Mothers of Srebrenica call for withdrawing Nobel from Handke

Say Austrian writer 'defended executioners of the Yugoslav Wars'

11 October, 17:34

    Memorial ceremony to mark the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre Memorial ceremony to mark the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre

    SARAJEVO - The Mothers of Srebrenica harshly condemned the decision to award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Austrian writer Peter Handke, who is accused of having supported the crimes of Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, and they announced their decision to officially call for the committee to withdraw the prize.

    "Today on behalf of the association Mothers of Srebrenica, we will send an official letter to the Committee for the Nobel Prize in Literature to call for the withdrawal of the prize awarded to Peter Handke," said Munira Subasic, president of the association, cited by media in Sarajevo.

    "A man who defended the executioners of the Yugoslav Wars cannot receive such a recognition," she said.

    Handke is notoriously pro-Serbian and is accused by the Bosnians of denying the crimes committed by Serbians in the 1990s in wars in the former Yugoslavia.

    Harsh criticism also came from Sefik Dzaferovic, the Bosnian Muslim member of the tripartite Bosnian presidency, who called the decision "scandalous and shameful".

    PEN America also condemned the decision, while a petition to revoke the awarding of the prize to Handke has been started on the platform Change.org.

    Reactions were the opposite among Bosnian Serbs and in Belgrade, where the news was received with congratulations and satisfaction.

    The Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, currently the Serbian component of the Bosnian presidency, sent a congratulatory message to Handke and said the recognition shows the truth isn't completely lost.

    Dodik called Handke a "great friend of the Serbs" and said he was the one who, "when many in the world were keeping quiet, openly opposed NATO bombings against the Serbs in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

    Congratulatory messages were also expressed in Belgrade by, among others, Serbian Culture Minister Vladan Vukosavljevic, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, and Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojicic.

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