Transcript: Ausma Khan: 20 Years After Srebenica | Mar 30, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and striped blue tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says TWENTY YEARS AGO THIS
SUMMER, A TRAGEDY OCCURED THAT
HAS OFTEN BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE
WORST EPISODE OF MASS MURDER IN
EUROPE SINCE THE SECOND WORLD
WAR.
THE SREBRENICA MASSACRE CLAIMED
THE LIVES OF MORE THAN EIGHT
THOUSAND BOSNIAN MUSLIM BOYS
AND MEN, AND SAW AN ESTIMATED
HUNDRED OF BOSNIAN MUSLIM WOMEN
RAPED AND ASSAULTED.
SREBRENICA ALSO SERVES IN THE
BACKGROUND OF AUTHOR
AUSMAN KHAN'S FIRST NOVEL,
IT'S CALLED The Unquiet Dead.

A picture of the book appears on screen. The cover features a silhouette of a person staring at a large mass of water at dusk.

Steve continues AND WE WELCOME HER BACK TO TVO.
I SAY BACK TO TVO EVEN THOUGH
YOU'VE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE,
BUT YOU'VE BEEN ON THIS PROGRAM
BEFORE VIA SATELLITE.

Ausma is a woman in her late thirties. She has long wavy chestnut hair, and wears a black blazer over a purple dress.

She smiles, nods, and says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says SO IT'S NICE TO SEE
YOU AGAIN.

Ausma says THANK YOU.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT A PHD IN
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW,
SPECIALIZATION IN MILITARY
INTERVENTION AND WAR CRIMES
IN THE BALKANS, AND YOU'VE
WRITTEN A NOVEL. SO, WHY DO YOU
WANT TO WRITE A MURDER MYSTERY
SET IN TORONTO AS A NOVEL.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Ausma Khan. Author ‘The unquiet dead.’"

Ausma says I THINK IT WAS A
NATURAL PROGRESSION FOR ME,
FROM MY ACADEMIC WORK. I'VE BEEN
DOING GRADUATE WORK ON THE
BOSNIAN WAR FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS
AND THE STORIES THAT I CAME
ACROSS IN REFUGEE TESTIMONIES,
SURVIVOR TESTIMONIES, WAR CRIMES
TESTIMONIES, THEY HAVE ALWAYS
BEEN IN MY HEAD. AND I HAD
EXPRESSED IT IN MY ACADEMIC
WRITING, BUT I FELT THAT THERE
WAS A LOT MORE OF A STORY TO
TELL, AND I'VE BEEN WRITING
ALL MY LIFE, AND ALWAYS HAD
THIS DESIRE TO WRITE FICTION
AND I'M A GREAT FAN OF MYSTERY
FICTION, SO I THOUGHT HERE WOULD
BE A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO
PULL THESE THINGS TOGETHER AND
EXPLORE THE SUBJECT THAT I
WAS SO INTERESTED IN. AND HAVE
THAT STORY REACH PROBABLY A
MUCH BROADER AUDIENCE THIS WAY.

The caption changes to "20 years after Srebrenica. Putting pen to paper."

Steve says PUBLISHER EVER SAY TO
YOU, THIS STORY IS HARROWING
ENOUGH FOR REAL, WHY DO YOU WANT
A NOVELIZATION OF IT?

Ausma chuckles and says NO, THE PUBLISHER
NEVER SAID THAT, I THINK THEY
FOUND SOMETHING VERY UNIQUE
AND DIFFERENT AND INTRIGUING,
AND AFTER THE BOOK CAME OUT, I
HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE COME UP TO
ME AND SAY, WELL WE KNEW THAT
WAR TOOK PLACE, BUT WE REALLY
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE,
AND WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT PEOPLE
HAD EXPERIENCED DURING THE WAR.
SO I THINK THAT IT FOUND A SPACE
THAT PEOPLE HADN'T SEEN BEFORE.

Steve says LET'S GET INTO THIS.
YOUR BOOK, YOUR FICTIONAL
DETECTIVE PROTAGONISTS ARE PART
OF SOMETHING CALLED, “THE
COMMUNITY POLICING SECTION.”
WHAT IS THAT?

