Honorary doctorate for survivor of Bosnian terror

A man who survived the biggest atrocity of the Bosnian conflict has been bestowed an honorary doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.

Thursday, 4th May 2017, 9:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm

Nedžad Avdić, 38, was aged just 17 when was taken captive by the Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 and forced to face a firing squad alongside his father and uncle.

Nedžad was one of just a handful to survive the mass executions and has devoted his life to speaking out in memory of its victims.

He was awarded the honorary doctorate on Wednesday, April 26.

Nedžad said: “This is an award for all those who fight for justice in a dignified way.

“It is easy to lose hope, but this Doctorate gives me back that hope and a new strength to keep going forward. I know that I must never stop telling the world that hatred cannot bring anything good.”

Back in 1995, Nedžad and his family fled their home after it was attacked and travelled to the designated safe zone of Srebrenica.

But when the town was captured by the Bosnian Serb army, hundreds of men were lined up and systematically executed.

Nedžad was shot in the arm and the stomach, but survived and was later helped to safety by another man.

After years abroad, Nedžad returned to Srebrenica and now lives there with his wife and three daughters.