Archive for October, 2009

OPEN LETTER FROM ED VULLIAMY TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 29, 2009 by visegrad92

Open Letter to Amnesty International

To whom it may concern:

I have been contacted by a number of people regarding Amnesty International’s invitation to Professor Noam Chomsky to lecture in Northern Ireland.

The communications I have received regard Prof. Chomsky’s role in revisionism in the story of the concentration camps in northwestern Bosnia in 1992, which it was my accursed honour to discover.

As everyone interested knows, a campaign was mounted to try and de-bunk the story of these murderous camps as a fake – ergo, to deny and/or justify them – the dichotomy between these position still puzzles me.

The horror of what happened at Omarska and Trnopolje has been borne out by painful history, innumerable trials at the Hague, and – most importantly by far – searing testimony from the survivors and the bereaved. These were places of extermination, torture, killing, rape and, literally “concentration” prior to enforced deportation, of people purely on grounds of ethnicity.

Prof. Chomsky was not among those (“Novo” of Germany and “Living Marxism” in the UK) who first proposed the idea that these camps were a fake. He was not among those who tried unsuccessfully (they were beaten back in the High Court in London, by a libel case taken by ITN) to put up grotesque arguments about fences around the camps, which were rather like Fred Leuchter’s questioning whether the thermal capacity of bricks was enough to contain the heat needed to gas Jews at Auschwitz. But Professor Chomsky said many things, from his ivory tower at MIT, to spur them on and give them the credibility and energy they required to spread their poisonous perversion and denials of these sufferings. Chomsky comes with academic pretensions, doing it all from a distance, and giving the revisionists his blessing. And the revisionists have revelled in his endorsement.

In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Chomsky paid me the kind compliment of calling me a good journalist, but added that on this occasion (the camps) I had “got it wrong”. Got what wrong?!?! Got wrong what we saw that day, August 5th 1992 (I didn’t see him there)? Got wrong the hundreds of thousands of families left bereaved, deported and scattered asunder? Got wrong the hundreds of testimonies I have gathered on murderous brutality? Got wrong the thousands whom I meet when I return to the commemorations? If I am making all this up, what are all the human remains found in mass graves around the camps and so painstakingly re-assembled by the International Commission for Missing Persons?

These people pretend neutrality over Bosnia, but are actually apologists for the  Milosevic/Karadzic/Mladic plan, only too pathetic to admit it.  And the one thing they never consider from their armchairs is the ghastly, searing, devastating impact of their game on the survivors and the bereaved. The pain they cause is immeasurable. This, along with the historical record, is my main concern.  It is one thing to survive the camps, to lose one’s family and friends – quite another to be told by a bunch of academics with a didactic agenda in support of the pogrom that those camps never existed. The LM/Novo/Chomsky argument that the story of the camps was somehow fake has been used in countless (unsuccessful) attempts to defend mass murderers in The Hague.

For decades I have lived under the impression that Amnesty International was opposed to everything these people stand for, and existed to defend exactly the kind of people who lost their lives, family and friends in the camps and at Srebrenica three years later, a massacre on which Chomsky has also cast doubt. I have clearly been deluded about Amnesty. For Amnesty International, of all people, to honour this man is to tear up whatever credibility they have estimably and admirably won over the decades, and to reduce all they say hitherto to didactic nonsense.

Why Amnesty wants to identify with and endorse this revisionist obscenity, I do not know. It is baffling and grotesque. By inviting Chomsky to give this lecture, Amnesty condemns itself to ridicule at best, hurtful malice at worst – Amnesty joins the revisionists in spitting on the graves of the

dead.  Which was not what the organisation was, as I understand, set up for.  I have received a letter from an Amnesty official in Northern Ireland which reads rather like a letter from Tony Blair’s office after it has been caught out cosying up to British Aerospace or lying over the war in Iraq –

it is a piece of corporate gobbledygook, distancing Amnesty from Chomsky’s views on Bosnia, or mealy-mouthedly conceding that they are disagreed with.

