Zene u crnom
Announcement on the Twelfth Anniversary of the Crime in Strpci PDF Print E-mail

February 27, 1993—February 27, 2005

In October 1991, we began our nonviolent protest against the violent policies of the Serbian regime. Our motto, ‘not in our name,’ refers not only to the criminal Milosevic regime and everyone whose work and words supported war but also to everyone who, through their silence, gave legitimacy to criminal policies. Their silence made people not only the regime's hostages, but also its accomplices.

Immediately after the crime was committed in Strpci, we sought government accountability. We knew that this crime, like nearly all of the others, was a state-organized crime. We demanded and continue to demand the accountability of state institutions.

In keeping with our politics of solidarity, we wanted to help ease the pain of those whose relatives were the victims of the crime. We met Milka Zulicic, the mother of Zvjezdan Zulicic, one of those abducted in Štrpci. We were not only witnesses to Milka’s pain. Milka was with us protesting in the street, protesting not only against the crimes in Strpci, but against all other crimes. Together, pain and bitterness transformed into actions of civic responsibility. Milka’s antiwar engagement with our group, like the engagement of other direct victims of war, strengthened our belief that without the truth about victims of crimes, we cannot restore human dignity and that without punishing all of those who committed crimes, there will not be peace or reconciliation.

We thought that the fall of the regime on October 5, 2000 would bring changes and that at least the issues of individual criminal responsibility would be resolved. We were mistaken.

We though that at least everyone suspected of war crimes would be extradited to The Hague Tribunal. Unfortunately, the same cultural, political, and spiritual climate that produced war has stayed. Therefore, our motto remains ‘not in our name.’

Further, we believe that confronting the past is not only a moral imperative but one of the basic tasks of Serbian civil society, of which we are a part.
Consequently, we believe that:
• Civil society has the responsibility and obligation to increase the pressure on state institutions to disclose their role in organizing war crimes and to punish those who ordered and perpetrated war crimes. Due to their involvement with state-organized crimes, we demand responsibility from the state institutions in which, unfortunately, there have been nearly no changes.
• Civil society has the responsibility and obligation to organize actions against the denial of crimes and the criminal past. This is our moral imperative because the crimes were committed in our name. In keeping with our peaceful politics, we are responsible not only for what we do, but also for what is done in our name.
• Civil society has the obligation to pledge to punish crimes. In other words, we have witnessed that denying the criminal past only continues war by other means. Because we have not confronted our past, those who produced death and war and those who justify war and war crimes have returned to power. The same government workers who organized crimes during the war now serve in the part of the government that organizes the denial of these crimes.
• Finally, the denial of the criminal past wounds victims’ dignity. Without the victims’ dignity, there can be no peace or reconciliation. Without the truth about crimes and punishment for criminals, faith in the future is reduced and our future together is jeopardized.

The peaceful action ‘For All Victims of War – We Remember’ will be held on February 27, 2005 in Prijepolje at the same time that the crime began – 3:48pm.

The action is organized by:
Damad, Novi Pazar
Women’s Forum, Prijepolje
Women in Black, Belgrade

Activists from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Novi Pazar, Pljevlje, Priboj, Prijepolje, Sjenica and Tutin will participate in this peaceful action. On this occasion, we will demand the extradition of everyone suspected of war crimes with the slogan ’For All of the Victims of War—Extradite Them!’


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