Protesters call for cancellation of ‘revisionist’ Serb film | Crimes Against Humanity News

Protesters are calling for screenings of a brand new documentary by a Serbian-Canadian filmmaker to be cancelled throughout Europe, saying the “revisionist” movie “whitewashes” conflict crimes dedicated through the Bosnian Conflict.

Movie director Boris Malagurski introduced final month on Twitter the schedule of screenings of his movie Republika Srpska: The Wrestle for Freedom. Malagurski has labored as a correspondent and host for Russian state media channels RT and Sputnik Serbia.

Republika Srpska turned a Serb-run entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the signing of the Dayton peace settlement in 1995, which ended the conflict in Bosnia.

From 1992 to 1995, Serb forces led a marketing campaign of ethnic cleaning with a aim of making a Better Serbia.

Essentially the most infamous case of their conflict crimes was in Srebrenica, the place in 1995, Serb forces underneath the command of convicted conflict felony Ratko Mladic, killed greater than 8,000 Bosniak males and boys over the course of some days. Worldwide courts dominated the bloodbath constituted genocide.

The Canada-based Institute for the Analysis of Genocide launched a web-based petition to cease the promotion of the movie, saying it “revises the painful historical past of Bosnia”. It has gathered practically 30,000 signatures.

“The movie promotes the denial of the genocide in Srebrenica,” the institute stated in a press release on Saturday. “… It promotes the concept of ​​Better Serbia, which is continually tearing Bosnia and Herzegovina aside.”

“And it tries, by all means, to point out that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a failed state, selling the independence of the Rebublika Srpska entity and its unification with Serbia,” it stated.

Marketing campaign chief Georgio Konstandi informed Al Jazeera that six days of screenings have up to now been cancelled in 19 cities in Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.

“[Malagurski’s] movie trailer clearly frames the founding of a genocidal regime as a ‘wrestle for freedom’ and a combat towards ‘slavery’” Konstandi stated. “We’d not settle for such gross whitewashing of every other genocidal regime.”

“Why ought to the Bosnian individuals, who have been tortured, massacred and raped by the Republika Srpska authorities, be anticipated to place up with it?” he requested.

Malagurski informed Al Jazeera that the documentary filmed scenes in Srebrenica and famous “the Worldwide Legal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [ICTY] within the Hague concluded, in its verdict, that ‘what occurred in Srebrenica constituted genocide,’ under no circumstances negating that truth”.

“It talks in regards to the Serbs’ turbulent historical past underneath numerous empires of the previous, however under no circumstances avoids speaking in regards to the crimes Serb forces dedicated through the conflict in Bosnia within the Nineteen Nineties,” he stated.

“Nonetheless, not one of the talked about organisations requested to observe the movie earlier than participating in an aggressive marketing campaign to ban the movie, within the ‘cancel tradition’ method of the instances we stay in,” Malagurski added.

Final week the Sarajevo Mayor Benjamina Karic addressed the mayor of Salzburg, Austria, in a letter, alerting him of the movie serving as “propaganda”. The screening was later cancelled.

The marketing campaign has spurred lobbied individuals exterior the Western Balkans to additionally remark. On Saturday, Alaskan standup comic Chelsea Hart posted a TikTok video of the problem, writing “Fascism is making a comeback in Europe.”

Rulings by the ICTY, together with the conclusion that the bloodbath in Srebrenica constituted a genocide, are commonly denied by Serb politicians in each Bosnia’s Republika Srpska and Serbia, together with Banja Luka’s Mayor Drasko Stanivukovic, who welcomed the movie’s premiere in Republika Srpska this month.

Town of Banja Luka reportedly financed $15,000 for the manufacturing of the documentary.

Bosnian Serb chief Milorad Dodik has for the previous 15 years been main a marketing campaign for the Republika Srpska entity to secede and be a part of Serbia.

Cologne’s Central Mosque sounds call to prayer for the first time | Religion News

Authorities in Cologne final yr cleared the way in which for mosques to use for permission to name for prayer for a most 5 minutes.

