A Muslim girl wearing a headscarf was attacked by Serbian peers on her way to school in Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, local media sources reported on Friday. According to the "Preporod.info" news site, a ninth-grade student F.S. was first verbally abused by Serbian students from the same school as she was wearing a headscarf. Later, a group of 10 Serbian students encircled her and demanded that she take off her headscarf.
Criticism on social media has grown after the abuse of the Muslim girl. Many people denounced the attack and sent support messages to the family.
Each year, thousands of Bosnian Muslims gather in Srebrenica to mark the anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War II and remember the identified victims. But hundreds of families are still searching for missing loved ones as a large number of victims were thrown into mass graves around the country during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Every year, the remains of more victims are identified and buried in Potocari on the anniversary of the genocide. Although the mass killings were branded as genocide by international courts, Serbian and Bosnian Serb officials refuse to use the term.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers. Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces trying to wrest the territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state. The U.N. Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993; however, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic, who were later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; overran the U.N. zone. The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 Srebrenica people fled into the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.