Letter: BBC navety in glorifying a Serbian 'war criminal' as a national poet

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The Independent Online
Sir: I write on behalf of the English Centre of International PEN to express our disgust at the BBC Bookmark programme in which Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, masqueraded as a poet and folk hero. It seems incredible to us that BBC 2 could screen this blatantly political programme without a single reference to the atrocities now being perpetrated by Karadzic's followers, namely the butchering of Muslim Bosnians and the relentless policy of ethnic cleansing.

As writers, we are appalled that this monster should be dignified by the name of poet. We are even more appalled at the extraordinary navety of Bookmark in affording this Hitlerian figure the propaganda opportunity to portray himself as a romantic folk-leader playing the guitar in the sunset.

May we expect a programme about J V Stalin, music critic?

Yours faithfully,



The English Centre

of International PEN

London, SW3

18 December