There is no concern at all with the victims, which is, I suppose, what one would expect from a bureaucrat. In any event, the letter goes nowhere towards addressing the revisionism, dispelling what will no doubt be a fawning, self-satisfied introduction in Belfast and rapturous applause for

the man who gives such comfort to Messrs Karadzic and Mladic, and their death squads.  How far would Amnesty go in inviting and honouring speakers whose views it does not necessarily share, in the miserable logic of this AI official in Belfast?  A lecture by David Irving on Joseph Goebbels?

Alistair Campbell on how Saddam really did have those WMD? The Chilean Secret Police or Colonel Oliver North on the communist threat in Latin America during the 70s and 80s?  What about Karadzic himself on the “Jihadi” threat in Bosnia, and the succulence of 14-year-old girls kept in rape camps?

I think I am still a member of AI – if so, I resign. If not, thank God for that. And to think: I recently came close to taking a full time job as media director for AI. That was a close shave – what would I be writing now, in the press release: “Come and hear the great Professor Chomsky inform you all that the stories about the camps in Bosnia were a lie – that I was hallucinating that day, that the skeletons of the dead so meticulously re-assembled by the International Commission for Missing Persons are all plastic? That the dear friends I have in Bosnia, the USA, the UK and elsewhere who struggle to put back together lives that were broken by Omarska and Trnopolje are making it all up?

Some press release that would have been. Along with the owner of the site of the Omarska camp, the mighty Mittal Steel Corporation, Amnesty International would have crushed it pretty quick.  How fitting that Chomsky and Mittal Steel find common cause. Yet how logical, and to me, obvious.  After all, during the Bosnian war, it was the British Foreign Office, the CIA, the UN and great powers who, like the revisionists Chomsky champions, most eagerly opposed any attempt to stop the genocide that lasted, as it was encouraged by them and their allies in high politics to last, for three bloody years from 1992 until the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

Yours, in disgust and despair,

Ed Vulliamy,

The Observer.

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Remembering Barimo Massacre 1992-2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by visegrad92

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Image: The monument in Barimo dedicated to Bosniak genocide victims.

Barimo, a all- Bosniak village near Visegrad, was attacked by Bosnian Serb Army forces in August 1992.  26 Bosniak civilians were killed and the village was set ablaze. A few days ago, survivors of this crime came back to open a monument to their loved ones. The monument was opened by Emina Bajric, one of the rare survivors of the massacre.

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Image: Article about the opening of this monument in Dnevni Avaz.

This was one of the worst massacres in the Visegrad Genocide, the ages of victims was from 1900 to 1980, a large number of these victims are women and children. The oldest victim was 92 years old and the youngest 12 years old:
1. Bajrić Omera Mustafa, 1930;

2. Bajrić Džemila, 1918;

3. Bajrić Hrustema Džemila, 1935;

4. Bajrić Mustafe Fadil, 1957;

5. Bajrić Mustafe Nijaz, 1965;

6.Bajrić Fadila Emir,  1980;

7. Bosankić Hadžira, 1913;

8. Bosankić Ibrahima Muša, 1940;

9. Samardžić Smail,  1912;

10. Samardžić Đeše Munira, 1927;

11. Beha Ibrana Ćamila,  1941;

12. Beha Bege Sabaheta, 1968;

13. Beha Bege Hidajeta,  1976;

14. Šabanović Razija,  1933;

15. Kos Sulejmana Vejsil, 1932;

16. Kos Sulejmana Slakan, 1951;

17. Tvrtković Ćamil Muharem, 1933;

18. Puhel Hrustema Kadesa, 1928,;

19. Kurtalić Adila,  1948;

20. Kahriman Dervo, rođen 1938,;

21. Menzilović Huso, rođen 1938;

22. Menzilović Huse Suad,  1968, ;

23. Zuban Mušan Ibrahim,  1953;

24. Zuban Mušan, 1912 ;

25. Zuban Sabira,  1961;

26. Halilović Hanka,  1900.

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Image: The opening of the monument in Barimo.

