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This coming Friday (8 July), those who lost their lives during the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, will be remembered during a commemorative service outside Portsmouth's Civic Offices.

During the service, the Bosnia-Herzegovina and Remembering Srebrenica flags will be raised in Guildhall Square.

The Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 saw over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys killed, and thousands of women, children and the elderly were forcibly deported. It has been described by the United Nations as the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.

Each year, Srebrenica Memorial Day commemorates the victims, honour the survivors and aims to help to build a better, safer and more tolerant society.

Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica, said: “We are proud that our country is the largest commemorator of Srebrenica memorial activities in the world, and that during the UK Srebrenica Memorial Week which runs from 4th to 11th July, over a thousand activities will take place right across the country in town halls, churches, mosques, synagogues, community centres and places of work. We hope that Remembering Srebrenica’s theme for 2022 ‘Combatting Denial: Challenging Hatred’ will not only seek to bring people together to learn the lessons of the past in order to create stronger, more inclusive communities but also inspire future generations to take action to combat denial and challenge hatred and intolerance”.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, comments: “By raising the Bosnia-Herzegovinian and Remembering Srebrenica flags in Portsmouth, we remembered those who died and survived the events of July 1995. The atrocities in Srebrenica are a stark reminder of why we must all work together to build tolerant and welcoming communities, where people of different backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities can live peacefully as neighbours.”

The public are invited to join the commemorative service, which will begin at 11am in Guildhall Square on 8 July.