Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge:A Monument to Genocide

Image: Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge built by the Ottomans. Hundreds of Bosniaks(Bosnian Muslims) were murdered and thrown off the bridge into the Drina River by Bosnian Serbs. Picture Copyright © Velija Hasanbegovic

Witness X(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“Zeljko Lelek, Mile Joksimovic and Vlatko Pecikoza arrived almost at the same time at the bridge. Lelek was in a taxi driven by Bosko Djuric. They took out two women out of the car, both were in their early 20s, one was carrying a five to six month old baby. Vlatko grabbed the baby from her and said ‘Let the baby have some fresh air’. He took it and threw it up in the air. Lelek was holding a knife and caught the little body on it,” the witness said, adding that Joksimovic then forced the mother to lick the child’s blood “in order to stop the bleeding”.

Witness KB(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“I saw them bringing two older people whose hands were tied. One was wearing a French beret on his head. They lined them up by the water and forced them to go into the water. When the water was up to their waist, the men started shooting. People fell down and I was sick from watching it,”

Witness Hasan Ajanovic(Vasiljevic, Lukic case):

“Lukic told us to wade out into the water,” he said, interviewed by telephone from a Western European country that he insisted not be identified. “I did not hear the first shot, I suspect because Lukic’s gun had a silencer. But I heard the screams and then the other shots. Meho’s body fell on top of me. I lay with my face in the sand until night. I swam across the river and escaped. The water stank of death.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Mesud Cocalic:

“The bodies were often slashed with knife marks and were black and blue,” he said. “The young women were wrapped in blankets that were tied at each end. These female corpses were always naked. We buried several children, including two boys 18 months old. We found one man crucified to the back of a door. Once we picked up a garbage bag filled with 12 human heads.”(Source)

Witness Hasena M. :

“watched them put my mother and sister astride the parapet, like on a horse. I heard both women screaming, until they were shot in the stomach. They fell in the water – the men laughing as they watched. The water went red.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Hasnija Pjeva:

“If the Drina River could only speak, it could say how many dead were taken away,”(Source)

7 Responses to “Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge:A Monument to Genocide”

  1. Sickening. Maybe we need a new category of World Heritage Site.

  2. Abdul Majid Says:

    The bridge of Visegrad is a gigantic headstone of all those who were murdered on it and if only for that reason it must be preserved. However I would suggest fitting white marble plaques with the names of all the victims on them on the inside of the parapets so everybody who walks on the bridge can see them. And of course to keep the bridge under 24 hour video surveillance to prevent anyone from vandalising them (because this would be murdering the victims a second time) and affixing clear warning signs to that effect. And the present administration of Visegrad and/or the “RS” should be made to pay for that, because why should the Bosniaks (the victims) pay for it? But “RS” policemen who more often than not were the murderers of Bosniaks, or who approve of the genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade can’t really be entrusted with watching over the memory of their victims, now can they?!
    And not only that, the bridge was built by the great Sinan, even the Arabic dedicatory inscription is still there (or maybe a copy of it?) and also for that reason it must be preserved.
    As Ali Hodza says in Ivo Andric’s famous book, “if here is destruction, maybe elsewhere there is construction.” If today there is only a handful of Bosnaks in Visegrad, God willing, soemday there will be a thriving Bosniak Muslim community in Visegrad again:

    U čuvenom razgovoru sa Turskim beglerbegom, kada mu je Turski beglerbeg rekao : “Nema više Bosne, a neće biti ni Bošnjaka, Huseine… Gineš za državu koja nikad nije postojala niti će.” Husein Kapetan Gradaščević mu je odgovorio sljedećim riječima : ” Ima Bosne, beglerbeže i Bošnjaka u njoj ! Bili su prije vas i ako Bog da, biti će i poslije vas !”

  3. Very appropriate suggestion, Abdul Majid, the victims are part of the history of the bridge and a part of it that no-one should forget or ignore..

  4. Just a note re: Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic was ethnic Bosniak. At that time, people of all faiths in Bosnia considered themselves Bosniaks. There is NO direct evidence that Sokolovic’s parents were Orthodox Christians. Of course, there is one Sokolovic village which is predominantly Orthodox Christian, but also there is one Sokolovic village in Eastern Bosnia that is predominantly Muslim. But he was not Serb. No way.

  5. I included your blog in SGB’s list of Friendly Blogs!

  6. Thank you for compiling these testimonies for us. We need to continue raising the awareness of the crimes that Serbs committed against the Bosniak civilians in the Srebrenica region – which, of course, includes Visegrad municipality that borders with Srebrenica. The unprecedented levels of cruelty that Serbs inflicted upon the Bosniak civilians must never be forgotten. We must speak up!

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