Sarajevo officials: Nobel winner Handke not welcome in city

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Literature laureate 2019 Peter Handke during the Nobel banquet at Stockholm City Hall, in Stockholm on Tuesday Dec. 10, 2019. (Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency via AP)

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Nobel Literature Prize laureate Peter Handke was on Wednesday proclaimed persona non grata in the Bosnian capital for his apologist views toward Serb war crimes during the war in the 1990s.

Sarajevo’s regional parliament also denounced the Swedish Academy for giving the award to the Austrian novelist and screenplay writer. It was handed to him at a ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday that was boycotted by Bosnian and officials from six other countries.

Handke has been a staunch supporter of the Serbs and has disputed that the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in the town of Srebrenica in 1995 was genocide. Several rulings by international war crime courts have proclaimed the massacre in the eastern Bosnian enclave a genocide.

Sarajevo regional lawmakers said Handke hasn’t changed his pro-Serb views even now so many years after the civil war in Bosnia, and is making another provocation by announcing he would visit Bosnian Serbs in a village close to Srebrenica.

‘’The handing of the Nobel Prize to such a person is an insult of the victims and his visit to Bosnia and Sarajevo would be additional humiliation of the victims of the Serbian aggression,” Sarajevo lawmakers said.

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