, J.-L. (2007). The creation of the worldorglobalization. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  23. Neuffer, E. (2011). The key to my neighbor’s house: Seeking justice in Bosnia and Rwanda. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  24. OHR: The Office of the High Representative, Sarajevo (2015). General Information. http://www.ohr.int/?page_id=1139&lang=en. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  25. Pettigrew, D. (2013a). Letter to High Representative Valentin Inzko. Klix. http://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/pettigrew-rusenje-spomenika-u-strazistu-znacilo-bi-da-u-rs-u-vlada-apartheid/130304086. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  26. Pettigrew, D. (2013b). Statement for Višegrad Stražište cemetery, To the memory of the victims of the Višegrad genocide: May truth lead to justice. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. http://www.helsinki.org.rs/index_archiva_t51.html. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  27. Remikovic, D. (2013). New church in Srebrenica raises heat between Serbs, Bosniaks. SETimes. http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2013/05/01/feature-02. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  28. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002). Part 2, article 7. https://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/ADD16852-AEE9-4757-ABE7-9CDC7CF02886/283503/RomeStatutEng1.pdf. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  29. Sekularac, I. (2016). Hague prosecutor to appeal acquittal of Serbia's Seselj. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-warcrimes-serbia-seselj-idUSKCN0X31IW. Accessed 17 May 2016.
  30. Sito-Sucic, Daria. (2016). Defiant Bosnian Serbs honor Karadzic before Hague genocide verdict. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-warcrimes-karadzic-idUSKCN0WM0SH. Accessed 24 Apr 2017.
  31. U.S. Department of State (1995). Dayton Peace Agreement, General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/or/dayton/. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  32. United Nations Human Rights (1969). International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Adopted and opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 2106 (XX) of December 21, 1965,entered into force January 4, 1969, in accordance with article 19. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CERD.aspx. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.
  33. University of Minnesota (1976) International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Article II (c). http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/apartheid-supp.html. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySouthern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations