Guest UBC lecturer denied entry to Canada

Controversial American professor Srdja Trifkovic was scheduled to speak about the future of the Balkans


A guest lecture sponsored by the Serbian Students Association (SSA) of the University of British Columbia was cancelled Thursday after Srdja Trifkovic was denied entry into Canada.

Trifkovic, known for his contentious views on Islam and the Bosnian Genocide, was set to deliver a lecture entitled, “The Balkans: Uncertain Prospects for an Unstable Region.” On Thursday, it was reported that Trifkovic spent five hours detained at Vancouver International Airport before he was sent back to the U.S.

In a subsequent blog post for the U.S. Chronicles magazine, Trifkovic wrote:

It turns out I am “inadmissible on grounds of violating human or international rights for being a proscribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6 (3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.”

News of the controversial academic’s arrival roused tension both on and off campus. The Ubyssey reported that at least one student raised concern with university administration, and the Institute for Genocide Research Canada sent a letter of protest to UBC’s president. The university did not release a statement regarding the controversy.

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Guest UBC lecturer denied entry to Canada

  1. I do not think this makes Canada any safer or any freer. A scholar is being misrepresented and banned for political (and religious) reasons.

  2. I think this actually is a good thing. The Serbian government committed genocide or tried very hard to do it. Canada has the right to bar those supporters and those who committed it; including Nazis, Serbian nationalists, BJP officials responsible for the Gujarat massacres, etc. This is not new, Canada has turned people from those groups away in the past.

  3. Srdja Trifkovic is one of the leading scholars on the Balkans. He has worked at the Hover Institute and has been a visiting professor at elite US universities. His views on the Balkans conflict are based on fact and regardless of his ethnicity or religion he should not be discriminated like this by the Canadian government. On the other hand the dubious Islamic “Institute for Genocide Research Canada” have denied the WW2 holocaust in Croatia and Bosnia and accused senior Canadian officials of outrageous crimes such as rape with no evidence what so ever. Perhaps they could rename their name to Islamic Institute for Genocide Denial Research.

  4. The fact that UBC president Dr. Toope, an expert on human rights and international law, denied request from the so-called Institute for Research of Genocide to block Dr. Trifkovic’s speech on campus suggest that a scholar like him saw nothing threatening about Trifkovic’s speech.( An organizaton such as the “Institute” that exclusively promotes the CNN version of the war in former Yugoslavia (i.e. Bosnian saga), found it then neccessary to lobby with Ottawa. The fact that the Canada Border Services Agency denied entry to Dr. Trifkovic is a clear indication of the political nature of this move. So much for the freedom of speech.

  5. Trifkovic was an unofficial spokesman for the Republika Srpska government in the 1990s. Enough said!

  6. This scholar was the mouthpiece of an entity that was found guilty of genocide and war crimes during the 1990s. He would be the equivalent of an “unofficial” spokesman of the Nazi party.
    It is really funny to see these radical Serbs complian about “free speech,” something they denied to the victims of their campaign for a greater serbia. But I can understand the effects of the frustration of loosing 4 wars in 10 years will have on a group of people. Maybe instead of trying to justify starting failed wars, you should focus on improving the many problems facing your people and others in the Balkans.

  7. Play the “Nazi” card. That’s always a good way to argue.

  8. Considering how much propaganda radical Serbs like to spew about “nazis” I found it only fitting to give that as an example. These radicals are to this day blaming any and all problems Serbs face on “nazis” amongst a whole slew of other “scapegoats.” And it doesn’t take away from the fact that this prof was a spokesman for a regime found guilty of genocide. In addition, all radical Serbs talk about of late is “media lies”, and “western imperialism” and “was there really a genocide?” Textbook genocide denial. We do not need that in Canada and the officials recognized this and did their job.

  9. Marcus, what do you know about Bosnian war? Have you lived it or have you only seen it broadcasted by Christiane Amanpour? There is no frustration here, just the facts. The “court” whose ruling on genocidal Serbs you cite is the same one that is not recognized by its main sponsor, USA. In other words, American GIs are immune from the Hague tribunal. I remember when our own, Louise Arbour had indicted Milosevic for war crimes against Albanians in May of 1999, right behind her at that moment stood the American Secretary of State, Albright. This was at the time when America was actually of the belligerents in the conflict. So, what credibility remains in The Hague? None. Now, they are finding a deficit of kidneys, lungs and hearts amongst Serbian corpses shipped by KLA to Kukes, Albania. Hence, stop foaming at the mouth and take a nap. It’s late and you have midterms coming up.

