Flags raised outside Portsmouth Civic Offices to commemorate 25th anniversary of Bosnian genocide

A CEREMONY was held in Portsmouth to remember the thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys murdered 25 years ago.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 3:37 pm
Flags were raised outside Portsmouth Civic Offices to remember the genocide in Srebrenica 25 years ago (L-R Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson; Cllr Rob Wood; Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo)

Portsmouth City Council raised the flags of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the charity Remembering Srebrenica outside the Civic Offices to commemorate a quarter of a century since the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which claimed the lives over more than 8,000 people.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, council leader, and Lord Mayor Rob Wood commemorated the victims and honoured survivors with Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, the resident imam at Wessex Jamaat’s Al Mahdi Centre.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘This week Portsmouth marked 25 years since the atrocities in Srebrenica by raising the Bosnia-Herzegovinan flag and joining with Remembering Srebrenica to commemorate those who lost their lives and honour the survivors.

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‘This significant anniversary serves as a poignant reminder that we must all stand up to hatred and intolerance in our communities.’

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The organisation behind the nationwide commemoration, Remembering Srebrenica, works to promote a society free from hatred and is marking the 25th anniversary of the tragedy with the theme Every Action Matters.

The charity is encouraging every person to reflect upon their behaviour and choices, aiming to demonstrate that, however insignificant they may seem, every action matters.

During his address at the flag raising ceremony, Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo said: ‘We learn from Srebrenica that hatred and intolerance can flourish if left unchallenged.

‘On the 25th anniversary of Srebrenica, we honour the victims and survivors of the genocide, and pledge ourselves to creating a better, stronger and more cohesive society in the United Kingdom.’

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