July 6, 2020
The UK’s Srebrenica Memorial Week for 2020 takes place from 5 to 12 July.
Paying tribute to the victims of the Genocide, sending a clear message to future generations to say ‘Never Again’
Fifty years after the world said ‘Never Again’ to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place on European soil.
The name Srebrenica has become synonymous with those dark days in July 1995 when, in the first ever United Nations declared safe area, thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. The victims, predominantly Muslim, were selected for death on the basis of their identity. This was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
The lesson from Srebrenica is that no society is invulnerable to prejudice and intolerance. We must all remain vigilant against these forces, and take positive action to build stronger, more resilient communities.
The vision is a society free from hatred.
“Keeping alive the memory of the crimes committed in July 1995 is just part of what is owed to the victims and the communities that mourn them. Remembering painful truths about the past is the key to our shared quest for a better and more tolerant world.” Ephraim Mirvis – Chief Rabbi
This year’s theme
The theme for 2020 is ‘Every Action Matters’.
Srebrenica has become a world symbol of the horrific consequences that can result from inaction. The collective failure of the international community to intervene and prevent the genocide was acknowledged by the late Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations who said that: “The cardinal lesson of Srebrenica is that a deliberate and systematic attempt to terrorise, expel or murder an entire people must be met decisively with all necessary means”.
This is echoed by the late Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Holocaust who said: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the centre of the universe”.
Every person is encouraged to reflect on their own behavior and choices that they take, and demonstrate that however insignificant it may seem, every action matters, whether positive or negative. Those who stand up and unite against hatred can make a difference.
Words matter, but so do actions, and it is imperative that actions are taken to address the growing levels of intolerance in our country and contribute to the creation of a safer, stronger and more cohesive community.
We are calling on all communities to remember the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide; learn the lessons from Srebrenica, particularly that we must always be vigilant against hatred and intolerance in our communities and pledge to take action now to build better and safer communities for all.
This year the ceremony will be led by Cllr Sabiya Khan, with guest speakers
- Riad Terzic – (Bosnian Community Representative)
- Kersten England (Chief Executive Bradford Council)
- Zulfi Karim (Council for Mosques)
- Molana- Fazal-Dad (Imam)
- Reverend Jerry Lepine (Dean of Bradford Cathedral)
It will take place on Friday, 10 July at 11am in City Park.