Archive for bosnian war

Bikavac exhumation 25.2.2016

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2016 by visegrad92

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25.2.2016 – An exhumation was carried out on the foundations of Meho Aljic’s house in Bikavac where on 27.6.1992 one of the worst war crimes was committed during the genocide 1992-95. At least 70 women and children were burnt alive by Bosnian Serb soldiers.

On 25.2.2016, the Missing Persons Institute conducted an exhumation on this location and found one piece of human bone. There were several exhumations conducted on this location but this was the first time a human bone was discovered.

The crime scene was destroyed by the local authorities during or after the war. The house was bulldozed and the site was turned into a garbage dump.

DNA analysis will be conducted on the discovered bone in order to try and establish an identity of a victim.

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Photo credits: Avaz

 

Ljubomir Tasic awarded by Visegrad Municipality

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by visegrad92

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Image: Dnevni avaz article about Visegrad Mayor Slavisa Miskovic handing the Visegrad award to Ljubomir Tasic.

“On 28 October 2014, The Bosnian state court on Tuesday found Milisavljevic and Pantelic guilty of taking part in the massacre of the 48 men from Visegrad in the Sokolac municipality on June 15, 1992.

The men who died were in a prisoner convoy which left Visegrad on June 14. They were then separated from the other prisoners and taken to the Paklenik pit, where Bosnian Serb police officers and soldiers shot them or beat them to death.

The bodies were then thrown into the pit, from which they were exhumed eight years later.

Only one man, Ferid Spahic, managed to survive and give evidence at the trial. He testified that Milisavljevic took part in the killings.

“The witness said that Milisavljevic was the first man to open fire,” said presiding judge Vesna Jesenkovic.

The convictions were also based on the testimony of bus drivers from the convoy, who said that Milisavljevic and Pantelic were part of the group that took the men to the Paklenik pit.

Even though nobody saw Pantelic shoot prisoners, the judge explained, he was found guilty of “assisting in the murder of civilians”.

A third defendant, Ljubomir Tasic, was cleared of the charges against him.

The judge said that the Bosnian prosecution didn’t provide adequate evidence that Tasic took part in taking the civilian prisoners out of Visegrad. Witnesses only said that Tasic told people to go because he could not protect them, Jesenkovic explained.”
– See more at: http://www.justice-report.com/en/articles/two-bosnian-serbs-convicted-of-visegrad-massacre#sthash.auV1hDbW.dpuf

Oliver Krsmanovic sentenced to 18 years!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2015 by visegrad92

Former Bosnian Serb Army serviceman Oliver Krsmanovic was sentenced to 18 years in prison for crimes against humanity including the killings and forced disappearances of Bosniaks in Visegrad in 1992.

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Justice Report – BIRN
The state court in Sarajevo on Monday found Krsmanovic guilty on eight counts for taking part in the killings and forced disappearances of Bosniak civilians, as well as other inhumane acts in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad during wartime.

The court ruled that Krsmanovic took part in the hijacking and killing of 16 Bosniak civilians travelling from Sjeverin in Serbia on October 22, 1992, and in the killings of eight Bosniak men at the Varda factory in Visegrad earlier that year.

According to the verdict, Krsmanovic, a member of the Second Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, committed the crimes with Milan Lukic, the leader of a Serb paramilitary unit called the White Eagles, who was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to life in prison for crimes in Visegrad.

Krsmanovic was also convicted of being responsible for the forced disappearance of a number of civilians, the torture of one Bosniak in Visegrad and beating up a prisoner in the Rasadnik detention camp in 1995.

The court however cleared him of taking part in rapes and torture.

It also said that the prosecution failed to prove that Krsmanovic took part in the burning alive of 80 Bosniak civilians in Bikavac in June 1992.

“The role of the defendant [in the Bikavac killings] was unclear to the chamber,” said presiding judge Darko Samardzic.

The court further acquitted Krsmanovic of two incidents of rape and sexual abuse at the Vilina Vlas Hotel in Visegrad because the witnesses were unsure whether the defendant was the person who assaulted them.

