Women with nothing to loose
“You will wait a long time before you see him again,” she hissed, nodding toward the defendant. “Did you spend all the money you stole?” Simsic’s wife stared back and then motioned to a court deputy. After a brief consultation with the two women, the deputy moved Hasecic to another seat.
Bakira Hasecic today is doing two jobs. For one she is gathering testimonies of raped victims throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. And second, she is gathering testimonies, evidence of Genocide in Visegrad. Once she gathers enough evidence she sends it to the Prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo. Bakira’s work on gathering evidence on Visegrad and bringing war criminals to justice(Lelek, Simsic, Savic to name a few) reminds us of Simon Wiesenthal’s work in Austria in post WW2 period. And it’s no wonder that Bakira is disliked by many.
*WATCH Greek documentary on Visegrad rape camps “Vilina Vlas”.
*LISTEN to Only one Bakira(BBC)
*READ article about Bakira Hasecic in the Boban Simsic trial.
In the front row, Simsic’s wife and brother exchanged smiles. They were a stylish duo, she in a fur-lined jacket and he in a Dolce & Gabbana T-shirt. An hour into the hearing, as the wrangling continued, Bakira Hasecic turned and faced Simsic’s wife. “You will wait a long time before you see him again,” she hissed, nodding toward the defendant. “Did you spend all the money you stole?” Simsic’s wife stared back and then motioned to a court deputy. After a brief consultation with the two women, the deputy moved Hasecic to another seat.
It took two hours for the judges to grant a one-month delay in the trial so that the defense team could do additional research. In the meantime, they ordered that testimony begin. And so after hours of waiting, the first witness—a stocky, white-haired Bosnian Muslim named Nail Ramic—told his story. He testified that he had known Simsic for decades. When hostilities broke out in April 1992, Ramic fled into the forest near the town, where he hid for almost three months. Eventually, he was hunted down and brought to a local school, which had been converted into a prison camp. From then on, he said, Simsic singled him out for abuse. During one beating in a corridor of the school, Ramic heard a voice he recognized as Simsic’s telling him, “I am your god and master.” Ramic then described a perverse game of basketball in which his persecutors took shots at the basket as he stood under it. As the witness spoke, he looked over at the family members, who now sat stone-faced.
Perhaps anticipating a damaging cross-examination, the prosecutor pushed Ramic to reconcile some discrepancies between his account and his earlier written testimony. The witness flushed and grew combative as the prosecutor read from his previous statements and asked a number of times, “Was Simsic shooting baskets or just watching?” Simsic’s wife smiled as Ramic’s frustration mounted and he began to stammer. A red light on the courtroom wall flashed repeatedly as the two English-language interpreters working in an adjoining booth signaled that they were having trouble keeping up.