Archive for May, 2009

The seige of Gorazde ’92-’95

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by visegrad92
Map showing ethnic cleansing in Eastern Bosnia. Author is unknown.

Map showing ethnic cleansing in Eastern Bosnia. Author is unknown.

Watch a short documentary about the seige of Gorazde ’92-’95:

The Grebak journey:How Goradze survived during the siege

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by visegrad92
Bosniaks from Eastern Bosnia crossing mountains to Grebak to buy food and supplies.

Bosniaks from Eastern Bosnia crossing mountains to Grebak to buy food and supplies.

Above: In order to survive the Bosnian Serb Army siege of Gorazde. Bosniak civilians had to make a daring journey to Grebak, a Bosnian Army outpost near Sarajevo, where they bought much needed food and supplies and brought it back to Gorazde on foot. The journey took several days and it was through Bosnian Serb Army territory. The columns consisting of several hundred, sometimes more than a thousand people took place mostly during night. The journey was filled with ambushes, landmines and freezing temperatures. Dozens of people were killed, injured or froze to death. Their only aim was to survive!

During the winter, dozens of Bosniaks who dared to travel to Grebak to buy food froze to death.

A civilian who attempted to reach Grebak froze to death. During the winter, dozens of Bosniaks who dared to travel to Grebak dies due to low temperatures.

Above: In order to survive the Bosnian Serb Army siege of Gorazde. Bosniak civilians had to make a daring journey to Grebak, a Bosnian Army outpost near Sarajevo, where they bought much needed food and supplies and brought it back to Gorazde on foot. The journey took several days and it was through Bosnian Serb Army territory. The columns consisting of several hundred, sometimes more than a thousand people took place mostly during night. The journey was filled with ambushes, landmines and freezing temperatures. Dozens of people were killed, injured or froze to death. Their only aim was to survive!

Bosniak children stand by remains of a  cluster bomb which was aimed at civilian objects in Gorazde.

Bosniak children stand by remains of a cluster bomb which was aimed at civilian objects in Gorazde.

Above: In order to survive the Bosnian Serb Army siege of Gorazde. Bosniak civilians had to make a daring journey to Grebak, a Bosnian Army outpost near Sarajevo, where they bought much needed food and supplies and brought it back to Gorazde on foot. The journey took several days and it was through Bosnian Serb Army territory. The columns consisting of several hundred, sometimes more than a thousand people took place mostly during night. The journey was filled with ambushes, landmines and freezing temperatures. Dozens of people were killed, injured or froze to death. Their only aim was to survive!

Bosniaks walking by night through Bosnian Serb Army territory towards Grebak to buy food and supplies.

Bosniaks walking by night through Bosnian Serb Army territory towards Grebak to buy food and supplies.

Above: In order to survive the Bosnian Serb Army siege of Gorazde. Bosniak civilians had to make a daring journey to Grebak, a Bosnian Army outpost near Sarajevo, where they bought much needed food and supplies and brought it back to Gorazde on foot. The journey took several days and it was through Bosnian Serb Army territory. The columns consisting of several hundred, sometimes more than a thousand people took place mostly during night. The journey was filled with ambushes, landmines and freezing temperatures. Dozens of people were killed, injured or froze to death. Their only aim was to survive!

This 13-year old girl carried 18kg of flour from Grebak to Gorazde. The journey took several days.

This 13-year old girl carried 18kg of flour from Grebak to Gorazde. The journey took several days.

Above: In order to survive the Bosnian Serb Army siege of Gorazde. Bosniak civilians had to make a daring journey to Grebak, a Bosnian Army outpost near Sarajevo, where they bought much needed food and supplies and brought it back to Gorazde on foot. The journey took several days and it was through Bosnian Serb Army territory. The columns consisting of several hundred, sometimes more than a thousand people took place mostly during night. The journey was filled with ambushes, landmines and freezing temperatures. Dozens of people were killed, injured or froze to death. Their only aim was to survive!

NEVER FORGET GORAZDE ’92-’95!

*Note: Author of the pictures is Heimo Aga. Pictures published in “Grihota je ubijanje tvica” by Mehmed Bradaric.

