Hatidza Mehmedovic was born in Suceska, Bosnia-Herzogovina in 1952.
Early in the 1992-1995 war, she was forced to flee together with her family to Srebrenica. There more than 40,000 other Bosnian Muslim refugees were living in desperate conditions. Mehmedovic, who had by then become a symbol of the resistance, led a group of women and children to confront the United Nations (UN) commander in Bosnia, Phillipe Morillon, and received from him a promise of protection; Srebrenica was then declared “a securely protected zone under the UN”. Two years later, however, in July 1995, Srebrenica experienced the biggest mass killing in Europe since World War II.
Together with her husband and sons, Hatidza Mehmedovic attempted to find safety in a nearby UN base along with more than 30.000 other people seeking protection from the Dutch troops. Hatidza and her family spent three days and nights in the open field. On 13 July, following the orders of Mladic, the Serbs began separating men from their women. To this day, Hatidza still does not know the fate of her sons, husband, and other male relatives. After her return to Srebrenica, she founded a group called “Srebrenica Mothers”, which today consists of more than 2000 members. The members of this group are mostly mothers who, like Hatidza, lost their loved ones in the massacre of Srebrenica and were still able to find strength and courage to return to the place from which they were forced to leave.
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