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BIRN Missing Persons Documentary Debated in Sarajevo

Tuesday, 16.09.2014 (12:00-14:05)
Bosnian society isn’t paying enough attention to the issue of the 8,000 people still missing since the 1990s war, a debate after the screening of the BIRN documentary film was told.
Experts who took part in the debate after the screening of BIRN’s documentary Missing You on Tuesday at the Obala Meeting Point cinema in Sarajevo said that not enough was being done to find and identify the thousands of victims who have disappeared.

“It is very hard for me to watch movies like this because they put faces on those who were killed. There are still 8,000 persons believed missing after the war. We must all ask ourselves how we can help families of those who went missing,” Goran Bubalo from the PRO Future NGO told the debate.

Nerzuk Curak, a professor at the Sarajevo Faculty of Political Science said that the search for the victims was crucial to forging a lasting peace.

“Society in Bosnia and Herzegovina must find peace based on the search for missing persons. People cannot [be allowed to] disappear,” Curak said.

The BIRN film explores the everyday suffering of people who lost their loved ones, both in wartime and peacetime, and the arduous and traumatic experience of searching for their bodies.

It was screened on Tuesday as part of the UN-sponsored International Day of Peace.

BIRN journalist Mirna Buljugic said that the documentary was intended to raise awareness.

“Until the missing are accounted for and the perpetrators of war crimes are held responsible, we cannot speak of reconciliation. BIRN has worked and will continue to work in this field. This is the minimum that we owe to the victims,” said Buljugic.

The deputy head of mission at the Swiss embassy in Sarajevo, Claudia Buess, said that the right to truth was a fundamental issue in facing the past and that the identification of missing persons leads to progress and peace building.

“This event today and this movie is a good sign that the issue of the missing is finally being put to the forefront,” Buess said.

Around 30,000 people went missing during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some 8,000 of them have not yet been found.

For further information about the film, email: [email protected]
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