  10. As our Serbian Ortodox Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, a Canadian of Serbian descent (Herzegovina), wrote in his letter dated February 23, 2011
    to the Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

    I can only say that Trifkovic does not speak for all Serbs.

    and more:

    “… Like you, and most others who are aware of it, I am horrified that anyone would deny the Srebrenica …

    … the fact that denying a mass murder only amplifies the crime.

    … some (but certainly not all) Bosnian Serbs deny the mass murder at Srebrenica, and this continues to keep the wound open.

    I can only say that Trifkovic does not speak for all Serbs.

    Many of us are deeply ashamed of what happened at Srebrenica, and desire that Serbs accept the responsibility for that so that a healing can take place.

    … however, Srebrenica stands out as a particularly evil moment in history for which there is no possible excuse.

    Only people deprived of their humanity and their senses could have committed such a deed.

    Denial has never been a solution to any problem, and it has never generated mutual human respect. Being able to take responsibility for our sins and well as our virtues is part of what makes us true human beings.

    Your brother in our common humanity.

    Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

  11. Few points:
    1) Archbishop Lazar Puhalo — definitely not a Serb bishop! (maybe Croatian with that last name)
    2) If Trifkovic was a “nazi”, why would Jewish Organizations invite him to lecture?
    3) So should all Croat and Muslims who deny the Genocide of over 600,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies in WWII be denied entry into Canada? If yes, there would be no Croats or Muslims left in Canada. Don’t be hypocritical!
    4) General Lewis McKenzie (Canadian Medal Decorated Soldier) — should he be allowed to live in Canada? He has stated multiple times views/opinions that oppose the Bosnian Muslim-backed media???

    ….oh the hypocrisy of it all! The Serbs definitely lost the propaganda war….one day the truth will come out, as it usually does!

  12. Brava, Jelena! I’m sure that there are many others like you out there; unfortunately, too many of them are silent….

  13. The decision by the Canadian authorities to deny the right of entry to a man who is a well-known genocide denier and served as a close advisor to those committing the 1992-1995 Bosnian Genocide is commendable and should be welcomed by all Canadians. Individuals publicly denying genocide and speaking out in favor of genocide and violence should not be allowed to enter the country! Bravo Canada !

  14. Please familiarize yourself with the court rulings issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ)to learn more about the Bosnian Genocide.

  15. Aleksandar I do not need you to tell me anything about the Bosnian War. I am proudly Croatian and Serbian, half and half. I do not need you or “Doctor” Trifkovic to continue his radical propaganda that is trying to fight the wars of the Balkans over again. There is a new attitude in the Balkans. We are realizing who really caused these wars. The “west” and our own corrupt politicians worked together on this. It is laughable that you quote Lewis McKenzie, a known payed radical Serb lobbyist to try and argue that we did not kill 8000 in Srebrenica. This is the same McKenzie who never had to answer to rape charges ony because of his immunity. This man has not got us any results! We need new fresh lobbyists! Serbs and Croats fought the Turkish invasions for 500 years together. We won. Maybe it is time to start fighting together again.

  16. Pingback: Is the government not allowing a recent guest lecturer into Canada justified?

  17. This is an act of desperation, the proponents of the Srebrenica genocide allegation know that their story does not stand-up very well under scrutiny. That is why they need to use government authority to silence their critics, and why they resort to crude character assassination whenever anyone challenges them.

    The Srebrenica massacre isn’t the Holocaust. The victims of the Holocaust were primarily civilians, whereas the victims of the Srebrenica massacre were primarily soldiers. 8,000 mainly military-aged men from Srebrenica died in the massacre, and 6 million men women and children were killed in the Holocaust. These two crimes aren’t the same thing at all, and disputing allegations of genocide in Srebrenica isn’t the same thing as denying the Holocaust.