Ausma says SO THE COMMUNITY
POLICING SECTION IS SOMETHING
THAT I INVENTED FOR MY BOOK.
BUT I ACTUALLY GOT THE IDEA
FROM RESEARCH I HAD DONE ABOUT
THE RCMP, WHERE THEY HAVE
A COMMUNITY POLICING DIVISION
OUT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND THEY
OUTREACH IN TO DIFFERENT ETHNIC
COMMUNITIES TO SEE WHAT LAW
ENFORCEMENT NEEDS WERE AND MAKE
THEM SENSITIVE TO LAW
ENFORCEMENT CONCERNS AND THAT
SPARKED THIS IDEA MAYBE THAT IS
SOMETHING WE NEED IN A CITY AS
DIVERSE AND MULTICULTURAL AS
TORONTO IS INVESTIGATORS IN
THESE DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES WHO
ARE SENSITIVE TO THEIR
PARTICULAR LAW ENFORCEMENT
CONCERNS AND THEIR NEEDS AND WHO
CAN FACE THIS DELICATE TENSION
OF BEING FROM WITHIN THESE
COMMUNITIES AND HAVING TO WORK
AS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.
INVENTING IT FOR TORONTO ALSO
GAVE ME THE LATITUDE TO DO
WHATEVER HE WANTED IN TERMS OF
POLICE PROCEDURE, NOT HAVE TO
FOLLOW THE EXISTING GUIDELINES
SO CLOSELY AND IT ALLOWED ME TO
PLACE A SECOND GENERATION
CANADIAN MUSLIM DETECTIVE INTO
THE SETTING AND TO LIASE WITH
THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.

Steve says WE DON'T HAVE THIS BUT YOU
THINK WE NEED THIS.

Ausma says I KNOW THAT ALL POLICE FORCES
HAVE SENSITIVITY TRAINING IN
MYSTERY SECTION YOU DO NOT SEE
THRILL OR FICTION YOU LAYERLY
SEE A MUSLIM CHARACTER SPEAKING
FROM THE INTIED RATHER THAN
BEING SPOKEN ABOUT OR SPEAKING
FROM THE OUTSIDE.

Steve says Let’s just say SOMEBODY HAS FALLEN OFF
SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS TO THEIR
DEATH AND YOUR DETECTIVES ARE IN
THERE TO INVESTIGATE.
DON'T SPOIL THE ENDING YOU WANT
TO GIVE US A SENSE ABOUT WHAT
THEY FIND?

Ausma says ABSOLUTELY, THESE TWO
CANADIAN DETECTIVES THE TEAM IS
LED BY A MAN AND HIS PARTNER, A
SERGEANT.
THEY ARE GIVEN A CALL BY CHIEF
WAR CRIMES HISTORIAN AT THE
DEPARTMENT OF USE ADVERTISE AND
ASKED TO LOOK INTO A FALL OF A
MAN NAMED CHRISTOPHER DRAYTON,
FALLEN FROM THE SCARBOROUGH
BLUFFS.
ON SURFACE IT DOES NOT SEEM MIKE
LIKE A SITUATION THAT THEY BRING
THEIR SPECIAL EXPERTISE TO.
THEY DIG INTO HIS PAST AND
UNCOVER THE CLUES ABOUT WHO HE
WAS IT SEEMS HE MAY HAVE BEEN A
BOSNIAN SERB WAR CRIMINAL LIVING
UNDER ASSUMED IDENTITY IN CANADA
AND THEY START TO DIG INTO
HISTORY AND THE FACT HE MAY HAVE
HAD TIES TO THE SREBRENICA
MASSACRE IN 1995 THEY MUST FACE
THIS QUESTION OF WHETHER PERHAPS
VICTIM OF THAT WAR OR VICTIM
CONNECTED TO HIM MAY HAVE BEEN
RESPONSIBLE AND HIS DEATH WAS
NOT A FALL OR SUICIDE AND MIGHT
HAVE BEEN A MURDER.

Steve says ANYBODY WRITES FICTION
HAS TO BE PREPARED FOR THIS
QUESTION, SO HERE IT COMES.
I MEAN, HAVE YOU JUST CHANGED
THE NAMES TO PROTECT THE
INNOCENT, AND THIS IS A REAL
STORY?

Ausma says I HAVE RELIED VERY
HEAVILY ON REAL EVENTS THAT
TOOK PLACE DURING THIS WAR.
BUT THERE IS NO SINGLE
INDIVIDUAL THAT I HAVE
REPRESENTED DIRECTLY, BUT
CERTAINLY I WAS INSPIRED BY THE
STORIES OF REFUGEES, SPY STORIES
IN THE NEWS ABOUT INDICTED WAR
CRIMINALS, AND ALL OF THAT HAS
COME INTO THIS BOOK AND FORMED
THE BACK STORY OF IT.

Steve says OKAY, AUSMA LET'S GO
BACK TO TWENTY YEARS AGO,
AND WE'RE GOING TO START, JUSTLOOK OVER
MY SHOULDER AT THE MONITOR, IF
WE CAN BRING THESE UP SHELDON.
HERE ARE MAPS OF THE PART OF THE
WORLD THAT WE WILL BE TALKING
ABOUT.

A map pops up on screen with the caption “Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.” The map shows the Balkan Region, East of Italy, and highlights Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia.

Steve continues SOCIALIST FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF
YUGOSLAVIA AS IT WAS THEN CALLED
BACK IN JANUARY OF 1991 FROM
NORTH TO SOUTH, SLOVENIA,
CROATIA, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA,
SERBIA, MONTENEGRO AND
THEN SEE HOW THINGS CHANGED.

