Chairman of Srebrenica Mothers movement: "Khojaly massacre is an act of genocide" - INTERVIEW

Chairman of Srebrenica Mothers movement: "Khojaly massacre is an act of genocide" - INTERVIEW Munira Subasić was born in 1948 in Rogatica, Yugoslavia. She married in 1967 after graduating from a trade school. Subasic worked in Srebrenica with her husband, Hilmo Subasić, an economist. They had two sons. Subasic and his youngest son went missing dur
February 23, 2022 13:46
Chairman of Srebrenica Mothers movement: Khojaly massacre is an act of genocide -  INTERVIEW

Munira Subasić was born in 1948 in Rogatica, Yugoslavia. She married in 1967 after graduating from a trade school. Subasić worked in Srebrenica with her husband, Hilmo Subasić, who was an economist. They had two sons. Subasić and his youngest son went missing during the Srebrenica genocide. Their remains were found in a mass grave and were buried in the Potocari cemetery.

Currently, Munira Subasić is the chairwoman of the Movement "Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa Enclaves." Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, Munira Subasić answered Report's questions.

- How would you introduce yourself to the world?

- I am a victim of the Srebrenica events. In 1995, I lost 22 relatives in Srebrenica, including my husband and a son. At that time, I promised myself that I would talk about the incident everywhere, my voice would be heard everywhere. We raised our voices in Hague Tribunal, in courts, and in international organizations. Both the Bosnian people and the Azerbaijani people have experienced the same tragedy. We fight for the truth, for justice, and for crimes not to go unpunished.

- Your people and Azerbaijanis faced a terrible massacre and genocide. You have experienced these horrors in Srebrenica. Are you aware of the Khojaly massacre? Are there any similarities between the Srebrenica and Khojaly massacres?

- Of course, there are similarities. The same plan and program, the same goal is intended to destroy Muslims in the world. Unfortunately, genocides were committed in both Srebrenica and Khojaly in the XX century, in front of the eyes of the whole world. We, the Mothers of Srebrenica, fought for the political and military leadership of the Republic of Serbia to be punished for the Srebrenica genocide.

The genocide against the Bosnian people has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. At the same time, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that the genocide in Srebrenica was committed. In July 1995 alone, The Hague Tribunal passed 16 verdicts, five people were sentenced to life in prison for genocide and other crimes against humanity in Srebrenica. This has been made possible by our long and difficult struggle for truth and justice. We, mothers, have never given up this fight and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. We have fought and are fighting for our slain sons, daughters, husbands, brothers, and fathers. We are fighting for justice all over the world.

According to all the criteria of the crime, the massacre committed in Khojaly is an act of genocide. It is the responsibility of the Azerbaijani government and people to have this endorsed by court rulings and proved in the international court. We are ready to share our experience with the survivors of the Khojaly genocide and their families to fight for justice in court.

- The world community still does not pay enough attention to these bloody events. Not all the perpetrators of the Srebrenica genocide have been punished, and the perpetrators of the Khojaly massacre have not yet been brought to justice. Why does the world turn a blind eye to these cases and how can we draw their attention to this issue?

- As I mentioned above, a large number of criminals have been prosecuted for the Srebrenica genocide and received the punishment they deserve. We - mothers - testified in The Hague Tribunal, in the Courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the Courts of Serbia. We did not let criminals to sleep calmly, we sought the truth and justice, and thanks to our testimony, many received their deserved punishments.

The process of punishment of the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide is ahead; it is a long process. Therefore, you must do your best, because the victims of the genocide deserve a fair result. In the trial, we were able to have the political and military leaders of the Republic of Serbia, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic punished. We sued the Dutch government over the Srebrenica genocide and won it. The Dutch government was tried in its own court because it respects international law. Therefore, we call on the mothers and spouses of those killed in the Khojaly genocide to raise their voices, seek justice, and demand that the perpetrators be punished. The whole Azerbaijani society must support them. Politicians, men cannot do that. Only women can do that. The voices of the families of those killed and their pain must be conveyed to the world. Surviving victims, witnesses to this horrific crime, have the right to seek justice and make their own judgments. But keep in mind that court rulings are not the end of this struggle, but the foundation of justice.

- What kind of cooperation is possible between your organization and Azerbaijan to seek a fair international assessment of the Srebrenica and Khojaly genocides?

- Cooperation between public associations and family members of survivors is very important. Survivors and family members must register as NGOs, seek the truth, and fight for justice. We can advise them on how to do this. It is very important to publish interviews of the survivors in the press - not only in Azerbaijan but also in the world press. The Khojaly realities and calls for justice should be directed to international organizations: conferences should be held at the UN, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, as well as with the participation of the US congressmen and senators; they should cooperate with associations representing all similar genocide victims around the world and NGO networks. It is necessary to renew the memories of Khojaly by holding various public events. For example, on the 26th of each month, calls for justice should be made on the streets with pictures of genocide victims. You need to remind the whole world that you are still waiting for justice.

- On the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide in 2019, representatives of the Srebrenica Mothers and Jepa Enclave took part in commemorative events in Baku. You also visited Azerbaijan last year. Are you expected to visit Azerbaijan again?

- Yes, we have been invited. We will visit Azerbaijan again this year. This year we will be happy to be with the surviving Khojaly victims.

- Do you have a call for the victims of the Khojaly genocide?

- So far, we have twice attended the commemoration of the Khojaly genocide and met with family members of the victims. We have shared our experiences with them and we are always ready to do it. It is extremely important to hold events. It helps to bolster communities and respect the humanistic values of society at various levels, especially in the academic, cultural, and educational spheres. Cooperation with other agencies doing the same activities is very pivotal.

Latest news

Orphus sistemi