Minister Zoran Đorđević said today that “No one has ever been deported from Serbia by Serbs, let alone imprisoned and killed for being different, and this is not even in our political tradition,” during the commemoration of the victims of Jajinci during World War II.

This statement, other than being untrue, is an insult to all the victims of the Milošević regime in the 1990s and his comrades and allies throughout the former Yugoslavia. As a minister whose portfolio also includes the care of civilian victims of war, this insult is especially grave.

Almost the entire political, military and police leadership of Serbia has been convicted before The Hague Tribunal for the campaign of crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Kosovo Albanians. Vojislav Šešelj was sentenced before the same court for crimes against humanity in Hrtkovci, Vojvodina, from where the citizens of Croat nationality were deported, while numerous ethnic crimes in Sandžak during the war that lack judicial epilogues were documented.

What Serbia has never done, and which clearly is not part of its contemporary political tradition, is to apologize to the victims of the crimes committed in Kosovo, Vojvodina and Sandžak, compensate the victims and prosecute the responsible criminals.

The Youth Initiative for Human Rights is telling Minister Đorđevic that the only way to bring back the political tradition of present-day Serbia to the anti-fascist struggle of World War II is to face and openly acknowledge the crimes committed in the 1990s, to clearly break up with the war policy, to prosecute those responsible for committing war crimes, to respect and publicly apologise to the victims.