Nobel-winning author Handke declared "persona non grata" in Sarajevo

Austrian writer Peter Handke

In Kosovo, acting Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli tweeted that he had made a decision to declare Handke a "persona non grata" in the country because of "the support he gave to Milosevic and his genocidal policies" in Kosovo and Bosnia, as well as his "denial of the genocide committed by Serbia". As per the reports, the ambassadors of Turkey, Albania, Kosovo, and Bosnia boycotted the ceremony.

The Swedish Academy's choice of the Austrian writer for the award this year has been widely criticized, not because of his writing, but because of his support for Slobodan Milošević, former Serbian president who was instrumental in many wars in former Yugoslavia in the '90s.

One external member of the Nobel literature committee resigned earlier this month over the choice of Handke.

The 76-year-old avant-garde writer and playwright have been accused of played down the Serbian war crimes.

Rebecka Kärde said she didn't want to "apologise for the hair-raising things that Handke has undoubtedly said and done".

At the Nobel banquet on Tuesday evening, the author was the laureate seated farthest from the king and queen at the head table, while Tokarczuk was placed between the king and Prince Daniel, the husband of Crown Princess Victoria.

Handke's elevation to Nobel laureate has also been painful for many Bosnian Muslims, as he is accused of questioning the genocide in Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serbs slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995.

"Justification of war atrocities during the Yugoslavia break-up must not be rewarded", he said, adding: "This will exclusively strengthen the state of denial that must be overcome and strongly condemned".

Erdogan believes that giving a Nobel Prize to a "racist" who denied the genocide in Bosnia and defends war crimes has no meaning on Human Rights Day.


At a Stockholm press conference before the ceremony, Handke dodged questions on the Balkan wars, telling reporters: "I like literature, not opinions".

Neither the Nobel Foundation nor the palace have commented on seating arrangements.

"I was there. We all know who's guilty", wrote Amanpour, the chief global anchor for CNN who covered the war as a young reporter.

Handke has also not been invited to a traditional event for literature laureates with high school students in a Stockholm suburb on Wednesday.

Back then, "reporting about Serbia was monotone and one-sided", Handke told Die Zeit. Tokarczuk will, however, attend.

The Muslim member from the joint presidency of Bosnia, Sefik Dzaferovic reportedly called the incident of Handke being awarded a Nobel Prize as "scandalous" and "shameful". Swedish King awarded Handke the Nobel Prize.

Information from the world, regional and domestic media reported that Doctare had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 as a member of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

In November, the Kosovo Academy of Science and Arts wrote to the Swedish Academy expressing discontent at awarding Handke the Nobel Prize.

"I witnessed the genocide first-hand 27 years ago when I was there".

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