Dragan Davidovic sings fascist songs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by visegrad92

General director of the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska`s Radio Television Dragan Davidovic sung Chetnik (Serb WW2 Nazi-collaborist) songs to a Chetnik unit near Grbavica, Sarajevo in 1996. At that time he was the Minister of Faith in the Radovan Karadzic-led  Republika Srpska Government. Interestingly, during his rule, hundreds of mosques and other islamic architercture was systematically destroyed by the Bosnian Serb Army.

Watch video: “Get ready, get ready Chetniks”

Drazen Knezevic dies in car accident

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by visegrad92

Drazen Knezevic, former police chief in Visegrad.

Drazen Knezevic, former police chief in Visegrad.

On 22.05.2009. in a car accident near Visegrad, Drazen Knezevic and his wife Natasa died. With them was a Visegrad Municipality official Branka Pavlovic. Drazen Knezevic at time of death was the director of the Visegrad hydroelectric plant. What is more important here is his role during the war 1992-1995.  Looking at his official c.v., it’s easy to notice that the period 1992-1996 has been left out(see here). During the war he was a police officer and is well-known to survivors. In 1996 he was named police chief in Visegrad.  He is also suspected to have been a member of the “Preventiva” network, whose main aim is to protect high-level war criminals such as Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. This was published by Milan Lukic in a letter he sent to “Nezavisne Novine” in 2005.

PROSECUTION: LIFE SENTENCE FOR MEN WHO STOLE 3,000 YEARS OF LIFE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by visegrad92

In its closing argument, the prosecution has called for a sentence that will ensure that Milan and Sredoje Lukic ‘will remain in prison for the rest of their lives’, a sentence that will send a clear message that there is no mercy for those capable of committing such heinous crimes. Milan Lukic’s defense contends the prosecution has failed to prove Milan Lukic’s responsibility beyond reasonable doubt, asking for his acquittal. Sredoje Lukic’s defense will deliver its closing argument tomorrow.

Milan and Sredoje Lukic

Milan and Sredoje Lukic

‘There is only one sin, and that is theft. All other sins are variations on that theme and murder could be seen as theft of life’. Prosecutor Dermot Groome used this quote from a book Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in his closing argument at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic. Groome urged the judges to deliver the sentence that would make sure the accused ‘will spend the rest of their lives in prison’ because they ‘stole more than 3,000 years of life’ in June 1992 from the Visegrad Muslims.

Milan and Sredoje Lukic are charged with setting up the two living pyres in which about 140 people were burned to death, and with the murder and abuse of Visegrad Muslims in 1992. Murder is, as Groome put it, ‘a theft of life’, not only of the victims but also of their families and the community as a whole. If the crimes at issue in this case are seen from that point of view, the prosecution noted, it will be understood ‘that the people in Visegrad suffered inestimable loss because of the actions of the two accused and the scale of the theft’.

The prosecution wants the judgment handed down to Milan and Sredoje Lukic to ‘send a clear message’: all those who ‘might contemplate committing similar crimes and use vulnerable victims’ that they would be arrested and criminally prosecuted. They will have the right to a fair trial but if they proven guilty’ there will be ‘no mercy’ for them as they would ‘be punished to the maximum extent of the law’.

Jason Alarid

Jason Alarid

Jason Alarid, Milan Lukic’s US lawyer, contested in his closing argument the evidence of the surviving victims and other prosecution witnesses describing them as ‘liars’, ‘lunatics’, ‘alcoholics’ and ‘hysterical persons’. Alarid challenged the identification of his client and questioned whether the living pyres in the Pionirska Street and in Bikavac actually happened. According to him, it has not been established whether there was a fire there and the victims have not been identified. In Alarid’s view, the prosecution has failed to contest the ‘irrefutable evidence on the alibi’ of Milan Lukic: therefore, all the witnesses who claimed that they saw the accused at the crime scene ‘lied’. The prosecution, Alarid contends, failed to investigate the Visegrad crimes properly and has not been able to call evidence which would prove his client’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This is why, the defense counsel argued, Milan Lukic should be acquitted on all counts in the indictment.

The defense of the second accused, Sredoje Lukic, will deliver its closing argument tomorrow afternoon.

