More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary

More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary
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Bosnian Muslim women, survivors of Srebrenica 1995 massacre mourn near graves of their relatives, at memorial cemetery in village of Potocari, near Eastern-Bosnian town of Srebrenica, on July 11, 2021. (AFP)
More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary
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Bosnian Muslim women, survivors of Srebrenica 1995 massacre mourn near graves of their relatives, at memorial cemetery in village of Potocari, near Eastern-Bosnian town of Srebrenica, on July 11, 2021. (AFP)
More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary
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Bosnian muslim men pray next to the coffins containing the remains of 50 newly identified victims of Srebrenica Genocide in Potocari, Monday, July 11, 2022. (AP)
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Updated 11 July 2022

More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary

More genocide victims buried on Srebrenica anniversary
  • After a joint prayer, the remains of more recently identified victims were buried alongside 6,671 others in a joint funeral at a memorial site

SREBRENICA: The remains of 50 victims of the Srebrenica genocide were laid to rest Monday as thousands of people commemorated the 27th anniversary of the atrocity, which most Serbs and their leaders still refuse to recognize in ethnically divided Bosnia.
After a joint prayer, the remains of more recently identified victims of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II were buried alongside 6,671 others in a joint funeral at a memorial site, just outside the ill-fated town.
They included Samir and Semir Hasanovic, 19-year-old twin brothers of Sebiba Avdic who also lost her husband, father, another brother and several other close relatives in the atrocity.
“All I had is here,” Avdic said in tears pointing her hand toward the graves with white tombstones.
Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica were killed by Bosnian Serbs forces in July 1995, after they captured the eastern town. It was an act of genocide under international law.
“I cannot speak any more. I turned into a stone,” said Avdic who now lives with her daughter in Switzerland.
“My pain is intense, as if only 27 days have passed not 27 years... Once I had a family, now I have nothing,” she sobbed.
The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell and enlargement commissioner Oliver Varhelyi paid tribute to the Srebrenica dead at a time when the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows “still today we cannot take peace for granted.”
“It is more than ever our duty to remember the genocide of Srebrenica... to stand up to defend peace, human dignity and universal values.
“In Srebrenica, Europe failed and we are faced with our shame,” they said in a statement ahead of the ceremony.
The discovery of skeletal remains from the massacre have become rare in recent years, even though some 1,200 people have still not been found, according to the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The identification process has been made more difficult by the bulldozing up of the remains and their removal to mass graves in a bid to conceal the extent of the slaughter.
Mass funerals of those identified are held each July 11, the takeover date by the forces of Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, who has been jailed for life for war crimes.
The remains of one of the people buried on Monday were found spread across three separate mass graves, according to forensic experts.
The remains of most of the others were found spread across two mass graves.
Halil Nukic buried the only remains of his father that were found a few years ago — the skull and an arm bone.
“We waited... hoping that other (bones) will be found but nothing,” said Nukic, who was 14 years old at the time of the massacre.
His only a year older brother Mujo, who went with their father in the woods in the Srebrenica region, is already buried at the cemetery.
“I was one of the few who escaped because many boys my age who had come to the (UN) base did not survive,” he told AFP.
Ever since the brutal 1990s war that claimed some 100,000 lives, Bosnia has been divided along ethnic lines. One half of the country belongs to the Serb entity while the other is ruled by a Muslim-Croat federation.
More than a quarter of a century has passed but Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb wartime president who has also been jailed for life, remain “heroes” in the eyes of many Serbs, with their pictures still adorning many walls.
Political leaders of Serbs living in Bosnia today and in neighboring Serbia refuse to accept that a genocide took place at Srebrenica, preferring to call it a “major crime.”
“We have for 27 years been fighting for the truth and demanding justice, but for 27 years they have denied the truth, denied genocide,” said Munira Subasic, head of a Srebrenica women’s association.
Nukic said that the “denial hurts” but believes that the Serbs would eventually recognize the scale of the atrocity.
“Maybe not this generation but the next one will recognize (the genocide).”
Last July, the former high representative for Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, outlawed denial of the genocide and war crimes, making it punishable by jail time.
The move sparked uproar among Bosnian Serbs led by Milorad Dodik, who sits on the country’s collective presidency.
He has launched a process of Serb withdrawal from the army, judiciary and the tax system, stirring fears of breaking up the country or starting a new conflict.


Jordan King Abdullah II meets Japan PM, mourns late Abe

Jordan King Abdullah II meets Japan PM, mourns late Abe
Updated 9 sec ago

Jordan King Abdullah II meets Japan PM, mourns late Abe

Jordan King Abdullah II meets Japan PM, mourns late Abe
  • The two leaders agreed to continue working together to ensure long-term stability and peace in the Middle East region

DUBAI: Jordan’s King Abdullah II paid his respects to former Japanese Prime Minister ABE Shinzo during a summit meeting with current Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on Tuesday.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, King Abdullah II, who attended the state funeral, said that Abe was a great friend of not only Jordan but also the region and shared the hope to develop the bilateral relationship based on his legacy.