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Image: Bosniak Genocide survivors, praying in front of the ruins of the Barimo islamic school (mekteb) which was destroyed by Bosnian Serb Army during it’s attack on Barimo in August 1992. Read more on destruction of mosques in Visegrad Municipality here.

Picture credit: MIZ Visegrad.

Exclusive: Photo of Visegrad mosque ablaze

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by visegrad92

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Original caption: [PHOTO]: Mosque ablaze, 8 June 1992. Flames and smoke rise today from a mosque in Visegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 125 miles southwest of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Serbs have seized two-thirds of Bosnian territory and have pounded Sarajevo with artillery and rocket fire. The surge in fighting began Sunday night. It ebbed before daybreak today, but rapidly escalated during the day. Source: Associated Press

Published in Chicago Sun Times, June 8, 1992.

Image: Visegrad’s Emperor mosque (Careva dzamija) set ablaze by Bosnian Serb soldiers from Visegrad on most probably 7 June 1992. Picture published in Chicago Sun Times on 8 June 1992. All mosques and other buildings of the Islamic Community were set ablaze and bulldozed by Visegrad Serb soldiers. They most probably acted under supervision of the Crisis Committee in the Visegrad Municipality. Throughout Serbian-occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, mosques and all other Islamic architecture was systematically destroyed. It is believed that around 700 mosques were destroyed during the Bosnian Genocide.

Visegrad-CarevaDz-prijerata Image: Careva mosque before the genocide.

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Image: The Careva mosque re-constructed thanks to funds given by Visegrad’s Bosniak diaspora.

Credit: Melissa & Mirela, Thank you!

Exhumation at mass grave in Visegrad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by visegrad92

We earlier wrote about a new mass grave in Visegrad. The new mass grave was located in Straziste cemetery.The site was covered with garbage. Among the remains of Bosniak victims were roof tiles, rubbish and especially lime.Information about this mass grave was given by local Serbs: a dying Serb who was witness to the disposal of these bodies.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

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Image: Exhumation at a mass grave in Visegrad, where bodies of Bosniak civilians were dumped. This mass grave was found thanks to information given by a dying Serb.

Who was murdered in Koric’s cafe?

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

We call upon all who know the identity of Bosniaks murdered in Zijad Koric’s cafe in Nova Mahala street in Visegrad. There were around 4-5 persons murdered in the cafe. Hajra Koric, Zijad’s wife, survived this massacre, but was later shot and killed by Milan Lukic on Bikavac.

Pozivamo sve Višegrađane koji znaju ime i prezime ubijenih Bošnjaka 1992 godine u kafani KORIĆ ZIJADA u Novoj mahali.Znamo da je ubijeno 4-5 Bošnjaka muškaraca među kojima Kadrić Nezira Muhamed. Žena rahmetli Korić Zijada Hajra je uspjela pobjeći ali…… je Milan Lukić i dr. pronašli na Bikavcu i ubili kako bi sakrio izvršeni zločin nad Bošnjacima.

+Read: Who killed Hajra Koric?

Missing: Himzo & Ahmet Omerovic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by visegrad92

Image: Ahmet Omerovic Ape and Himzo Omerovic.

Father and son – Himzo and Ahmet Omerovic have gone missing since the Visegrad Genocide. Their fate is unknown and their remains have not been found. According to some witnesses, both Himzo and Ahmet were detained in Uzamnica concentration camp, while according to others, Ahmet was arrested in Jondja street where he was hiding. He was supposedly last seen, covered in blood, leaving the Police Station.

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Image: Nurko Dervisevic

According to Nurko Dervisevic, a Hague witness, Ahmet Omerovic was held in Uzamnica and taken away by Milan Lukic:

” He called out Enes

3     Dzaferovic and his brother and another young man, Omerovic, the son of

4     Himzo Omerovic, and said, “You are going for the weekend to Bajina

5     Basta,” and he took those three men away. ”

We ask anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Himzo and Ahmet Omerovic to leave a comment or send us an email.