The countries in the map change colours and Kosovo appears highlighted, south of Serbia and north of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Steve continues FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, MANY PLACES
CONSTITUENTS REPUBLICS IN ONE
COUNTRY ARE COUNTRIES OF THEIR
OWN, KOSOVO WHICH HAS BEEN
RECOGNIZED AS AN INDEPENDENT
PLACE BY SOME COUNTRIES IN THIS
WORLD AND MACEDONIA IS FORMER
YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA.
THIS IS HOW THE WORLD HAS
CHANGED OVER THAT PERIOD OF
TIME.
I WANT YOU TO TAKE US BACK,
BECAUSE AGAIN FOR A LOT OF
PEOPLE WHO IT IS A WHILE AGO AND
WE HAVE TO RELEARN THE LESSONS
OF HISTORY.
JOSEPH BROZ-TITO DICTATOR OF
YUGOSLAVIA HE MANAGES TO KEEP
CONTROL OF THIS ONE COUNTRY
WHILE HE IS ALIVE AND THEN HE
DIES.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

The caption changes to "Bosnia and the Balkans."

Ausma says WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS SOME
PEOPLE CALL IT WARS OF secession
FROM YUGOSLAVIA BUT EVENTUALLY
THESE REPUBLICS MAKE THEIR MOVES
Towards independence.
First Slovenia, then CROATIA AND THEN BOSNIA.
WHAT HAPPENS is, ONCE SLOVENIA AND
CROATIA ARE GONE THERE IS NO
LONGER a YUGOSLAVIA.
It’s essentially the great Serb bloc
OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO,
AND BOSNIA WANTS TO MAKE ITS
MOVE FOR INDEPENDENCE.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER IS THAT
BOSNIA, SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES
HAVE HAD A DISTINCT POLITICAL
AND GEOGRAPHIC IDENTITY AND A
DISTINCT AND UNIQUE CULTURAL
FLAVOUR OF MULTI-ETHNIC
existence.

Steve says EVERYBODY IS MIXED UP
TOGETHER, right?

Ausma says THAT IS RIGHT.
THAT IS PART OF ITS HISTORICAL
RECORD THAT PEOPLE FORGET IT WAS
NOT PART OF SERBIA AND
MONTENEGRO IT DID NOT WISH TO BE
ABSORBED INTO SERBIA.

Steve says We should get some NUMBERS ON THIS
topic. SHELDON, if you would...

A slide pops up on screen with the title “Bosnia’s ethnic groups.”

Steve reads from the slide and says
Of Bosnia’s population of 4 million,
The Bosniak GROUP, 44 percent AND SERBS MADE UP A THIRD, with 41 percent.
CROATS made up 17 percent AND PEOPLE
IDENTIFIED AS YUGOSLAV were 8 percent.
I’m not sure what that would be.
WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

Ausma says COULD BE EVERYTHING, JEWS,
PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERMARRIED IN
BOSNIA, MARRIAGE, A QUARTER OF
MARRIAGES CUT ACROSS ETHNIC
LINES.

Steve says LOTS OF INTERMARGE.
STATISTICS ARE FROM 25 YEARS
AGO.
THESE SORT OF FORCES OF
INDEPENDENCE, NOW THAT TITO IS
DEAD ARE TAKING HOLD.
HOW DID THESE DIFFERENT GROUPS
IN BOSNIA REACT TO NEW-FOUND
SITUATION.

Ausma says The DEPARTURE OF SLOVENIA AND
CROATIA WAS NOT WELCOMED BY
SERBIA AND TWO SMALL WARS WERE
PROSECUTED, including the
SIX MONTH WAR IN CROATIA.
A WAR COUNT OF 10,000 DEAD.

Steve says BETWEEN WHOM AND WHOM.

Ausma says BETWEEN SERBIA AND CROATIA
WHERE SERBS WERE SEIZED IN
CROATIAN TERRITORY A QUARTER OF
CROATIAN TERRITORY SUFFERED
TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION. That was BEFORE Bosnia
AND SLOVENIA WAS LET GO WITHOUT
TOO MUCH DIFFICULTY.
A 10 DAY WAR
TOOK PLACE THERE.
But the WAR IN BOSNIA WAS
LONG AND PROTRACTED.
It BEGAN WITH THE BOSNIAN movement for
INDEPENDENCE. So Croatians had
MOVED QUICKLY WITHOUT much CONCERN
FOR INTERNATIONAL OPINION BUT the
REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA had always FOLLOWED
FORMULATIONS LAID DOWN BY the
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR
RECOGNITION, and MOVED SLOWLY AND
PRECISELY, HELD A REFERENDUM IN
WHICH 68 percent OF POPULATION VOTED IN
FAVOUR OF THIS INDEPENDENCE AND
WAS RECOGNIZED AND ADMITTED AS
MEMBER STATE OF THE UNITED
NATIONS.
AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT,
BEGAN ASSAULT ON BOSNIA WITH
THE seizure of Sarajevo.