The Muslim name to prayer has sounded for the primary time from one in all Germany’s largest mosques in Cologne, however at restricted quantity – as a part of a challenge agreed with authorities within the metropolis that has one of many nation’s largest Muslim communities.

Authorities in Germany’s fourth-biggest metropolis final yr cleared the way in which for mosques to use for permission to name for prayer for a most 5 minutes between midday and 3pm on Fridays, with a noise restrict being set for every mosque in keeping with its location.

The decision to prayer was not a primary for Germany however Friday’s improvement introduced it to a very outstanding mosque.

The Central Mosque, a contemporary constructing with two tall minarets, is situated on a busy street in Ehrenfeld district simply west of the town centre. The huge glass and concrete construction – designed as a flower bud – has room for 1,200 worshippers.

Run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Spiritual Affairs, or DITIB, it was inaugurated by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2018.

Till now, the decision to prayer was heard solely contained in the constructing

DITIB stated an settlement for a two-year trial of the decision was made with the town on Wednesday. Authorities stated it could be broadcast by loudspeaker and be audible exterior, although it needs to be restricted to 60 decibels for close by residents.

“We’re very joyful,” Abdurrahman Atasoy, DITIB basic secretary advised reporters on Thursday. “The general public name to prayer is an indication that Muslims are at dwelling right here.”

Cologne’s mayor stated permitting the decision to prayer exhibits variety is appreciated within the metropolis.

Nonetheless, the restrictions imposed on the challenge level to the sensitivity of the topic. And the development of the Central Mosque itself drew opposition from right-wing teams, Cologne’s then-archbishop and others within the late 2000s.

Germany is dwelling to greater than 5 million Muslims, accounting for about six % of the inhabitants. Cologne, famed for its towering Dom Cathedral, counts greater than 100,000 Muslim residents.

Leicester: Call for calm after Hindu-Muslim unrest in UK city | Islamophobia News

Group leaders and native politicians within the British metropolis of Leicester have known as for a right away finish to “provocation and violence” after weeks of unrest that was triggered following a cricket match between India and Pakistan late final month.

Leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities gathered on Tuesday morning on the steps of a mosque.

Pradip Gajjar, the president of town’s Iskcon Leicester Hindu temple, learn out a joint assertion saying they had been “saddened and heartbroken to see the eruption of stress and violence”.

“Bodily assaults on harmless people and unwarranted injury to property are usually not a part of a good society and certainly not a part of our faiths,” he added, in accordance with a video posted by the native Leicester Mercury newspaper.

Jonathan Ashworth, an opposition Labour MP in Leicester, condemned “surprising scenes of unacceptable incidents of violence”, in an interview with Instances Radio.

The politician tweeted on Monday that each one within the metropolis “are united in calling for calm, peace and concord”.

Dozens of individuals have been arrested within the wake of the violence in probably the most multicultural English metropolis that has made headlines in India, Pakistan and the UK.

What prompted the outbreak of violence?

So what prompted the outbreak of unprecedented violence in Leicester, the place Hindus and Muslims have lived peacefully for many years?

Violent avenue clashes between some members of the Hindu and Muslim communities broke out after India beat archrival Pakistan in an Asia Cup match in Dubai on August 28.

After the match, a big crowd went out on Melton Highway in Leicester, a few of them waving Indian flags, to have fun India’s win over its arch foe Pakistan. Some within the crowd appeared to chant “Pakistan Murdabad” (loss of life to Pakistan), in accordance with movies shared on social media.

Police in Leicester reported a “sequence of incidents” in numerous components of town over the next week.

On Saturday evening, a crowd of about 200 Hindu males marched within the metropolis, with some shouting – “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) – a warfare cry for far-right Hindus in India. Quickly Muslims got here out on the streets resulting in scuffles.

The disturbances continued into Sunday with movies posted on native media displaying massive teams of youths sporting masks and balaclavas combating within the streets.

