Club Punchbowl must remove portrait of convicted war criminal Slobodan Praljak
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Club Punchbowl — a well known community club in southwest Sydney that routinely hosts weddings, fundraisers, dinners, and other community events — commemorated the death of convicted war criminal Slobodan Praljak with a portrait in the club's foyer, celebrating him as a war hero. A community club that prides itself on being open and accessible to all members of the public should not be showing support convicted war criminals.
Praljak was found guilty of nine counts of grave breaches of the Geneva conventions, nine counts of violations of the laws of customs of war, and eight counts of crimes against humanity. These counts included such acts as the murder, rape, and forced deportation of civilians; the cruel treatment, imprisonment, confinement, and forced labour of civilians and prisoners of war; the wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages, including cultural sites such as mosques and bridges; and the persecution of civilians on political, racial, and religious grounds.
Why should the people of Punchbowl and the wider Southwest Sydney community continue to financially support an institution that supports an individual like that? This is a serious political statement made by Club Punchbowl, and they must take down this portrait or else risk a community boycott.
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