Steve says Let’s UNDERSTAND SOMETHING HERE.
YOU TOLD US THAT SLOVENIA IN THE
NORTH, YUGOSLAV/SERBIAN FORCES,
LET THEM GO BUT NOT BOSNIA.
BOSNIA THERE WAS A WAR THERE.
WHY THE DIFFERENCE?

Ausma says I THINK BECAUSE FOR ONE THING
IT WAS PART OF GREATER SERBIA
PROJECT, IDEA TO AMALGAMATE SERB
POPULATIONS WITH GREATER INNER
SERBIA.
THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT BOSNIAN
SERB POPULATION INTERMIXED IN
BOSNIA.
LATER IN THE WAR THE CROATIAN
FORCES GOT INVOLVED AND THOUGHT
ABOUT TAKING THE GREATER CROATIA
PROJECTS AND ANNEXING.

[TALKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

Ausma says So IN 1993 IT WAS A
DESPERATE SITUATION FOR THE
PEOPLE OF BOSNIA.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO
REMEMBER WITH THAT REFERENDUM IS
WHAT WAS IT FOR.
A CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY WHERE
ALL OF THE CITIZENS OF BOSNIA
WOULD HAVE EQUAL PROTECTION AND
EQUAL STATUS UNDER THE LAW
COMPETING WITH A VISION OF SERB
DOMINATED STATE WHERE OTHER
GROUPS COULD NOT BE SURE OF THE
STATUS AND SEE IN THE WAR THAT
LASTED FROM 1992 TO 1995 THOSE
GROUPS WERE RIGHT TO BE AFRAID
About WHAT THEY WOULD BE UNDER
THE GREATER SERBIA PROJECT.
Because essentially THOSE
LANDS WERE CLEANSED OF NON
SERBIAN INHABITANTS.

Steve says I’ll PUT THIS ON THE RECORD I KNOW
YOU DISAGREE with it, BUT I’ll PUT IT OUT
THERE FOR YOU TO REACT TO ANYWAY.
The SERB POSITION WAS WE ARE THE
LAST BULL WORK AGAINST MUSLIM
TIDE THAT WANTS TO TAKE OVER ALL
OF EUROPE AND IF THE WORLD DOES
NOT COME AND HELP US NOW... dot dot dot.
SERB WOSS SAY THAT THE dot dot dot
HAS BEEN IN PLENTIFUL EVIDENCE
SINCE THEN. YOU WOULD SAY WHAT?

Ausma says I WOULD SAY THAT rhetoric
was MUCH MORE POPULAR AND would be MUCH MORE
PERSUASIVE NOW THAN IT WAS THEN.
IT WAS USED AT THE TIMES A WELL.
IT FLYS IN THE FACE OF LIVED
REALITIES OF BOSNIAN PEOPLE WHO
DID NOT IDENTIFY IN STRICT
ETHNIC CATEGORIES WHO SAW
THEMSELVES AS ONE PEOPLE AND IF
YOU LOOK AT WHEN THIS BEGAN YOU
WILL SEE THAT FIGURES HAVE BEEN
PUT BETWEEN 30,000 AND 80,000
BUT SOMEWHERE IN THAT RANGE,
30,000 TO 80 THOUSAND BOSNIAN
SERBS RESISTED THIS PURIFIED
VISION OF THEIR NATION,
Resisted the re-WRITING OF THEIR
HISTORY.
COMMANDERS OF THE ARMY IN BOSNIA
HERZEGOVINA WERE BOSNIAN SERB
AND BOSNIAN CROAT.
The GENERAL WHO DEFENDED WAS BOSNIAN
SERB.
The MAJOR NEWSPAPER WAS MULTI-ETHNIC
MIX ALL WHO WROTE IN FAVOUR OF
REFERENDUM FOR INDEPENDENCE.
SO IDEA THAT Muslims didn’t BELONG OR
DID NOT HAVE A HISTORY OR WERE
TORN TURK INVADERS OR OCCUPIERS
THAT WAS REVISION OF HISTORY.
THE BOSNIAN POPULATION WAS
SECULAR IN INTERVENING YEARS
THAT PEOPLE WERE FORCED INTO
RELIGIOUS CATEGORIES IDENTITY
CHANGED IN BOSNIA AND DIFFERENT
STORY NOW.
IT DOES NOT STAND UP TO
SCRUTINY.

Steve says THERE IN EARLY 90s I HEARD
SOMEBODY DESCRIBE IT AS THIS IS
A WAR AMONG BOSNIAN MUSLIMS who don’t
Go to the mosque,
CROATIAN CATHOLICS who don’t go to church,
AND EASTERN Orthodox SERBS who don’t go
To their church either.
IT WAS A religious WAR AMONG THOSE THAT
DID NOT PRACTICE RELIGION.
IS THERE TRUTH in that?