A Hindu temple was vandalised on the weekend as a bunch of Muslim males protested in response to Saturday’s unplanned march throughout which Muslim residents and store house owners had been intimidated.

Some members of the Asian neighborhood within the UK say the unrest could possibly be linked to the rise in Hindu nationalism in India beneath Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP), beneath which minorities, significantly Muslims, have confronted rising assaults since 2014, has been actively working among the many diaspora Hindu neighborhood.

‘We is not going to tolerate violence’

Police in Leicester mentioned a minimum of 47 individuals had been arrested. “The influence this dysfunction is having on our native communities isn’t acceptable,” Leicestershire police mentioned on Monday.

“We is not going to tolerate violence, dysfunction or intimidation in Leicester and we proceed to name for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations proceed with rigour and at scale.”

Police mentioned these arrested had been males, principally of their teenagers and 20s, and confronted costs reminiscent of possession of offensive weapons or firearms, violent dysfunction and making threats to kill.

Police have obtained further powers to cease and search anybody in sure areas and take minors again to their properties. They’ve urged in opposition to “circulating hypothesis on social media”.

The town’s mayor has blamed social media disinformation for the escalation of the violence.

Group leaders are in shock on the violence in a metropolis identified for its communal amity. Hindus and Muslims type a large part of town’s inhabitants.

“What we have now seen on the streets may be very alarming,” Suleman Nagdi of the Federation of Muslim Organisations was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Sanjiv Patel from the Hindu neighborhood additionally expressed shock.

“We have now lived in concord within the metropolis for a lot of many years however over the previous few weeks it’s clear there are issues that must be mentioned across the desk to get out what persons are sad about,” Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

‘A balanced view’

Dharmesh Lakhani, one other Hindu neighborhood chief, mentioned the desecration of the temple was “unacceptable”.

“I’m actually proud to say on that day, when the flag was eliminated, there was an imam exterior. He mentioned I’m standing exterior the mandir [temple], ensuring nothing occurs,” Lakhani was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

The India Excessive Fee issued an announcement on Monday condemning the “vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu faith”.

“We have now strongly taken up this matter with the UK authorities and have sought speedy motion in opposition to these concerned in these assaults.”

However the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest umbrella physique for Muslim-led organisations, criticised the Indian Excessive Fee for its selective condemnation.

“While it’s proper that we condemn the desecration of Hindu symbols, you have to characterize all Indians and likewise condemn the deliberate focusing on, intimidation and cases of assault of Muslims and Sikhs,” Zara Mohammed, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote in a letter to the Indian Excessive Fee.

“There’s a clear hesitancy to name out these teams who’ve instigated this thuggery and their political ideology; which they appear to be making an attempt to import from India.

“British Indian communities count on a balanced view from the Indian Excessive Fee, which represents all the diaspora, which may help heal divisions domestically.”

‘Shattering the palace’: Young women take up Thailand reform call | Protests News

Bangkok, Thailand – Tawan Tuatulanon glanced out of her automobile’s rear window and observed that state safety forces had been following dangerously shut. She started recording a Fb dwell video on her telephone as she and her fellow monarchy reform activists mentioned how they may evade the menace.

“The police are following us once more,” 20-year-old Tawan advised her dwell viewers on Fb final month. “This isn’t okay,” she murmured because the automobile raced down a freeway within the capital Bangkok.

Minutes earlier, the group of activists had been concerned in a small scuffle at a protest the place demonstrators had been brazenly criticising the royal household close to a royal motorcade. Three underage demonstrators had been arrested, together with a 13-year-old. In the course of the tried arrest, Tawan was hit within the eye by police and bruised her wrist and arm as she tried to guard the protesting youngsters.

Already accustomed to the virtually fixed surveillance from intelligence officers, plainclothes police had been now in pursuit of her group. The group pulled off the expressway and drove right into a residential space. They then determined to get out of their automobile and confront the obvious undercover officers.

