Serbs' exhibition of war pictures banned

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The Independent Online
SERBS in Britain have been denied permission to stage an exhibition that details alleged war crimes committed by Croatians and Muslims against Serbs in former Yugoslavia, writes Tim Kelsey.

The exhibition of photographs opened in Belgrade six months ago. It provides a gruesome account of the suffering of Serbs during the Second World War and the present conflict. British Serbs wanted to stage the exhibition in London in an attempt to bolster public support for Serbia.

The Department of Trade and Industry has ruled that this would be in breach of UN sanctions. Ariana Beatty, one of the organisers, last night accused the Government of censorship.

In a letter the department states that the exhibition contravenes UN resolution 757 which forbids cultural exchanges with Serbia or Montenegro. Ms Beatty says the exhibition should be unaffected: the photographs are not of Serbian origin - they show atrocities against Serbs living in other provinces of former Yugoslavia. Also it is not sponsored by the Serbian authorities.

'We just want to bring the photos in,' Ms Beatty said. 'It is so important because since the last war we were not allowed to talk about it.'

Ms Beatty said that the cost of the exhibition in the UK was being met by British Serbs. She argued that the prohibition was an insult to all 30,000 Serbs in this country. 'The Serbs are getting all the accusations and don't get the chance to defend themselves.'

Both Muslim and Croatian expatriates have staged exhibitions documenting their victimisation.

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