Dutch handwriting expert Wil Fagel

Dutch handwriting expert Wil Fagel

Before the closing arguments, the last prosecution witness, Dutch handwriting expert Wil Fagel took the stand. Fagel concluded that the signature of former police commander in Visegrad, Risto Perisic, was forged on the document corroborating Milan Lukic’s alibi for the fire in the Pionirska Street. In the cross-examination of the Dutch handwriting expert, the defense implied that Perisic intentionally signed the document differently in order to be able to deny the authenticity of his signatures later and avoid any responsibility for the crimes. In its final brief the defense contends that Milan Lukic was indicted to direct the attention away from ‘the true leaders in Visegrad in 1992’, including Risto Perisic.

Source: Sense-agency

CNAB Condemns Holocaust and Genocide Denial by Serb Delegates

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2009 by visegrad92
Congress of North American Bosniaks Condemns Holocaust and genocide denial by Bosnian Serb delegates

Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) expresses regret that the initiative in Parliamentary Assembly of BiH to have January 27th declared as Holocaust Remembrance Day and July 11th, as Srebrenica Remembrance Day failed to obtain support from delegates from Bosnian Serb delegates from a smaller of the two entities in Bosnia, Republika Srpska (RS).

By rejecting this parliamentary initiative, RS delegates blocked Bosnia and Herzegovina from joining other European states that are commemorating January 27th.

CNAB is saddened by the fact that this rejection came only days after we celebrated May 9 Victory against fascism.

CNAB reiterates its strong condemnation of genocide and Holocaust denial.

CNAB

Where is Avdo Palic?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by visegrad92

Read about Colonel Avdo Palic, Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and help pressure the Republika Srpska government to tell his family where his remains are. Learn more here.

The last photograph of Avdo Palic taken during negotiations with Ratko Mladic and UN officers.Picture taken by Slobodan Vaskovic and published in Patriot magazine in R.Srpska.

The last photograph of Avdo Palic taken during negotiations with Ratko Mladic and UN officers.Picture taken by Slobodan Vaskovic and published in Patriot magazine in R.Srpska.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Public Statement

AI Index: EUR 63/006/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 163
23 August 2007

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Time for a full investigation into the enforced disappearance of Avdo Palić

More than twelve years after the enforced disappearance of Avdo Palić, Amnesty International expresses its continuing concern about the lack of progress in the investigation by the Republika Srpska (RS) authorities into this crime.

In January 2006, the RS formed a commission tasked with conducting an investigation into the enforced disappearance of Avdo Palić (Palić Commission). Its report, presented in April 2006, appeared initially to contain important information on the fate of Avdo Palić, including on the whereabouts of his mortal remains. However, it did not lead to any significant progress in the location and exhumation of the body and in the criminal investigation into the enforced disappearance.

In December 2006 the Palić Commission was reactivated and, reportedly, the Office of the RS Prime Minister committed to provide the necessary assistance for it to finally complete its investigation and provide information on the fate and whereabouts of Avdo Palić. However, eight months down the line, such investigation has had no concrete results.

Amnesty International urges the RS authorities to ensure that the activities of the Palić Commission result in a full investigation into the circumstances of this crime and in the exhumation of the mortal remains of the victim. The RS should demand complete cooperation on the part of the authorities of Serbia, which should disclose all the relevant information in their possession on the possible role of former RS Army officers currently in Serbia who are suspected of involvement in or who may possess information on the enforced disappearance of Avdo Palić.

Moreover, Amnesty International urges the RS authorities to ensure that, once the work of the Palić Commission is concluded, the findings are forwarded to the competent Prosecutor and that a criminal investigation into the enforced disappearance is conducted, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Background
Former Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Armija Bosne i Hercegovine) Colonel Avdo Palić disappeared in July 1995, when he was reportedly forcibly taken away by soldiers of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS – Vojska Republike Srpske) from the UN Protection Forces compound in ?epa. He had gone there to negotiate the evacuation of civilians from the town which had surrendered to the VRS. His fate and whereabouts have remained unknown ever since.

In 2001, the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered the RS authorities to carry out a full investigation into the fate of Colonel Avdo Palić from the date of his enforced disappearance. However, no progress was made in the investigation. The Palić Commission was formed after, in January 2006, the BiH Human Rights Commission found that the RS authorities had “failed to provide adequate details to establish the facts of the ‘disappearance’ of Colonel Avdo Palić after the fall of Zepa”.