Nobel Prize ceremony
STP calls for a minute’s silence for the victims (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demands Peter Handke to publicly distance himself from the criminal regime of Slobodan Milosevic and to apologize to the victims. "By taking sides with the war criminals, Handke has offended many people in the countries of the former Yugoslavia – while at the same time discrediting himself," stated Jasna Causevic, the STP's expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility for Protect. The human rights organization also called on the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Prize Committee to hold a minute's silence for the victims of the genocide crimes in Srebrenica during the festive ceremony at the Stockholm Conservation Centre – as a means to try and preserve the moral integrity of the prize and the committee.
The STP stated that Handke had intervened in the search for truth by mocking the International War Crimes Tribunal as well as the expert and journalist reports about the atrocities in Bosnia. "A minute's silence at the beginning of the ceremony could serve to emphasize that the members of the Nobel Committee and the Swedish Academy do not share the political views of their laureate," Causevic said. "Otherwise, it is to be feared that Handke's work will become even more of an inspiration for right-wing extremists, ultra-nationalists, and neo-fascists all over the world – and the Swedish Academy could lose all its credibility as a result".
"After the end of a war, it is a great challenge for the society of a country to deal with the crimes of the past, to come to terms with them and to secure peace," Causevic stated. By constantly questioning the genocide and by spreading his revisionist view of the worst human rights violations, Handke seriously disturbed the coming to terms with the past and the process of reconciliation in the Western Balkan states after the wars and conflicts of the 1990s.
In a protest note to the Swedish Academy (November 15, 2019), the STP stated that if literature is used to deny the personal experiences of other people, words become weapons that can harm human beings or even cost lives. "The victims of Slobodan Milosevic, whom Handke worships, must never be forgotten," Causevic emphasized. "If Handke refuses to show backbone and to apologize to the victims of the genocide crimes, he will have to be seen as a genocide denier.
On December 9 and 10, she will be in Stockholm (Phone: +49 – 151 560 86 370).
Header image: Jonas Bergsten via wikimedia