Anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica
“Every time it seems like these burials make the lives of us survivors shorter – the pain is so overwhelming. But we have to be here so what happened won’t be forgotten, we owe it to the dead.“
Ramiza Pilav, whose 16-year-old son and husband were killed (AFP)
The genocide in Srebrenica is the worst war crime in Europe since World War II and was a part of the Bosnian genocide. More than 8000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) were killed and thousands more are still missing. Most of the victims were men and boys – women were separated and thousands were raped and tortured, hundreds of women were also killed.
During the war, tens of thousands of refugees fled to the small town of Srebrenica, because the UN declared it a “safe zone”. Starved, tired and traumatized by ethnic cleansing and genocide in their home cities, the refugees hoped the UN peacekeepers would protect them. But the Dutch peacekeepers stood by while the Serb soldiers were committing crimes that are too horrible and disgusting to describe in this article.
The victims were buried in mass graves, then their corpses were dug out and buried in different mass graves, to hide the crimes. The remains of many victims were spread out in four or more mass graves, making it extremely hard for their families to find them. Many mothers decided to bury only the few bones they found, after losing hope to find the rest of the remains some day.
To learn more, click on the first image to open a slideshow with captions for more info about each photograph.
All these photographs are by Bosnian photographer Tarik Samarah and are a part of Sarajevo’s 11/07/95 Gallery – dedicated to the genocide in Srebrenica.