Ausma says THERE IS TRUTH TO THAT IT WAS
AN ULTRANATIONALIST PROGRAM.

Steve says YEAH.
BRING UP THE NEXT MAP SHELDON AT
BOTTOM OF PAGE 4
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA AND TALKED
ABOUT SARAJEVO AND LOOK TO the EAST
NEAR the BORDER WITH SERBIA,
There’s SREBRENICA.

Another map pops up on screen highlighting Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Steve continues 20 YEARS AGO IF YOU WERE ALIVE
YOU REMEMBER IT WELL WAS FOCUS
OF GREAT DEAL OF INTERNATIONAL
ATTENTION BECAUSE OF ATROCITIES
THAT TOOK PLACE 20 YEARS AGO,
WHAT HAPPENED?

Ausma says IN 1995, VETS MEETS YAW
UNITED NATIONS DESIGNATED SAFE
AREA, ONE OF THREE ON THE
EASTERN BORDER, IT WASOVER RUN
BY BOSNIAN SERB ARMY IN A MATTER
OF DAYS.
SREBRENICA AND TWO OTHER AREAS
WERE SAFE AREAS UNDER UNITED
NATIONS PROTECTION OR WERE MEANT
TO BE.
AS MUCH AS PROTECTION COULD
EXIST WHEN YOU HAVE A
PEACEKEEPING FORCE PLANTED IN
THE MIDDLE OF AN ARMY.
AND THESE SAFE AREAS WERE CHOKED
OFF.
THEY WERE ISOLATED FROM BOSNIAN
COMMAND AND IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFEND
AND NOT ADEQUATE FORCES IN THERE
TO DEFEND.
The CIVILIAN POPULATIONS FOR THREE
YEAR PERIOD HAD BEEN UNDER SIEGE
ESSENTIALLY BEING SHELLED AND
STARVED EVERY DAY AND THE
SITUATION IN SREBRENICA IN 1995
WAS DIRE.
THESE ENCLAVES IN THE EASTERN
BLOCK ALSO REPRESENTED
IMPEDIMENT TO PROPOSED PEACE
PLANS WHERE THIS TERRITORY COULD
BE GIVEN OVER TO BOSNIAN SERB
FORCES WERE IT NOT FOR THEIR
SIGNIFICANT MUSLIM POPULATION.
SO IN JULY OF 1995 BOSNIAN SERB
ARMY ON JULY 6 BEGAN ITS PUSH
FROM THE SOUTH on the SREBRENICA
ENCLAVE AND BEGAN BY SHELLING
THE DUTCH OBSERVATION POST, THE
PEACEKEEPING FORCES AND
BATTALION WERE DUTCH BATTALION.

Steve says HOW DID THEY DO?

Ausma says TERRIBLY.
TERRIBLY BY ANY ACCOUNT THE
RECORD ON THIS IS APPALLING.
BUT AT THAT MOMENT, AND AT THAT
TIME THEY DID REPORT UP THEIR
CHAIN OF COMMAND THAT WE ARE
UNDER SIEGE, OUR OBSERVATION
POSTS ARE BEING ATTACKED AND WE
REQUEST CLOSE AIR SUPPORT AND
THE DUTCH BATTALION MADE 6
REQUESTS FOR AIR SUPPORT TO
PREVENT SERB ADVANCE INTO
SREBRENICA NONE OF THOSE
REQUESTS WERE MET.
WHEN PERMISSION WAS GRANTED NATO
PLANES WERE IN THE AIR FOR HOURS
AND HAD TO TURN BACK TO REFUEL.
IT WAS A COMPLETE TRAGEDY OF
ERRORS WHAT TOOK PLACE AND IN
FIVE DAY BOSNIAN SERB ARMY
CONQUERED WITH THE ENCLAVE AND
POPULATION OF NOT JUST THE TOWN
AND SURROUNDING ENCLAVE HAD
TAKEN REFUGE AT THE BASE.

Steve says I THINK THAT THE DUTCH-BAT
THEY WERE FOUND RESPONSIBLE.
FOUND CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR
MUCH OF WHAT TOOK PLACE THERE.
IS THAT RIGHT?

