Next month marks 12 years since the Bosnian town of Srebrenica was seized by General Ratko Mladić. What followed was the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two – almost 9,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered because of their religion and between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped.
Last year, along with the other main party leaders, I launched the education resources for the charity Remembering Srebrenica Scotland. They were setup to commemorate the Srebrenica genocide and to help teach us lessons of tolerance by remembering the past. By sharing the stories of the Mothers of Srebrenica and other survivors of genocide I believe we can inspire people in Scotland to tackle hatred when they see it and therefore make our communities safer and more cohesive.
This week I’ve been in Srebrenica with Remembering Srebrenica Scotland hearing those harrowing stories first hand. From meeting survivors to seeing bullet holes in almost every building you don’t have to look hard to see the marks of the horrors.
Next month, Remembering Srebrenica’s National Commemoration in Scotland will take place in Glasgow at the Mitchell Library. On Friday the 14th July, you can go along and hear the powerful testimony of the founder of the Association of Women Victims of War, Bakira Hasečić. But no matter where you are next month, I hope you will join me in reflecting on this horrific genocide, and how we can work to prevent anything like this ever happening again.
(This article originally appeared in Kez's Daily Record Column on 13 June 2017)
(Pictures by John Young / www.YoungMedia.co.uk)