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Bosnia: police in Prijedor bans 'White Ribbon Day' march

Event commemorates Muslim and Croat victims

31 May, 19:52
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, MAY 31 - The police in the Bosnian town of Prijedor, in the Bosnian Serb region of Republika Srpska, have prohibited a peaceful yearly walk commemorating the victims of ethnic cleansing in the city during the 1990s war, local media reported The authorities only permitted a one-hour assembly of activists in the city's major square today.

The White Ribbon Day commemorates the events of May 31, 1992, when local Serb forces forced Croats and Muslims to mark their homes with white sheets and wear white ribbons around their arms when walking. This marked the start of the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb people in Prijedor. 3,176 persons were slain in and around the city during the next three and a half years. Tens of thousands of individuals were detained in concentration camps (Omarska, Trnopolje, and Keraterm) and subjected to mass murders, rape, different forms of torture, and crimes against humanity. 102 minors under the age of 18 were among those killed in Prijedor.

"Limiting victims' ability to commemorate their suffering erodes mutual trust and undercuts prospects for reconciliation, which is necessary to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for all BiH citizens," the US Embassy said on Twitter today. "Prijedor and Republika Srpska authorities have the institutional responsibility to promote tolerance and respect for victims," the embassy noted, underlining its concern for the limits to the peaceful gathering. (ANSA).

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