Ausma says NOT FROM MUCH OF WHAT TOOK
PLACE BUT FOR A SPECIFIC
INCIDENT.
There were BOSNIAN MUSLIMS WHO had SOUGHT REFUGE
ON THE U.N. BASE AND THEY PUT
THEIR NAMES TO THIS LIST AND IT
WAS REPORTED AS LIST OF 234 BUT
THE NUMBER WAS UP TO CLOSER TO
300 AND WHEN THE ARMY CAME TO
THE BASE they said WE WANT THESE MEN AND
YOU HAVE TO TURN THEM OVER AND
DUTCH-BAT DID TURN THEM OVER
DESPITE PROTEST AND KNOWLEDGE
THAT THEIR FATE WILL BE GRIM AND
THE DUTCH COURT HAD RECENTLY HAS
RECENTLY CONVICTED THE DUTCH OF
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT, FOR
THOSE 300 MEN AND THEY ARE
REQUIRED TO PAY COMPENSATION TO
FAMILIES.
BUT WHAT THE PEOPLE WHO advocate say,
The Mothers of Srebrenica,
Is WHY did YOU MAKE THIS DIVIDING LINE WHY
300 MEN ON THE BASE, WHAT ABOUT
THOUSANDS OF MEN ON THE OTHER
SIDE OF THE BASE WHY DON'T THEY
ALSO HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
THAT.
ONE OF THE THINGS I TALK ABOUT
IN MY BOOK IN THE UNQUIET DEAD
IS THIS U.N. BASE IN SREBRENICA
AS A DIVIDING LINE BETWEEN LIFE
AND DEATH.
IF YOU WERE ON THE BASE YOU WERE
SAFE, TAKEN OFF THE BASE, YOUR
FUTURE WAS CERTAINLY TO BE
EXECUTED.

Steve says 20 YEARS LATER, HOW MANY OF
THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT TOOK
PLACE 20 YEARS AGO HAVE BEEN
BROUGHT TO JUSTICE IN.

The caption changes to "Battlefield to courtroom."

Ausma says NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.
THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL
TRIBUNAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS WORK, VERY
IMPORTANT WORK.
161 INDICTMENTS AT THE TRIBUNAL.
THEY HAVE COMPLETED MOST OF THE
PROSECUTION, JUST A FEW CASES
LEFT BEFORE TRIBUNAL WINDS UP
THE BUSINESS.
IN TERMS OF STRICT NUMBERS IT IS
NOT ENOUGH MANY PEOPLE
PARTICIPATED IN THAT WAR, MANY
PEOPLE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT
TOOK PLACE AT THOSE
CONCENTRATION CAMPS. The MASS RAPE
THAT TOOK PLACE IN BOSNIA, FEWER
THAN 40 MEN WERE PROSECUTED OR
CONVICTED FOR THOSE RAPES,
REPORTED AT 20,000 BUT ESTIMATED
TO BE MORE THAN 40,000.
IN THE OVERALL PICTURE IT SEEMS
LIKE JUSTICE HAS NOT BEEN DONE.
IF YOU LOOK AT WHO THEY
PROSECUTED HEADS OF STATE, HEADS
OF THE ARMY AND CIVILIAN AND
POLITICAL LEADERS.
IT HAS A TREMENDOUS IMPACT AND
WHAT THE TRIBUNAL HAS DONE I
THINK HAS DONE AWAY WITH THIS
TRADITION OF IMPUNITY FOR WAR
CRIMES. So in THAT SENSE THEIR
WORK IS SIGNIFICANT AND IT MUST
CONTINUE.

Steve says IS THE INVESTIGATION ACTIVE
AND ARE THEY PURSUING those
RESPONSIBLE?

Ausma says WELL THEY ARE COMING TO the end
OF THEIR TERM, THEY HAVE A
GENERAL, COMMANDER OF BOSNIAN
SERB ARMY IN CUSTODY AND JUST
COMPLETED TRIAL OF BOSNIAN SERB
LEADER KARADZIC AND ARGUMENTS ON
THAT TRIAL CLOSED IN NOVEMBER
AND THE VERDICT SHOULD COME OUT
THIS YEAR. PROBABLY TAKES AS LONG
AS A YEAR. But if THESE TWO MEN ARE
CONVICTED OF GENOCIDE,
COMPLICITY AND GENOCIDE, JOINT
CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, THESE TWO
ARCHITECTS OF THAT WAR AND
GENOCIDE AND TREMENDOUS
SUFFERING FOR BOSNIA'S PEOPLE
ALL GROUPS, IF THEY ARE
CONVICTED THAT WILL SEND A CLEAR
MESSAGE THAT THE SUFFERING WAS
NOT IN VAIN AND THAT YOU CAN NOT
COMMIT GENOCIDE WITH impunity.
THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
WILL STAND BY ITS PRINCIPLES IN
THE INTERNATIONAL LAW.

Steve says THOSE WHO SURVIVED MASSACRES,
ET CETERA, ANY SENSE ABOUT WHERE
THEY ALL ARE NOW?

Ausma says WELL, SOME ARE STILL IN
COUNTRY ITSELF.

Steve says THEY STAYED?

