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CAIR Welcomes UN Genocide Conviction of Former Serb Leader Karadzic

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/24/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the conviction by a U.N. court of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on the charge of genocide.

Karadzic, who was found guilty of orchestrating Serb atrocities in Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead, was sentenced to 40 years in prison by the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. The court found Karadzic responsible for genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. He was also held responsible for civilian deaths in the 44-month siege of Sarajevo.

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“We welcome the conviction of Radovan Karadzic on the charge of genocide and hope his conviction sends a strong message to dictators, extremists and political strongmen worldwide that there is no statute of limitations on the charge of genocide and that they will be held criminally responsible for atrocities committed by forces under their control. 

“We urge the international community, and leaders in our own nation, to address the demonization of other faiths, races and ethnicities that can lead to such horrific crimes. Growing Islamophobia in Europe and America is one form of such demonization that must be addressed immediately.â€

CAIR added that the genocide of Muslims and Croats in the former Yugoslavia resulted from many years of dehumanization and demonization.

The Washington-based civil rights organization noted that Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that the United States has determined that the terror group ISIS is “responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims.â€

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, nnaeem@cair.com

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