    There is room to debate whether the Bosnian-Serbs intended to kill Bosnian-Muslims as such (which would be genocide), or whether their intent was simply to kill the solders of the Army of Bosnia Herzegovina (which is not genocide). Only ethnic, religious and national groups are protected by the Genocide convention. Military forces are not a protected group. It is certainly a war crime to execute enemy POWs, but it isn’t THE CRIME of genocide.

    By all means people should read the Hague Tribunal’s verdicts and make up their own minds. Unlike the Nazi records, there is no concrete evidence of a plan or policy by the Bosnian-Serbs to commit genocide against the Bosnian-Muslims. It literally says that in the ICTY judgment. The Tribunal infers from the number of victims that a genocidal plan must have existed, and that is the sole basis for the genocide convictions it has handed down.

    There is room for people to draw other inferences based on the facts, and to disagree with the Tribunal’s logic. But apparently that is unacceptable to some people, and they want anybody who thinks critically to be banned from speaking or even entering the country.

    If Karadzic and Mladic are the moral equivalent of Hitler for killing 8,000 mainly military-aged men from Srebrenica, wouldn’t Roosevelt and Eisenhower also be comparable to Hitler for killing over ten times that many Japanese civilians during the Tokyo fire bombing? If you can infer from 8,000 victims, most of whom were soldiers, that Karadzic and Mladic are guilty of genocide, then what can you infer from 100,000 dead Japanese civilians?

    Would anybody take you seriously if you alleged that Roosevelt and Eisenhower were guilty of genocide and morally equivalent to the Nazis? If so, why should anybody be taken seriously when they make those claims about Karadzic and Mladic? Eisenhower and Roosevelt killed more Japanese civilians in one night of bombing than all of the military and civilian deaths combined for the whole Bosnian war.

  18. Response to Francisco:

    You’re personal beliefs and statements are in no way related to what actually took place in Srebrenica. That is why experts in collecting criminal forensic evidence and international criminal law should be allowed to do their job. The investigation into the genocide committed in Srebrenica has been going on for years and has involved some of the best and brightest researchers and legal experts. The court curling of the two international courts set up by the United Nations the ICTY and the ICJ have both unanimously and unequivocally stated that Serb forces have committed genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You are allowed to have your personal opinions as is Mr. Trifkovic but he is NOT allowed to go around the world publicly making up facts and spreading outright lies about the victims of the genocide. That is offensive to the families of those who were murdered and it challenges the moral foundations on which democratic and law-abiding societies like those in Canada and US are build. Denying a confirmed genocide publicly is not acceptable and the Canadian authorities were right to keep Mr. Trifkovic out of their country.

  19. Ted:

    The ICJ did not conduct an investigation into what happened in Srebrenica, all it did was reference the ICTY’s findings in it’s judgment. It is intellectually dishonest for you to suggest that the ICJ’s ruling corroborates the ICTY’s findings when the source of the ICJ’s findings is the ICTY itself.

    The ICTY has made certain conclusions about what happened in Srebrenica. The question is whether those conclusions are grounded in fact.

    The ICTY does not claim to posess direct evidence of plan or policy by the Bosnian-Serb government to commit genocide in Srebrenica. They freely admit that in their judgments. The ICTY’s finding of genocide is based on an INFERENCE the judges drew from the killing of military aged men. If you had bothered to read their judgements you would know that.

    In the absense of concrete evidence, it should certainly permissable to ask whether the ICTY drew the correct inference or not.

    The question that needs to be asked is whether the Bosnian-Serbs were targeting Bosnian-Muslims as such, or whether they were targeting members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That’s an important question because Bosnian-Muslims are protected by the 1948 genocide convention, but the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina is not. Executing POWs is still a war crime, but it isn’t genocide.

    Under the 1948 convention, genocide is defined as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”

    They have exhumed thousands of bodies from mass graves around Srebrenica, and the vast majority (roughly 90%) of them belong to military aged men, and of those who have been identified most were known members of the military who’s service records are in the Tribunal’s posession. They have located military service records for over 70% of the missing and dead. Based on that one could certainly draw an alternative alternative inference that the Bosnian-Serbs were trying to slaughter the military, rather than the ethnic group as such.