Ausma says SOME HAVE.
AND ALTHOUGH NOT MANY HAVE BEEN
REPATRIATED TO SREBRENICA AND
REFUGEE POPULATION ALL OVER THE
WORLD INCLUDING IN TORONTO, IN
MANY CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES
AND IN THE NETHERLANDS AND WHERE
THE COUNTRIES HAVE ACCEPTED A
REFUGEE POPULATION.
IN MANY CASES... There was A STORY IN NEW
YORK TIMES WHERE THE STATE
DEPARTMENT IS ABOUT TO DEPORT
150 BOSNIAN SERBS WHOSE FLED
HERE, FLED TO STATES AND WERE
LIVING SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH THEIR
VICTIMS AND WERE KNOWN AND WERE
SAID THAT THESE PEOPLE SHOULD GO
BACK, INDICTED BY TRIBUNAL OR
NATIONAL COURT SYSTEM, THEY CAN
CONTINUE PROSECUTING WAR
CRIMINALS THAT IS STARTING TO
TAKE PLACE NOW.
BUT IT IS A VERY I THINK
UNCOMFORTABLE AND UNFAIR
SITUATION WHEN PERPETRATORS AND
VICTIMS HAVE TO LIVE TOGETHER.

Steve says WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THIS
WILL HAVE ON THE FUTURE OF
PEACEKEEPING?
IT CERTAINLY...
I MEAN THE WHOLE PEACEKEEPING
THING FELL APART.
IT WAS APPALLING.

Ausma says IT WAS THE WRONG MISSION FROM
THE START.
A WAR WAS TAKING PLACE, NO
PEACEKEEPING AND THERE WAS NO
INDICATION THAT THERE WOULD BE
ANY PEACE OR THAT THE GREATER
CROATIA OR GREATER SERBIA
PROJECT WAS SERIOUS ABOUT PEACE.
TO PUT PEACEKEEPERS INTO THAT
SITUATION WITH WRONG CALL FROM
THE BEGINNING AND IN 1999 REPORT
THAT U.N. PUBLISHED ON THE FALL
OF SREBRENICA IT said THAT
PEACEKEEPING WAS THE WRONG
CHOICE TO MAKE.
I THINK CERTAINLY
the LESSON THAT IS LEARNED is that
YOU DO NOT PUT PEACEKEEPERS INTO THE
SITUATION WHERE THERE IS NO
PEACE TO KEEP.
AND THE U.N. SAID
THAT THROUGH ERROR, MISJUDGMENT
AND INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE THE
SCOPE OF THE EVIL CONFRONTING US
WE FAIL TO DO OUR PART TO SAVE
THE PEOPLE OF SREBRENICA FROM
SERB CAMPAIGN OF MASS MURDER.
WE THOUGHT IMPARTIALITY WAS THE
RIGHT COURSE IT CLEARLY WASN'T
WHEN THERE WAS AGGRESSOR AND
VICTIM.

Steve says SINCE THE WAR, WHAT'S
THE -- HOW WOULD YOU
CHARACTERIZE THE STATUS OF
RELATIONS AMONG THE THREE
PEOPLES NOW TODAY, MUSLIMS,
CROATS SERBS IN BOSNIA.

Ausma sighs and says It’s AN EXCELLENT QUESTION.
I THINK FROM MY READING OF THE
SITUATION IT IS UNEASY AND
FRAGILE PEACE.

Steve says BUT IT IS A PEACE.

Ausma says IT IS A PEACE AND PEACE THAT
IS HELD. THERE HAVE BEEN
FLARE-UPS HERE AND THERE,
HATEFUL RHETORIC AND THERE IS
NOW WITH THE RECONSULTATION OF
STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT IN
BOSNIA WHERE THE PRESIDENCY
ROTATES EVERY 8 MONTHS THROUGH
The BOSNIAK, the SERB, AND the CROAT.
IT’S FORCED
PEOPLE INTO ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS
CATEGORIES WHEN THEY might NOT
NECESSARILY HAVE THOUGHT OF
THEMSELVES THAT WAY BEFORE.
AND I think AS LONG as YOU HAVE THAT CULTURAL
IMPUNITY NOT IN THE TRIBUNAL
BUT ON THE GROUND WHERE
PERPETRATORS ARE WALKING FREE
AND NOT ACCOUNTING FOR CRIMES,
THAT LEADS TO UNWORKABLE AND
UNSTABLE SITUATION WHERE THE
SAME TENSIONS CAN FLARE UP AT
ANY TIME AND SAME COUNTRY CAN BE
DESTABILIZED IN THE SAME WAY.

Steve says 25, 30 YEARS AGO WHERE PEOPLE
INTER MARRIED AND MIXED TOGETHER...
IS THAT ALLOWED now? OR HAS EVERYBODY
RETREATED TO their RESPECTIVE CORNERS
AND THERE IS NO INTER MINGLING?

