The Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Humanitarian Law Center, Women in Black and Forum ZFD Western Balkans would like to inform the public, as well as the Ministry for Interior Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, that the book promotion of convicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj will be taking place tonight at 18h on February 2nd within the New Belgrade municipal building. The promotion of the book titled „Srebrenica was not a genocide“ is organized by the Serbian Radical Party (SRS).

The Law on Public Assembly explicitly states that assemblies which aim to infringe on human and minority rights, that incite hatred on the grounds of race, nationality or religion are forbidden. The same applies to assemblies that could cause violence, destruction of property or other forms of disturbing the peace. In line with this, we call on the police to prevent the announced assembly from taking place in the New Belgrade municipal building. The fact that the Serbian Radical Party, as the organizer, is not required to announce its party conferences does not abolish the fact that the police is required to act by the law and prevent assemblies whose aims are inciting hatred and intolerance.

The fact that Aleksandar Šapić and the New Belgrade municipality authorities have agreed to host their partners from the Serbian Radical Party, allowing them a space for their Srebrenica genocide-denying endeavours, does not surprise us. Seeing how the deputy president of this municipality is none other than Svetozar Andrić, against whom the Humanitarian Law Center raised criminal charges to the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor on March 2nd 2018, this fact becomes even less surprising. 

Svetozar Andrić gave orders for the formation of the Sušica concentration camp in Vlasenica. Between May and June of 1992, the brigade he commanded took part in the expulsion of ethnic Bosniak citizens from more than 20 villages in the Vlasenica municipality. 

On July 14 1995, by decree of Radovan Karadžić, then President of the Srpska Republic and now convicted war criminal, Svetozar Andrić got the title Commander of Chief of Staff of the VRS Drina Corps. At the time, mass exodus of Bosniaks from Srebrenica was ongoing. 

This party conference of the Serbian Radical Party is morally unacceptable and raises safety concerns. After the promotion of the aforementioned book took place in the Stari Grad municipal building on February 5th, our organizations’ activists were physically assaulted. A timely reaction on part of the authorities to the assault and genocide denial was lacking. Vojislav Šešelj has continued his tour of hatred and crime glorification across several cities in Serbia (Novi Sad, Subotica, Bajina Bašta, Čačak and Zaječar). He was met with resistance on part of the citizens, but no reaction came from the police. We call on the Ministry for Interior Affairs of the Republic of Serbia to perform its duties in the name of its citizens and in the name of respect for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.