Put war criminals behind bars

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 4, 2009 by visegrad92

Cody Corliss

October 3, 2009

When it comes to genocide, numbers can’t do justice. It’s difficult to come to grips with 100 mass executions, let alone thousands.

This summer, one of the most notorious Serbian mass murderers was convicted and sentenced for ethnic cleansing atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. Milan Lukic, a Bosnian Serb, was found guilty of murder and crimes against humanity by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. He was convicted of 133 murders, though that number likely represents only a fraction of his true offenses.

Lukic led a Serb paramilitary group in a reign of terror in the Bosnian Muslim-majority city of Visegrad. Within a few months of the war’s start in 1992, most of the area’s Muslims were dead or had fled.

Specifically, Lukic exterminated civilians – men, women, the elderly, newborns. In two particularly heinous incidents, Lukic and his band herded Muslims into homes, where they proceeded to lock the doors, board up the windows, and torch the dwellings. As the houses burned, Lukic lingered outside to shoot anyone who managed to escape the flames.

At sentencing, Judge Patrick Robinson observed that Lukic’s actions rank high “in the all-too-long, sad and wretched history of man’s inhumanity to man.”

Aside from a few short paragraphs in the national newspapers, however, Milan Lukic’s trial and conviction received little mention in U.S. media. In fact, the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia are rarely examined – excepting Hillary Clinton’s misstatements about Bosnian sniper fire.

Although the Balkan tragedy is quickly becoming a bloody footnote in Europe’s 20th-century history, the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) continues to try to convict war criminals. Since establishment of the tribunal in 1993, it has indicted 161 individuals for violations of international humanitarian law. The largest war crimes tribunal since Nuremburg is scheduled to close its doors by the end of 2010.

But even with perpetual budget overruns and administrative squabbles, something incredible is happening in The Hague. War criminals are being brought to justice.

When the tribunal was initially established, many international observers questioned if it could succeed. Most doubted if Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic would ever face justice. He died in a Dutch prison cell while standing trial. Serbia arrested former political boss Radovan Karadzic in July 2008. That trial is now in progress.

The ICTY is a model for other tribunals, such as ones for genocide in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Lukic was convicted of 133 murders. It’s an incredible number – too big to truly comprehend. I worked on the prosecution case. I don’t think of the numbers. But I do think of the survivors. Some escaped fires badly burned. Since they were unable to safely obtain medical treatment, maggots grew in their wounds. One witness was a young boy during the war. He and a friend played on the street when they were apprehended by Lukic. The boy looked on as his friend was shot and thrown in the river, never to be seen again.

But even with Lukic’s conviction and other triumphs, some mass murderers remain at large, most notably Ratko Mladic, the Serbian general responsible for Srebrenica and Sarajevo, two of the worst massacres in modern Europe.

Today, Serbia is lobbying for membership in the European Union. And as luck would have it, my path crossed with Serbian president Boris Tadic as he made a pitch for open borders at the annual St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. There, I asked Tadic of the prospects for catching Gen. Mladic.

President Tadic, who came to power in 2008 under a platform of finding and arresting General Mladic, assured a packed auditorium that Serbia was making a valiant effort to bring these fugitives to justice. The new government had arrested Karadzic, for example. But in spite of the new government’s efforts, some Serbs have helped its old leaders avoid the shackles of the international community. A month after my interaction with President Tadic, television footage aired showing the general enjoying a happy retirement.

Still, in spite of the setbacks, many responsible for the Balkan tragedy have stood trial. It’s a prospect that seemed unlikely 15 years ago. The U.N. international tribunals are often targets for criticism, but because of their work, war criminals sit behind bars. Genocide no longer means impunity.

Corliss, a Wetzel County native, worked in the ICTY prosecutor’s office during the Milan Lukic trial as part of a cooperative agreement between Cornell Law School and the United Nations.

Source: Sunday Gazette