“We believe that the punishment fits the crime and the role of the defendant,” said Samardzic.

“The chamber finds no mitigating circumstances. The fact that the defendant is a family man has no bearing on the crimes. He offered no remorse, but continued to commit crimes,” the judge added.

This verdict can be appealed, while the two-and-a-half years that Krsmanovic spent in custody from 2011 to 2013 will count toward his sentence.

Later this month, he will also stand trial in a separate case in which he is charged alongside nine other Bosnian Serbs with the abduction and killings of 20 passengers seized from a train at a station in Strpci in Bosnia in 1993.

Spomen-obilježje ubijenim Bošnjacima u Dobrunu, Višegrad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2015 by visegrad92

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U mjestu Dobrun, dvadesetak kilometara od Višegrada, danas je otvoreno spomen-obilježje za 131 civila bošnjačke nacionalnosti, koja su ubijena početkom proteklog rata u BiH.

Spomen-obilježje kod Careve džamije, prve džamije izgrađene na tlu BiH po dolasku turske vojske, izgradilo je Udruženje „Dobrunjani i prijatelji“, poznatije kao „Dobrun – Stari grad“ , javlja Anadolu Agency (AA).

Prethodno je dobijena saglasnost Vakufske direkcije BiH, kao i dozvole Opštine Višegrad. Prema riječima predsjednika Udruženja Esada Hrustića, bilo je teško prikupiti sve podatke o imenima stradalih, što je rađeno uz pomoć preživjelih članova porodica, a broj ubijenih u napadima nije konačan.

– Naši preci, naša djeca, naša braća i sestre su zaslužili da konačno uradimo ovako nešto. Ponosni smo na to – rekao je Hrustić.

Historija bilježi da su kroz Dobrun prolazili i uglavnom živjeli samo dobri ljudi, a njihova djela se spominju u historiji bosanskoj, kaže predsjednik Medžlisa IZ Višegrad Bilal Memišević.

– Dobre ljude, pitomu zemlju dobrunsku, spominju Evlija Čelebija i svi oni koji su prije njega prolazili kroz Dobrun i pisali o ovom mjestu. Naravno, kroz Dobrun su prolazili i oni koji nisu dobri i zbog njih mi danas i jesmo ovdje, da glasno i jasno u dobrom Dobrunu kažemo da nećemo dozvoliti da nam se iste ili slične stvari u budućnosti događaju – poručio je Memišević.

Predsjednik Skupštine opštine Višegrad Suljo Fejzić kazao je kako su preživjeli izgradnjom ovakvih spomenika prinuđeni pisati istoriju o stradanju svojih najmilijih, jer to na način kako se istorija piše u ovoj državi nije moguće.

– Ovo je naš način da sačuvamo od zaborava sve naše žrtve i ono što nam se desilo u proteklom ratu. Dželatima ovih ljudi ništa nije bilo sveto. Ovi ljudi su ubijeni samo zato što su bili Bošnjaci. Ako mi ne budemo pričali istinu o stradanju Bošnjaka Višegrada, radit će to oni koji nisu bili ni blizu ovim prostorima, ali i dželati i ubice – rekao je Fejzić.

Otvaranju spomen-obilježja prisustvovale su desetine prijeratnih stanovnika Dobruna, ali i povratnici u ovu višegradsku mjesnu zajednicu. Spomen-obilježje otvorila su djeca čiji su roditelji porijeklom iz ovog kraja, a u okviru programa uručene su zahvalnice najzaslužnijima za realizaciju ovog projekta.

(Faktor.ba)
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Visegrad Genocide Quotes – 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by visegrad92

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Visegrad Genocide Quotes – 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by visegrad92

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VISEGRAD FIRE MASSACRES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by visegrad92

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Image: Pionirska Street Fire Massacre Infographics

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Image: Bikavac Fire Massacre Infographics

Institutionalisation of Genocide

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by visegrad92

♦What is Visegrad Genocide?