“Why are you following us? Why don’t you come out and speak to us head to head?” Tawan barked on the police who hid inside their massive black truck, and as a crowd of onlookers gathered. Finally, the officers left.

Days after the incident on April 19, Tawan was arrested for allegedly violating her bail situations in an ongoing royal defamation case associated to a public ballot she organised in February that questioned the Thai monarchy. Criticising the king, or ‘lese-majeste‘, is an offence punishable with as much as 15 years in jail. Royal defamation beneath the Thai prison code is known as Part 112, or as the general public calls it merely “112.”

Altering techniques

Tawan is a part of the underground anti-monarchy group, Thaluwang, a reputation that interprets to ‘Shattering the Palace’.

It’s made up principally of younger individuals of their 20s, utilizing efficiency artwork, provocative stunts and different uncommon techniques to query the king’s immense maintain on energy, actions that had been taboo till solely a few years in the past.

A portrait of Maynu with pink hair and wearing a black face mask
Maynu wished to be a recreation developer however joined  Thaluwang as a result of she thinks Thailand must be reformed to present younger individuals the alternatives they crave [Maynu via Facebook]

Additionally within the group is 18-year-old Supitcha ‘Maynu’ Chailom.

Maynu caught the nation’s consideration when she was photographed elevating the three-finger salute in entrance of a whole lot of college college students in an emblem of defiance taken from the Starvation Video games film that has since come to outline opposition to authoritarian regimes throughout Southeast Asia.

Now one of many distinguished faces of a motion that desires to modernise the nation, it was the group’s concentrate on intersectionality and gender equality that originally appealed to her.

“Thaluwang additionally helps gender equality and girls’s rights, so that is one purpose why I grew to become concerned within the organisation,” Maynu advised Al Jazeera. Earlier than becoming a member of the anti-government motion, Maynu had goals of changing into a online game developer and designer. However now she says there are extra essential issues to do.

“This nation lacks area for younger individuals’s goals, video games are nonetheless demonised within the press and blamed for a lot of points with out taking a look at how mother and father elevate their youngsters and the way this nation doesn’t help younger individuals,” Maynu stated. “So all of this mixed has contributed to the place we are actually, and some problematic establishments are nonetheless holding again Thailand, and they’re highly effective and scary to confront.”

Thaluwang has moved away from mass protests and speeches delivered to massive crowds, as an alternative adopting techniques that authorized consultants say are tough to outline as unlawful. The strategy is meant to make activists much less weak to authorized harassment, however the crackdown has continued.

“We have now noticed that Thai authorities have elevated undue restrictions on the fitting to protest,” Emerlynne Gil, Amnesty Worldwide’s deputy regional director, advised Al Jazeera. “Throughout the previous couple of months, authorities have charged, detained and imprisoned activists, together with youngsters, denying them their proper to bail or imposing harsh bail restrictions on them. Activists have reported surveillance and harassment.”

Confronted with a lese-majeste cost – the most recent in a protracted line of monarchy reform activists who’ve come beneath authorized strain – Tawan advised Al Jazeera that she is just not afraid.

“Particularly concerning 112, my case actually highlights how problematic the legislation is in Thailand,” she stated. “Many individuals see us as younger people who find themselves simply expressing our opinions. So I don’t see how doing this by definition is an insult to the monarchy. And whether it is, then it will make individuals perceive that this legislation must be abolished much more.”

Thaluwang runs a questionnaire on the street in Bangkok, asking passers-by to show their opinion
Thaluwang has turned away from conventional road protests to attempt different methods of getting its message throughout [Ginger Cat/Al Jazeera]

Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy police spokesperson, advised Al Jazeera that authorities are merely upholding the legislation.

“We had been finishing up arrest warrants as they had been wished for violating critical legal guidelines,” stated Kissana, referring to the arrest of Thaluwang activists in late April.

“We respect their rights as acknowledged by the structure. We’re dedicated to defending the individuals and consider in human rights. However when you violate the legislation, now we have no alternative however to implement the legislation by our authorized means.”

