Photo exhibition of Velija Hasanbegović
The photos and storyline were made by Velija Hasanbegovic, a survivor of the Visegrad genocide, who was 16 years old when he escaped from the execution at the Visegrad Bridge. His “Višegrad Genocide Memories” project got the award for best collection at the Exhibition of the Association for Art Photography BiH „Zenica 2010”.
“Višegrad was occupied by the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army (JNA) in April 1992. A Serb government was imposed by the JNA which started terrorizing the Bosnian Muslim population. In May 1992, the Hasanbegovic family was put under house arrest by the Bosnian Serb authorities. Velija’s father, Zejnil, was a influential figure in the Višegrad Municipality. Bosnian Muslims were massacred and deported throughout Višegrad. On 17 June, around a dozen Bosnian Serb soldiers surrounded the Hasanbegovic house in the town center and arrested Velija, his brother Samir and his father Zejnil. They were brought to old spa called Visegradska Banja, which is located several kilometers from the town center. After being interrogated for about an hour, the Hasanbegovics were told that they would be exchanged for Bosnian Serbs. They traveled by car towards the town and stopped in Sase village where they were told to get out of the car. The three Bosnian Serb soldiers forced the Hasanbegovics to walk towards the Drina River bank. At this moment they realized that there is no prisoner exchange and that they would be executed.”