‘The Serbian state supports the glorification of war criminals’: an interview with the organisation fighting to remove Mladić murals

CN: war, genocide triumphalism


In July this year, a mural honouring convicted war criminal Ratko Mladić was painted on a building in central Belgrade. This had occurred on the same day that Bosnia’s outgoing High Representative, Valentin Inzko, imposed changes to Bosnia’s Criminal Code that would prohibit the denial of genocide and glorification of war criminals. A week ago, over three months after the mural’s appearance, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) announced to Serbian authorities that they would be holding a rally in which they would remove the graffiti honouring the convicted war criminal. Two days later, Serbia’s Ministry of Interior notified the YIHR that they were banned from both holding the rally and removing the graffiti. During yesterday’s protests in Belgrade, two civic activists were arrested* by police for throwing eggs at Mladić’s mural. Politika News spoke with YIHR’s Ivan Đurić about the state’s response to their initiative and its political context. 

The Youth Initiative for Human Rights is a network of Western Balkan NGOs fighting for justice, equality, democracy and peace in the region.

*In the introduction to this interview, it is said that only one civic activist threw eggs at the mural and was subsequently arrested. The correct information is that two civic activists – Aida Ćorović and Jelena Jaćimović – threw eggs at Mladić’s mural and were both subsequently arrested by Serbian police.

Politika News would like to thank Ivan for his time. Readers can access YIHR’s work here.

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