The Višegrad genocide was an act of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Bosniak civilians that occurred in the town of Višegrad in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed by Bosnian Serb Army and Police forces at the start of the Bosnian War during the spring of 1992. Over a period of four months, Bosniaks were murdered, tortured, raped and publicly humiliated on a daily basis in Visegrad’s streets, in the victim homes and in concentration camps.

Here are several confirmation notes given by Visegrad Municipality authorities to Bosniaks in 1992. This include: confiscating legally own weapons, travel permits and a signed oath of loyalty.

Image: A confirmation note issued to a Bosniak by Sluzba Javne Bezbjednosti – Public Security Station; a official security authority in Bosnian towns.  This note signed by war criminal Zeljko Lelek confirms that on 21.04.1992, Zeljko Lelek “temporary” confiscated a legally own weapon(a hunting rifle) from this Bosniak.

Image: A travel permit issued to a Bosniak by the Sluzba Javne Bezbjednosti(SJB) and signed by its Chief Risto Perisic. Permit was issued for business reasons on 22.05.1992. Bosniaks could not enter or leave without Visegrad authorities permission.

Image: A signed oath of loyalty to the “Serb Municipality of Visegrad” whereas the undersigned shall respect all decisions and orders from the “Serb Municipality of Visegrad”; the “War Presidency of the Serb Municipality of Visegrad” and all other organs. The oath of loyalty was given purpose of security of the undersigned and his/her family. This statement was signed by a Bosniak civilian and by Miladin Milicevic, a member of the Visegrad War Presidency. Several dozen Bosniak families were forced or tricked into signing this “oath of loyalty”. In this family specifically, only one person managed to survive.

Read more on Visegrad Genocide:

+ Visegrad SDS Crisis Committee

+ What is Visegrad Genocide?

+ Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge: A Monument to Genocide

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Destruction of Mosques in Visegrad Municipality

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.

“Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming – I was the only one who got out”.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by visegrad92

The Guardian
20 August 1992

“Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming – I was the only one who got out”.

Maggie O’Kane’s 36-hour trek out of besieged Gorazde brought her to Visegrad with its burned houses along the Drina river valley, a small haven for eastern Bosnia’s Muslims driven from home by conquering Serbs. In the valley, the survivors told their story.

Her ears are melted away. All that is left are two waxy, twisted beige blobs like burned out candles. Her forehead is covered in a huge scab that is still healing and her nose is a maze of burst blood vessels.

She holds out her bandaged burnt arms delicately in front, like a Hindu woman at prayer. She says she is the only one who survived. Her name is Zehra Turjacanin. She is aged 31, a textile worker from Visegrad with a Muslim name. This is her story.

“It happened on June 27. Milan Lukic, a policeman in Visegrad, knocked on our door. He had six Serbs with him from Obrenovac. He said we were to go with him.

“There were eight people in my house: my mother, Djulka, my sisters, Dzehva and Aida and their children, Elma who was four, Ensar who was two, Sada who was five, and Selmir who was seven.

“After about 100 metres we went into another house on Bratislav Street. We were told to go in by the balcony. When we got to the balcony door, I saw that there was a wardrobe against the front door and all the windows had been blocked with furniture.

“There were Serbs all around the house and they were drinking. We tried to stay on the balcony but they started to throw stones at us to make us go inside, then they threw hand grenades. We went inside and it was full of people. They were crying.

“We were the last ones in and then the Serbs took a garage door from another house and put it up against the balcony, so we couldn’t get out. It was just after eight, when the curfew starts in Visegrad, and we were all in a sort of kitchen-dining room. I saw about 10 babies and some old people, but it was mostly families.

“I think there were about 70 people in that room. They weren’t screaming or banging on the doors, just crying because they knew what was going to happen.

“I said to my mother, ‘Don’t worry, they won’t kill us’. Then they set the house on fire and everyone inside was screaming, but nobody could get out. I saw the window in the garage door and I pulled myself through it.