Years of resistance

For the previous two years, protesters have been calling for former coup chief and now Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down, and for brand spanking new elections to be held. However it’s their requires royal reform which have despatched shockwaves by means of the nation.

Calling for public scrutiny of the Thai king broke longstanding taboos surrounding the monarchy in 2020, and mass protests sparked heated public debate over the position of the royal palace within the nation’s politics.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who took the throne in 2016, is usually criticised for his lavish way of life with estimates of his wealth beginning at about $30bn. However critics say he’s additionally bringing again absolute monarchy and controls the nation’s military-backed leaders, a system {that a} new era of Thais argues should be reformed for the nation to maneuver ahead.

For years, researchers have documented intimidation and surveillance of presidency critics at residence, within the office and on college campuses.

However even with the democracy motion’s most important leaders arrested, rights teams say the authorities have carried out surveillance, authorized harassment and arrests of critics at an unprecedented stage.

In interviews with greater than 12 Thai activists over the previous six months, Al Jazeera has documented allegations of surveillance and harassment, with some even talking of bodily torture or assault for demonstrating.

“Aside from utilizing authorized means to harass activists, the state authorities additionally harass residents who merely put up their opinions on Fb,” stated Wannaphat Jenroumjit, a lawyer for Thai Attorneys for Human Rights (TLHR) who works straight on ‘112’ instances in relation to activists calling for royal reform.

“They [the police] accomplish that by following them or approaching them straight, or intimidating their household, or neighbours, telling them they’re on the police watch checklist. However this sows suspicion among the many group towards them.”

Tawan, in a black t-short with red print gives the three-fingered Hunger Games salute which has become a symbol of resistance in Asia
Tawan makes the three-fingered Starvation Video games salute, which has turn out to be an emblem of resistance amongst pro-democracy teams from Myanmar to Hong Kong [Ginger Cat/Al Jazeera]

Tawan and Maynu each say they’ve skilled intimidation.

Maynu has been adopted by safety forces and was verbally abused when she spent a day in detention.

Tawan says she has been pursued by police on quite a few events. On one event, she advised Al Jazeera, 10 officers entered her residence and tried to persuade her mother and father to power her to cease. One other day, two males on bikes nearly ran her off the highway, she claimed.

‘Prices for society’

In accordance with THLR, no less than 1,787 individuals have been prosecuted for collaborating within the Thai protests from 2020 to 2022. The group has documented no less than 173 instances the place individuals had been charged with royal defamation over the identical interval.

Pikhaneth Prawang, one other lawyer for TLHR, warns the strategy may have broader implications for the nation.

“Because the resumption of the usage of ‘112’ on the finish of 2020, the variety of instances rose sharply,” Pikhaneth stated.

“We’re seeing it used not solely to focus on leaders, however now we’re seeing frequent individuals focused as effectively. We’re apprehensive about how far this might go. Such a marketing campaign may result in excessive prices for society.”

Such prices may embrace a system the place public belief is undermined, notably within the judicial system. A continued erosion of belief may,  Pikhaneth fears, “result in chaos sooner or later.”

Days after talking to Al Jazeera in April, a number of Thaluwang activists had been arrested.

Maynu has been launched on bail, however Tawan remains to be in detention and on starvation strike.

Over the past two weeks, three different ladies who characterize Thaluwang have additionally been detained with out bail, together with a 17-year-old woman. In response, dozens of protesters demonstrated in entrance of the US embassy on Might 11, handing in a petition calling on the US to induce Thailand to launch political prisoners and cease the usage of 112.

Earlier than she was arrested, Tawan advised Al Jazeera that regardless of the strain, she wouldn’t be deterred.

“We have now been adopted by police and it makes us really feel unsafe,” Tawan stated. “However with Part 112, I’m nonetheless not afraid. If something, it makes me really feel that I must struggle much more, and I’ve mentally ready myself to quickly be in jail. So you could possibly undoubtedly say that I’m a really totally different Tawan than I used to be earlier than.”