The Declaration will be publicly read on May 9th at 12.30 p.m. at
the site of the former concentration camp in Omarska (1992),
currently the ArcelorMittal mine, and at the site of the World War
II camp Banjica, in front of the Musem of the Banjica Camp at Veljka
Lukica - Kurjaka 8 in Belgrade.
The act of its simultaneous reading in Omarska and
Belgrade is our way of showing both solidarity with and respect to
the victims of fascism. Declaration's reading in Omarska, still an
unmarked atrocity site, is an act of active support and
participation in the memorial's establishment.
We invite you to support the Declaration with your
signature or to partake in its reading in Omarska or Belgrade and
thus confirm your commitment to anti-fascism.
* * * *
On the occasion of May 9th - Victory Day over
Fascism and the Day of Concentration Camp Detainees of Bosnia and
Herzegovina - we address the following to all citizens of the
Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina:
DECLARATION OF ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLE'S
By means of this Declaration, we denounce the
contemporary politics in the Republic of Serbia which negates the
existence of concentration camps and other crimes of war committed
during the Nineties. The negation of these crimes annuls the
heritage of our people, and the inherent dignity of our World War
Two legacy - the equality of all peoples of all nations in the
former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Extreme right-wing organizations and hooligan
groups promote denial and impunity for war crimes while national
institutions implement this politics of negation, thus legitimizing
continued violence and hatred.
The political rehabilitation of the Chetnik
movement and Draza Mihailovic revises the World War Two history,
disingenuously equating fascism and anti-fascism.
Despite possible practical cultural and economic
reasons for linking the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of
Srpska, we condemn any such affiliation in as much as it negates the
broader multi-ethnic Bosnian and Herzegovinian context. This
association directly undermines the integrity and territorial
sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hinders the rapprochement
of all its nations.
We welcome the public statements addressed during
the Karadjordjevo Summit of April 26th, 2011, since they emphasize
the necessity of reconciliation, stable relations and normalization
in the region.
Our conviction is that no reconciliation is
possible unless we deal with our wartime past. Thus, We invite the
authorities of the Republic of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
Republic of Srpska and Prijedor Municipality - as well as the public
of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and throughout the former
Yugoslavia - to support the initiative of the former Omarska
concentration camp detainees to establish a memorial centre on the
location of the ArcelorMittal mine. Situated in Bosnia and
Herzegovina at the site of the former Omarska concentration camp,
established in 1992 by Prijedor's municipal authorities, more than
3300 citizens of that very municipality were imprisoned and tortured
at this camp, and it's estimated that more than 700 were murdered
We deem the civilian suffering at the Omarska
concentration camp, and at all other concentration camps established
during the Nineties' wars, worthy of recognition and commemoration.
Making these sites and the atrocities suffered there a part of
public memory is a necessary step toward renewed shared existence in
the region of the former Yugoslavia.
In its December 1st, 2005, decision, ArcelorMittal
gave support to the establishment of a memorial centre within the
Omarska mine. By supporting this initiative, the Republic of Serbia
and the Republic of Srpska would clearly demonstrate their readiness
to actively and critically acknowledge the mass crimes
systematically committed against non-Serbian civilians.
Additionally, we invite ArcelorMittal to reverse
its current discriminatory policy of employment based on ethnicity.
This practice represents a post-war continuation of ethnic cleansing
through other means.
We demand that Republic of Serbia put an immediate
stop to the activities of extreme right-wing organizations and
hooligan groups which incite and commit violence and promote hate
speech in public and media space, and to ban all such future
activities from these groups.
This Declaration affirms the common anti-fascist
values of all of the former Yugoslavian nations, and avows our place
among contemporary European societies through a commitment to the
enactment of anti-facism as a basis for equality and normalization
of human relations in the region.
This Declaration was initiated by:
Women in Black
Working Group "Four Faces of Omarska"
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
Art Collective Grupa Spomenik (Monument
Center for Women's Studies
This Declaration is supported by:
Association of Concentration Camp Detainees
in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Association of Concentration-camp Detainees