“I was the only one who got out. I was wearing trousers, a jumper and a cardigan, and I pulled off my burning clothes. Outside the Chetniks were standing around watching the house burning. They were drunk and playing music very, very loud, so no one could hear the sound of the burning people screaming inside.

“One of the Chetniks saw me and shouted at me to stop, but they were far away from the house because of the big blaze. Then he just shrugged his shoulders and I ran and hid. I was the only one that survived.

“At one in the morning, I knocked on Ismeta Kurspahic’s door with my foot, and then I went to the Chetnik’s headquarters and I said to the commander: ‘Kill me, just kill me.’ But he said he wouldn’t and he brought Dr Vasiljevic to me and then took me to an old woman’s house.

“I stayed there for a day and then the old woman said Milan Lukic was looking for me, because I was the only one that survived and I knew. So I hid in the cemetery. Then I walked for 18 days and the territorial defence found me and they brought me here.”

Here is the mountain village of Medjedja, in a place the Muslims call the Valley of Freedom. It is a stretch of beautiful Bosnian countryside along the rivers Praca and Drina that wind their way below pine forests and through villages. A 50-mile stretch of the valley that is a last sanctuary for people like Zehra Turjacanin.

Thousands of Muslims have fled here, driven out from towns like Visegrad, Foca and Rogatica, to find peace in this valley. But once inside they are trapped – surrounded by the Serbs. “A bird cannot pass from here,” said one refugee.

But last Friday afternoon, in the driving thunderstorm, the Serbian checkpoint that guards the western entry to the valley was unmanned.

There is no petrol in the valley, so the mountain road along the Praca river is deserted. The Serbs had been through here in April and May. Burnt-out Muslim homes bear testimony to their coming. The people fled into the mountains while their homes were being looted and then moved back to their burnt-out villages, and the Serbs moved on to richer pastures.

A Bosnian soldier came up from the river bank to say we were in Free Bosnia. “Come to the commander,” he said. But the commander came along the river path to us. He and his men melting out of the trees, dressed in teeshirts, jeans and running shoes and carrying rifles. They were young, most in their early twenties and wearing green headbands. They wanted cigarettes; none had come through to their isolated valley for four months.

This Robin Hood band were going “up” – up in to the hills behind Gorazde to attack Serbian artillery positions. The scout who led the way carried a sack on his back, and the noses of a dozen rockets peeped from behind his right shoulder.

The commander, who had a walkie-talkie, was a electrical engineer before he went to war. He wore a green chiffon headscarf with silver spangles around his head. He paused to write our note of passage into his valley.

In the village of Ustipraca, Nehad Devlic said the Serbs had come in April. Then he was a rich man, owned three restaurants and two cars and a lorry. He fled into the forest and when he came out the Serbs had taken his Alfa-Romeo, his Volkswagen Golf and his lorry and burned down his three roadside cafes.

He now lives from the land, on eggs, wild plums and sacks of wheat that come down from the fields high in the mountain. We go to visit the ruin of his roadside restaurant, built in the days when tourists passed on the road to Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. But now the roads have been blocked.

They defend the valley by causing landslides from the hill on to the road to prevent the Serbs from coming back up along the river. The balconies of the modern apartment blocks in Ustipraca are filled with chopped wood. There are no cars, no electricity, and the telephones have been cut off.

There is a tranquillity in Ustipraca, peace among the charred houses in the shade of the mosque, which has a single shell hole left by passing Serbs making their point as they went through. Old men sit in the sun, surrounded by scrawny dogs looking for food and love, with hunting rifles ready for the Serbs if they come back.

In the village of Kopaci it is not so quiet. In Mehmed Mehovic’s back garden, under trees heavy with apples and plums, broken branches cover an 8ft long cluster bomb, designed to open in the air as it falls and send baby bombs scattering over his village. The cluster bomb did not explode and has been embedded in his back garden since June.