Kishida expressed his hope to hold discussions to further develop the diplomatic legacy inherited from the late Abe.

The two leaders exchanged views on the regional situation including the Middle East Peace. Kishida expressed his concern about the impact of the price hike of food and fuel on Jordan, which is hosting a large number of Palestinian refugees, and stated that Japan would continue its support for Jordan, including its support to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA.)

Kishida also congratulated King Abdullah II Crown Prince Hussein’s engagement and expressed his wish for the long-lasting prosperity of the Jordanian Royal Family and further development of friendly relations with Japan’s Imperial Family.

The two leaders agreed to continue working together to ensure long-term stability and peace in the Middle East region.


Bangladesh pilgrim boat tragedy death toll hits 61

Bangladesh pilgrim boat tragedy death toll hits 61
Updated 8 min 7 sec ago

Bangladesh pilgrim boat tragedy death toll hits 61

Bangladesh pilgrim boat tragedy death toll hits 61
  • Incident on Sunday near the northern town of Boda the deadliest in years
  • Mobile phone footage showed the overcrowded boat suddenly flipping over

BODA, Bangladesh: Rescuers and navy divers recovered 10 bodies Tuesday after a boat overloaded with religious pilgrims capsized in Bangladesh, police said, taking the death toll to 61 as anxious relatives waited for news of several people who were still missing.
The incident on Sunday near the northern town of Boda was the deadliest in years in the South Asian country, which is crisscrossed by rivers where overcrowding on aged vessels is common.
Seventeen of those killed were children, authorities said, with video footage suggesting some were as young as around four years old.
The small vessel on its way to a popular temple flipped over in a river as onlookers screamed from the shore, in horrific scenes captured on cellphones.
Boda police chief Sujay Kumar Roy said rescue workers including firefighters, navy divers and villagers were searching for miles downstream on the Karotoa River, where the tragedy occurred.
The boat was carrying around 90 people, of whom around 50 were pilgrims on their way to the centuries-old Hindu temple for a major festival, according to police.
“We resumed the search this morning and rescuers found a few more bodies downstream and also under the water... Still a few more people are missing,” Roy said.
Abdur Razzaque, a police inspector, said at least 30 of the dead were women.
“A committee has been formed to probe the incident,” he said.
Dozens of relatives of the missing people were still crowding the riverbank on Tuesday, although most had left after authorities handed over their family members’ bodies.
“Three women of my family were missing since the boat capsized,” said one distraught relative, Bikash Chandra, late on Monday.
“We found one in the morning around 10:00 am, who was rescued earlier. But I couldn’t find the other two yet.”
District police chief Sirajul Huda said Monday the boat was carrying three times its permitted capacity.
“The boatman asked some people to disembark in an effort to ease the weight-load. But no one listened,” he said.
Mobile phone footage aired by TV station Channel 24 showed the overcrowded boat suddenly flipping over, spilling the passengers into the muddy brown river.
Dozens of people watching from the shore started shouting and screaming. The weather was calm at the time.
Thousands of Hindus in Muslim-majority Bangladesh visit the famous Bodeshwari Temple every year.
Sunday marked the start of Durga Puja, a major Hindu festival drawing large crowds at the temple.
Last December, around 40 people perished when a packed three-story ferry caught fire in southern Bangladesh.
A ferry sank in Dhaka in June 2020 after a collision with another vessel, killing at least 32 people.
And at least 78 people perished in 2015 when an overcrowded ship collided with a cargo vessel in a river west of the capital.


Ukrainians involved in Russian-backed referendums face treason charges, prison term

Ukrainians involved in Russian-backed referendums face treason charges, prison term
Updated 27 September 2022

Ukrainians involved in Russian-backed referendums face treason charges, prison term

Ukrainians involved in Russian-backed referendums face treason charges, prison term
  • Ukrainians who were forced to vote would not be punished
  • Moscow hopes to annex the provinces of Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia

KYIV, Ukraine: Ukrainians who help Russian-backed referendums to annex large swathes of the country will face treason charges and at least five years in jail, Ukraine’s presidential adviser said, as voting in four regions entered its last day.
“We have lists of names of people who have been involved in some way,” presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick.
“We are talking about hundreds of collaborators. They will be prosecuted for treason. They face prison sentences of at least five years.”
Podolyak said Ukrainians who were forced to vote would not be punished. Ukrainians officials have reported ballot boxes being taken door to door and residents being coerced into voting in front of Russian-backed security.
Moscow hopes to annex the provinces of Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, in the east and south, which make up about 15 percent of Ukraine.
None of the provinces are fully under Moscow’s control and fighting has been under way along the entire front line, with Ukrainian forces reporting more advances since they routed Russian troops in a fifth province, Kharkiv, earlier this month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons to protect Russian soil, which would include the four provinces if annexed.
Voting on whether to join Russia began on Friday in the regions and is due to end on Tuesday, with the Russian parliament possibly approving the annexation within days.
The British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that Putin is likely to announce the accession of the occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation during his address to parliament on Sept. 30.
Kyiv and the West have dismissed the referendums as a sham and pledged not to recognize the results.


Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral underway

Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral underway
Updated 27 September 2022

Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral underway

Japan ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral underway
  • More than 700 foreign guests and over 40 state leaders are expected at the state funeral today

DUBAI/TOKYO: Japan began a controversial state funeral for assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, with his widow Akie carrying his ashes into a Tokyo hall where thousands of mourners gathered.

Dressed in a black kimono, Akie carried the ashes in a box covered with a decorative fabric into the Budokan venue as a 19-gun salute sounded in honour of the slain ex-premier.

More than 700 foreign guests and over 40 state leaders were expected at the state funeral today. 

Dignitaries include Jordan’s King Abdullah II, US Vice President Kamala Harris, India’s PM Narendra Modi, Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Philippines Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, Indonesia Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, and European Council President Charles Michel.

The streets of Budokan where the state funeral will take place have been closed since early morning, and according to sources, many police officers from other parts of Japan are present. 

Mourners have already started queuing pay their respects to Abe, at a sectioned area that has been set up near the Budokan funeral hall venue for members of the public to leave flowers and tributes.

The funeral is stated to have cost 1.65 billion yen (or about $11.4 million) with many Japanese opposed to the state event.

On Monday, around 10,000 protestors marched through the streets of Tokyo demanding the funeral be called off.

– with AFP

This article originally appeared on Arab Jews Japan.


Women in power across Europe

(From L to R) Danish Prime Minster Mette Frederiksen, British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
(From L to R) Danish Prime Minster Mette Frederiksen, British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
Updated 27 September 2022

Women in power across Europe

(From L to R) Danish Prime Minster Mette Frederiksen, British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
  • Truss is Britain’s third woman prime minister after “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, who was in charge from 1979 to 1990, and Theresa May, who governed from 2016 to 2019 — all Conservatives

PARIS: Italy’s far-right leader Giorgia Meloni looks set to join a group of over a dozen European women who hold the top political jobs in their country following her party’s victory in Sunday’s general election.
Here is the list of women presidents and prime ministers, which does not include Ursula von der Leyen, who became the first woman president of the European Commission in December 2019:

(From L to R) Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid, Giorgia Meloni of Italy and Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani. (Agencies)

In Britain, which is part of Europe but no longer part of the EU, Liz Truss became the new prime minister on September 6. Truss had won the leadership race of the ruling Conservative Party, automatically making her leader of the country after Boris Johnson’s resignation in July.
Truss is Britain’s third woman prime minister after “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, who was in charge from 1979 to 1990, and Theresa May, who governed from 2016 to 2019 — all Conservatives.

Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen became her country’s youngest-ever prime minister in June 2019 when she was elected premier at the age of 41.
Denmark’s first woman prime minister was Helle Thorning-Schmidt, also from the Social Democrats, who served from 2011 to 2015.

Former EU auditor Kersti Kaljulaid, 52, became the first female president of the Baltic state of Estonia in October 2016. The position is a largely ceremonial one.
Kaja Kallas in January 2021 became Estonia’s first woman prime minister. Her father Siim Kallas was prime minister from 2002-2004.

In December 2019, Sanna Marin, a Social Democrat, became the youngest sitting prime minister in the world at the age of 34.
Finland’s third female prime minister has been in the headlines recently over pictures of her dancing and partying with friends.

Elisabeth Borne, a 61-year-old engineer, was named French prime minister in May, becoming only the second woman to hold the position after Edith Cresson, a Socialist, who held the job for less than a year in the early 1990s.

Katerina Sakellaropoulou, a trailblazing lawyer, was elected Greece’s first female president in January 2020.
While the presidency is a mainly ceremonial role in Greece, Sakellaropoulou had already broken new ground in the judiciary by becoming president of the country’s top court in 2018.

Katalin Novak, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former minister for family policy, was elected Hungary’s first ever woman president in March 2022.
The presidency is a largely ceremonial role.

Lithuanian former finance minister Ingrida Simonyte, a 47-year-old rock and ice hockey fan, was appointed prime minister of a center-right government in December 2020.
Lithuania has a strong tradition of female leadership, with “Baltic Iron Lady” Dalia Grybauskaite spending a decade in power from 2009 to 2019.

Liberal lawyer and anti-graft campaigner Zuzana Caputova, 48, took office in June 2019 as Slovakia’s first woman president.
A political novice, she had comfortably beaten the ruling party’s candidate in elections. In Slovakia, the president has less power than the prime minister but can veto laws and appointments of senior judges.

Despite being a country that champions gender equality, Sweden never had a woman as prime minister before Magdalena Andersson, a Social Democrat, who won the top job in November 2021.
She resigned on September 14, 2022 after an unprecedented right-wing and far-right bloc narrowly won the election.

Elsewhere in Europe, outside the EU, other women currently in power are: Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Kosovo’s president Vjosa Osmani, Moldova’s president and prime minister Maia Sandu and Natalia Gavrilita, Serbia’s openly-gay prime minister Ana Brnabic, and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.