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 Remembering Srebrenica (Scotland) 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."
Interim Chief Constable DCC Iain Livingstone said: “In July 1995, 23 years ago, the Srebrenica genocide took place in Europe where over 8000 men and boys were murdered.
“This genocide took place not so long ago, it’s within living memory, and even today in areas of conflict around the world, many people are suffering the effects of hatred and prejudice.
“Intolerance of people, groups or communities just because they are considered to be different is unacceptable and unhealthy for any society. What happened in the 1990’s during the Balkan conflict shows that even the most cohesive of societies can descend into horrific situations such as Srebrenica in 1995.
“It is crucial that negative and divisive views, language and actions are challenged by society at all levels and wherever possible, educate and make people aware of such horrific episodes in our not so distant past.
“I recently had the privilege to visit Bosnia myself as part of a Remembering Srebrenica (Scotland) delegation. The visit reaffirmed my strong commitment to do whatever I can to challenge hatred and prejudice.
“Police Scotland’s Policing 2026 Strategy focuses on key areas such as the tackling of crime, inequality and enduring problems facing communities, including hate crime, which continues to be a high priority.
“I ask all our officers and staff to take note of the lessons from such horrific events and realise that hatred and prejudice can easily escalate into tragic consequences.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge hatred and prejudice in our communities”.
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