Associations gathering witnesses and victims of genocide staged a protest in front of Sweden's Embassy in Sarajevo, raising their voice against the Nobel Prize Committee's decision to award Austrian writer Peter Handke because of his controversial statements on genocide in Srebrenica.
“I call on everyone, especially the Swedish Academy, to revoke its decision for the first time in history and honour (Alfred) Nobel in that way,” said Murat Tahirovic, the head of the Association of Witnesses and Victims of Genocide, announcing new protest on every next Tuesday.
Handke who was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature for 2018 was assessed by the Nobel Committee as “one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War.”
But the award triggered strong reactions in Bosnia, among the war victims' associations and academicians.
Following the award announcement, Bosnia Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic addressed a letter to the Swedish Academy Chairman pointing out that Handke is not only known as a writer but also as a denier of the Srebrenica genocide and the crimes against humanity in Bosnia.
“Moreover, Handke has been particularly prominent in glorifying war crimes and war criminals convicted by the International Court in The Hague (ICTY),” Komsic said in his letter.
Sarajevo protest in front of Sweden's Embassy comes on the day when members of the Swedish Royal Family are set to arrive for an official visit to the Bosnian capital.
“We gathered today, symbolically, to deliver a letter to the King and the Queen, to point out what we disagree with, and that's the award for Handke. The award that the Academy delivered to this man could have been delivered to Karadzic, Mladic and Milosevic (war crime convicts before the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia),” said Munira Subasic, the head of the 'Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves' movement addressing the crowd.
The letter they prepared for the Swedish King and Queen will be handed over to the Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria, and Prince Daniel, who will be in the Bosnian capital on Tuesday.