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Human Rights in Gorazde

I THANK those who speak on behalf of the victims of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a bloodstain on your TV screens. Bosnia-Herzegovina is genocide. Bosnia is everything that human rights are not. I want you to keep in mind the name of a town in eastern Bosnia. The town is called Gorazde, and I will mention it again soon and make a proposal to this conference.

Some 20,000 civilian adults dead, over 1.5 million displaced persons and refugees, 25,000 children dead, hundreds of thousands in Bosnia at this moment starving to death.

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Thousands of children maimed, ... parentless - to remind the international community forever of the international crime in which that community is an accomplice. Bosnia-Herzegovina is not a natural disaster. It is a genocide by people, a regime in Belgrade that attacks not only Muslims and Croats in Bosnia, but Croats in Croatia, Albanians in Kosovo, Muslims in Sandzak, Hungarians in Vojvodina - all in broad daylight, in front of all of you, in front of those who were handed the banner of might and justi ce in the international community.

They are not punished. But we are punished because we did believe in justice; we did believe in the international community. And now we are considered guilty simply because we have resisted. We have become such an embarrassment that high officials of the UN do not even speak of Bosnia in their speeches - do not even mention Bosnia.

I will not speak long. I want to draw your attention to the town of Gorazde in eastern Bosnia. As we speak, it is being savagely attacked by Serb forces. These are Serb forces from Serbia proper. This is an attack on Bosnia.

For those who do not know, Bosnia has been a country, a state, a kingdom - for 1,000 years. Bosnia knew about human rights hundreds of years ago - when Jews, Hungarians, and others who sought refuge there were given refuge, and who have since lived as first-class citizens.

For how long shall we tolerate this? I am speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak - because they have been denied the right to speak. They have been denied the right to eat. They have been denied the right to live for 15 months with almost no action on the part of the international community. So how can we talk about human rights? Theoretically we should speak about mechanisms to implement the human rights to punish the tyrants wherever they are. This means Gorazde today: 60,000 people awaiting deat h, as we speak, now - an hour from here by airplane. People are dying in the hospitals, in the schools, in the houses, in the streets. Hundreds lie dead in the streets now, as we speak about human rights here. As we go on with the so-called peace process - a process in which not only the regime in Belgrade should be accused, but also the international community (whatever that phrase now means) for allowing genocide to shamelessly continue.

Human rights. Where are the human rights? Where is the political will? And then the question: What can we do?

I propose, and I hope... I will be listened to, that this conference appeals to the Security Council to stop the genocide of the people in Gorazde. Bear this in mind: 20,000 children in Gorazde are in a position to be killed. There is no doubt about it. So I repeat, let us make an appeal today from this conference to the Security Council; let us demand on behalf of the participants, on behalf of humanity - because this is a crime against humanity - to stop. Let us take all necessary measures (UN resoluti ons entitle the Security Council to take such measures) to stop the genocide in at least one town, Gorazde.

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THIS is a test. If nothing is done, there will be no credibility left for anyone - the international community or the UN. Those calling from the United Nations for the downtrodden and for the dispossessed would be right. Is this what we want? Why accept double standards so blatant, so open, so bloody and so deadly?

Let me give you the message of the people of Bosnia: We will fight and defend ourselves because it is our inherent right, one of the oldest human rights. We will defend ourselves despite the fact that the international community has tied our hands while we are being killed, while our women are raped, while our children are maimed.

I appeal to you to demand that the Security Council take all necessary measures in Gorazde in order to restore credibility to this conference, to the UN, and to the international community.

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