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Ausma says THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HOLD
TRUE TO BOSNIAN ideal. BUT IN
AREAS OUTSIDE OF THE MAJOR
CITIES THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF
TENSION.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT I READ RECENTLY
IS BOSNIAN SURVIVORS GO UP TO
SREBRENICA TO VISIT GENOCIDE
MEMORIAL OR BURY DEAD AS THEY
ARE GOING ON THE BUSES ON THE
HILLSIDE PASSING BY SERB
CHILDREN MAKING a SALUTE
IN THEIR FACES.
I still hear stories about
PIGS being THROWN INTO MOSQUES OR
FARMERS FINDING LIVESTOCK
SLAUGHTERED ON their DOORSTEPS.
ALL OF THESE TENSE THINGS ARE still
HAPPENING, JUST NOT AT THAT
VOLUME AND NOT TO THAT DEGREE.

Steve says YOU KNOW OF COURSE, FROM THE
SERB POINT OF VIEW, I MEAN, I
REMEMBER WHEN I WAS THERE,
PEOPLE WOULD SAY TO ME,
WE KNOW WHAT THEY DID TO US IN
1389 AND WHERE, IT'S PAYBACKTIME.
I MEAN, IF PEOPLE HAVE A FIVE
HUNDRED YEAR LONG MEMORY OF
GRIEVENCES, CAN YOU REALLY
HOPE FOR A MORE PEACEFUL FUTURE?

Ausma says WELL I THINK THAT WAS ONE OF
THE TROPES THAT WAS CERTAINLY
CIRCULATED AT THE TIME, AND
CERTAINLY EXPLOITED BY THE
ALTERNATIONAL'S PROJECT OF
SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC THAT THESE
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUR LIFELONG
OUR CIVILIZATIONAL ENEMIES.
WE CAN NEVER HAVE PEACE WITH
THEM.
BUT AGAIN I THINK THAT'S A
RHETORIC THAT WAS EXPLOITED
AND IT'S COMPLETELY IN THE --
IT FLIES IN THE FACE OF THE
BOSNIAN HISTORY, WHICH WAS THIS
SIX HUNDRED PERIOD OF COEXISTENCE.
INTERRUPTIONS OF COURSE FOR THE
WORLD WARS, BUT WE'RE IN EUROPE
WHERE THERE'S NOT THESE
INTERRUPTIONS. AND OF PEOPLE WHO
HAD LEARNED TO LIVE TOGETHER
PEACEFULLY, TO RESPECT EACH
OTHERS TRADITIONS, EVEN TO
ABSORB THEM INTO THEIR OWN, SO
I WOULD MEET BOSNIAN MUSLIMS
ALL THE TIME WHO WOULD SAY
THEY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS.
SO I THINK THAT IT'S A CLEVER
WAY OF SAYING, WELL IF ALL SIDES
ARE GUILTY, WE DON'T HAVE TO ACT
BUT I NEVER BOUGHT IT FOR A
SECOND.

Steve says HAVE YOU BEEN TO SREBRENICA?

Ausma says I HAVEN'T BUT I WOULD LIKE TO
GO this year FOR the 20th ANNIVERSARY.

Steve says YOU WILL GO IN JULY?

a grins and says IT IS MY HOPE TO.

Steve says WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS
IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO GO TO SEE
IT FOR YOURSELF?

Ausma says FOR A NUMBER REASONS, I'M A
STUDENT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IT
IS IMPORTANT TO ME TO SEE HOW
THE NORMS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
ARE CARRIED OUT IN PRACTICE,
WITH A GRAVE VIOLATION, IT WAS A
GENOCIDE THAT TOOK PLACE ON
Our TELEVISION screens ESSENTIALLY,
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG WOMAN AND
STUDENT ACTIVIST.
IT WOULD BE A MOMENT OF
COMPLETION FOR ME TO SEE MY WORK
COME TO some CLOSURE OR END AND I'M A
MUSLIM WOMAN AS WELL.
I WAS INTERESTED IN BOSNIAN WAR
AS A YOUNG MUSLIM WOMEN, AND I
HAD A PERSONAL CONNECTION IN THE
SENSE OF IDENTITY AND I HAVE
THIS BELIEF THAT PEOPLE OF
DIFFERENT FAITHS AND DIFFERENT
CULTURES CAN LIVE TOGETHER
PEACEFULLY.
There’s NOTHING IN THEM INTRINSICALLY TO
DIVE them. IT IS WHAT WE MAKE OF those things.
And I’ve lived in Canada my whole life,
So I KNOW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE.
I WOULD LIKE TO GO TO PAY MY
RESPECTS AND LIKE TO GO TO PRAY
FOR THE DEAD.

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Steve smiles and says WE ARE GLAD THAT YOU FOUND
THE TIME TO BE WITH US HERE
TODAY.
THE UNQUIET DEAD IS YOUR NOVEL
AUSMA KHAN THANKS FOR VISITING
US AT TVO.

Ausma says THANK SO YOU MUCH FOR HAVING
ME.

Watch: Ausma Khan: 20 Years After Srebenica