The Canadian Authorities were right to keep Srdja Trifkovic Out

The Canadian Authorities were right to keep Srdja Trifkovic OutBy: Mirza Velagic, Seattle, WA

The recent decision by Canadian authorities to deny Srdja Trifkovic – an outspoken denier of the genocide committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and former advisor to the Bosnian Serb regime that orchestrated it – the right of entry into the country is commendable and should be welcomed by all those concerned with preventing genocide, bringing perpetrators to justice, and combating the denial of the crime of genocide. By taking this courageous action the Canadian government has sent a clear message that foreign individuals that publicly deny confirmed instances of genocide and have a history of collaborating with genocidal regimes will not be welcomed into the country.  

The acts of denying confirmed instances of genocide and advocating further violence against the victims of genocide as well as other at-risk national, ethnic, racial, and religious groups in society are inseparably linked. The renowned genocide scholar Dr. Gregory H. Stanton has described the denial of genocide as the eight and final step of any genocidal campaign.  He stated that:

“Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims.”

As they were committing the genocide at Srebrenica the Serb forces were intentionally dismembering corpses and burying them in dozens of mass graves scattered around Srebrenica with the hope that they would never be found. To this day – fifteen years after the massacre – criminal anthropologists and other experts in finding and identifying human remains are still trying to locate and excavate all the mass graves that were dug.  The perpetrators’ intention from the very beginning was to deny that the calculated mass murder of over eight thousand Bosnian men and boys ever took place. In his speeches and writings Mr. Trifkovic is continuing the perpetrators’ work by trying to make sure that the truth of what happened to the victims remains buried beneath untruths and misinformation and that those responsible never get punished for the heinous crimes they committed.

By denying the genocide that was committed and attempting to protect its perpetrators Mr. Trifkovic is willfully spreading the genocidal ideology that led to the murder of over two hundred thousand innocent civilians. His public statements and published articles present a clear danger to Bosnians living in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Bosnian-Canadian citizens who found safety in Canada after being forcefully expelled from their homes. Many of these refugees and their children are Canadian citizens and it is the duty of the Canadian government to ensure their safety as well as the safety of all other at-risk ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural groups in Canadian society.

By deciding not to welcome Mr. Trifkovic into their country the Canadian authorities have shown their commitment to combating the denial of genocide and holding those known to have been involved in genocides to account. For this the Canadian authorities should be applauded. The Canadian government’s strong stance against Holocaust denial and its decision to not allow a well known and outspoken denier of genocide and former advisor to a genocidal regime to enter their country will no doubt serve as positive examples to other democratic governments that value human rights and take their commitment to upholding the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide seriously. It will hopefully inspire them to follow Canada’s lead by taking serious steps to combat denial of the Holocaust and other confirmed instances of genocide and not welcoming foreigners engaged in such nefarious activities into their countries.