    Women and children are conspicuously absent from the Srebrenica mass graves. Neither the ICTY nor the Srebrenica genocide lobby has a good explanation for why the Bosnian-Serbs spared the women and children if their intent was to destroy the ethnic group itself. The obvious answer is that the Bosnian-Serbs weren’t trying to destroy the ethnic group, they were trying to slaughter the military.

    Another thing that is lacking is any good evidence that the Bosnian-Serbs ever managed to capture 8,000 prisoners (which is required in order to be able to execute them).

    The Bosnain-Serb military had the better weapons, but it was still outnumbered by a huge margin in Srebrenica. The Muslims had 6,000 armed solders in the enclave and the Serbs only had 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers surrounding it.

    Could 2,000 or 3,000 Serb soldiers really have captured, transported, and executed 8,000 Muslim men while simultaneously fighting a force of 6,000 Muslim soldiers? It doesn’t seem very likely.

    The Serbs certainly managed to capture and execute some of the Muslim men, there is clear evidence that a large number of people were executed, but 8,000 seems pretty far fetched given the circumstances.

    What does seem likely is that the Serbs, because they had better weapons and because they were entrenched in their positions, managed to inflict significant combat casulties on the Muslims who were trying to move accross the terrain towards Tuzla, and that now these combat casulties are being palmed off as victims of “genocide” and they’re being lumped in the same group as the people who were executed.

    The Srebrenica genocide lobby is on extremely weak ground. The evidence at the ICTY does not come close to proving what they claim that it proves. The ICTY’s judgments are full of holes. In the Popovic judgment handed down just a few months ago, the tribunal referenced the DNA identifications done by the ICMP as proof that the Serbs EXECUTED those victims. That’s an example of how absurd the ICTY’s rulings are. First, the ICMP does not make any determinations about cause of death, second it couldn’t do so even if it wanted to because you can’t tell from a person’s DNA how they died.

    The conclusions in the ICTY’s judgments are manafestly wrong and unsupported by the evidence. That is why the Srebrenica genocide lobby needs to resort to character assasination and having people banned from speaking. That is the only way they can defend their position, because they know that their side would lose in an open debate.

  20. Bravo Canada. I am proud to be Canadain again!
    Canada has undisputed right to defend its citizens from war criminals and their colaborators (advisors, consultants, etc.). It’s so funny that, so benign, he calls himself “persona with close ties” and denies any involvenmt in the crimes, like he was not aware, as their advisor, what his clients are doing.
    It’s not about speech, it’s about deeds.

  21. are you insinuating that Srebrenica was mass suicide? or people were killed by UN? francisco, wake up, this 21st century. information is ubiquitus.

  22. What I am insinuating is that the massacre victims were targeted because of their real or suspected membership in the Army of Bosnia Herzegovina, and not because of their ethnic affiliation as such. I am also insinuating that a large number of them were killed on the battle filed, without being taken prisoner first. Rather than being captured, transported, and executed, many were simply shot on sight.

    The evidence brought before the ICTY is clear, this wasn’t an unprovoked massacre of civilians like the Holocaust, it was a massacre of soldiers during a war. The verdicts handed down by the ICTY are not rooted in the underlying evidence. The ICTY’s judgments are not convincing. That is is why the Srebrenica genocide lobby has to silence their critics because they know the ICTY’s findings can not withstand scrutiny.

    The Srebrenica genocide lobby is acting like the Srebrenica “genocide” is as obvious and provable as the Holocaust, but it’s not. Even if all 8,000 victims were captured and executed (which is extremely unlikely), the scale of the crime is only 0.13% what the Holocaust was. Over 80% of the people in Srebrenica survived, compare that to Poland or Estonia where more than 90% of the Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Srebrenica genocide denial and Holocaust denial are two different things because they are two very different crimes.

    The evidence for genocide during the Holocaust is overwhelming and convincing, the evidence of genocide in Srebrenica is practically non-existent.


    Take a look at this, and judge for yourself whether or not evidence of genocide in Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia is practically non-existent.

  24. Serb forces “targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica.” – Judge Theodor Meron [Polish-American Jew], Krstic Appeal judgement.

    …taken from the Srebrenica Genocide blog.