Hatidza Mehmedovic, a fearless campaigner for justice for the more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed by Serb forces in Bosnia in 1995, Europe’s worst massacre since World War II, died on July 22 in a Sarajevo hospital. She was 65 and had lost her own sons and husband in the bloodshed.
Camil Durakovic, a friend and former mayor of Srebrenica, the site of the massacre in eastern Bosnia, said the cause was complications of breast cancer.
Mrs. Mehmedovic (her full name is pronounced hah-tih-jah meh-meh-tow-ich) was president of the Mothers of Srebrenica, an association of women whose loved ones perished in the killings.
In recent years she spoke out against growing nationalism in Bosnia and called to account politicians in the region who stoked ethnic hatred or denied that genocide had taken place in Srebrenica, as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had determined during war crimes trials for the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
Mrs. Mehmedovic’s husband, Abdullah, their sons, Azmir, 21, and Almir, 18, and two brothers, Edhem and Hamed, died in the massacre, and she told her story of loss to journalists, prosecutors, academics, researchers, school children, neighbors and fellow citizens in Bosnia.
“We can’t let those who had killed to become the same as those who had been killed,” she said in a recent television interview. “I should not be the only one who is afraid of the future in which we don’t know who was the perpetrator and who was the victim.”
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