The sound of mortars boom outside. The Serbs are still mortaring the village from the distant hills. “It’s okay, they are only 105mm; they could be 155mm, they’ve used them before – takes the house away,” says the commander.

There is no cover, no cellar. The sound of the mortars landing is like the continuous sound of a door being slammed. An unemployed English-language enthusiast, aged 28, says: “Are you British, will you help us? Do you know that song from Black Sabbath – In the Ashes the Bodies Are Burning?”

Every day someone is injured or killed in Kopaci, but they have to hang on. There is nowhere to run to.

“Wait and listen for the whistle of the mortar, then you know it’s close” says Mehmed.

On Saturday afternoon Senad Niakonja, aged 10, was wheeled in his father’s barrow to see the doctor on the hill, to take out the mortar shrapnel in his back.

Among the refugees in Kopaci is Aldijana Hasecic, who tells us of Zehra Turjacanin’s ordeal. He will take us to see her, but first he wants to say that he has come from the woods near Visegrad and has seen the camp where Serbian men are taking Muslim women.

“It’s called Zamnica and it used to be an army barracks. It’s about 10 kilometres from Visegrad to the east. I went there early in the morning of August 9. It was 5am. The people that had escaped from the Chetniks told us there was a camp for Muslim women there. We went to see if we could save them, but it was too difficult. There were too many Chetniks. I didn’t see any of them being raped, but we know it’s happening. I saw them from the trees taking the young women out from the trucks and into the barracks.”

On the hill above the village of Medjedja the next day, a weeping woman in an orange polka-dot scarf says: “They took my daughter. They took all the girls from the village. We don’t know where they are. I haven’t seen her for four months”. Standing with her in the ruins of her house, where the only identifiable object is a scorched fridge freezer, are Hamed Sulejman and his wife, Kahriman. They have come to live in the woman’s woodshed. Kahriman says they were burnt out of their village and now her home is the woodshed where she lays out her jars of pickled fruit on a shelf above the mattress.

All along the mountain top are small burnt-out villages, clumps of houses where the people who have come out from the forests to live again among the ruins tell the same story, of how the Serbs came, looted their homes, burned them down and moved on.

In the lower hill, near Visegrad, a family of Muslims who fled from the town three months ago keep their bags packed in the sitting room. “We are ready to run if they come for us again,” says their son, Milos, who says he knows of the man called Milan Lukic. He says he watched him execute his friend, Hasan Veletovac, aged 16, on the bridge over the river Drina. “I was hiding in the attic of my house which looks over the bridge. They do the killing at night. They drink first in the Visegrad hotel. When the Chetniks go in ac tion they must drink. They bulldozed the two mosques in the main street in Visegrad so we wouldn’t come back.”

We came out through the trees and walked the last couple of miles into Visegrad, in the open along the road. At first no one seemed to notice two strangers in a town that had a population of 20,000 before all Muslims were driven out and into the valley – 10,000 people.

“All the Muslims have gone,” a journalist at the Visegrad radio station would say later, when he came to translate for us in the police headquarters. “Muslim extremists were responsible, they are on the hills around us. They attacked our church and now there is no mosque in this town.”

But first there is a little time to pass quietly to the main street, where on the corner with Bratislav Street rust coloured earth marks the spot where the first bulldozed mosque stood. Further down the street another mound marks the site of the second mosque.

Behind the supermarket on Bratislav Street, looking out on the cemetery, are the tired remains of a burnt-out house. A house that may have been the one where Zehra Turjacanin’s family and 60 others were burnt to death. We asked casually about a man called Milan Lukic.

“Yes,” said the Visegrad radio journalist. “He’s a policeman here. Not the chief, just an ordinary policeman.”

Papers checked. The English journalists are allowed to pass out of town in a police car with a kind Serb driver who offers cigarettes. A truck piled with furniture is parked outside the burnt-out shell of a two-storey house.

“Muslimanis,” he says, and drives us on through another 20 miles of charred Muslim homes and villages, through an apocalyptic rural wasteland that is the new Serbian republic of Bosnia.