11 December 2013: A group of religious leaders from the United Kingdom led by former BBC news correspondent Martin Bell OBE, and the Chairman of the “Remembering Srebrenica” Project, Dr. Waqar Azmi paid a visit to the headquarters and identification facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo and Tuzla on Monday and Tuesday, as part of their visit to BiH.
In addition to Mr. Bell, the delegation included the Imam Qari Mohammed Asim MBE, Imam at Leeds Makkah Masjid, Elinor Chohan, Trustee of Altrincham Muslim Association, Imam Asim Hafiz, Islamic advisor for the Ministry of Defence, Revd. Dr. Toby Howarth, Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs at the Church of England, Mehri Niknam MBE, Founder of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, Imam Ajmal Masroor, Imam broadcaster and fundraiser, Greg Pope, Head of Parliamentary Relations at the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales and Julie Siddiqi, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain During the visit, the delegation was introduced to ICMP’s work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a specific emphasis on those missing from Srebrenica 1995. The delegation was also introduced to activities that ICMP is carrying out to assist other governments around the world in dealing with the issue of missing persons.
The visit is a part of Dr. Waqar Azmi’s initiative “Lessons from Srebrenica” which aims to introduce groups of the UK opinion-makers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ICMP.
“The atrocity committed in Srebrenica is a reminder to every one of us about what humans are capable of doing to other humans when hatred, extreme nationalism and religious intolerance prevail,” said the Chairman of the “Remembering Srebrenica” Project Dr. Waqar Azmi. “The Remembering Srebrenica project is an attempt to take that message to the UK and beyond, so that others can see first-hand the potential consequences of hatred and bigotry in their own countries,” he added.
The ICMP is the only specialized international organization of its kind that addresses the issue of missing persons in all of its facets. The ICMP was created at a G-7 Summit in 1996 to work with governments and others to help them locate and account for persons missing from the wars of the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia.