Today we mark the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide and offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. The events that took place on this day 18 years ago began a chain of events that led to the deaths of over 8,000 men and boys and the forced removal of 30,000 women and girls. The horror and the barbarism perpetrated in and around Srebrenica in the days that followed 11 July evoked the darkest days of the Second World War; days many hoped would never be repeated in Europe.
Last Wednesday on 11 July, I was in Srebrenica for the very first time. The above is the main prayer that I heard from the outgoing Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr Mustafa Ceric in this year's commemoration of the Srebrenica Genocide in 1995. His sermon in front of grieving families and tens of thousands of people at Potocari Memorial Park was about rebuilding Bosnia and rekindling hope. The Srebrenica Genocide was Europe's largest massacre since World War II.
A lot has been written about the human catastrophe currently unfolding in Syria, horrific photos assail us daily, politicians drop sound-bites condemning the violence, but in a few heart-felt sentences the injured photographer Paul Conroy eloquently and dramatically cut through it all. "It's not a war," he insisted. "It's a massacre." Speaking from the safety of his hospital bed in London, having been smuggled from Homs to Lebanon earlier in the week by Syrian rebels, Conroy pleaded with the world to act now or regret forever the atrocities being committed...
Strange that in an industry so hungry for stories, it's taken someone of Angelina Jolie's stature to get a film about Bosnia off the ground. It doesn't matter how much real human drama and tragedy stalked its mountains, there's a perception in Hollywood that films about Bosnia don't make money. Too complicated, they say, three sides.
Have you ever heard of someone be given an official deadline to be killed? Imagine you are sitting in your home and you are told by the government: in less than two months we will attack and kill you. And you have nowhere to go. That's exactly what seems to be happening with the 3400 inhabitants of Camp Ashraf, an Iranian opposition camp 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.