Image: Members of the Bosnian Serb Army, Special Unit “Avengers” in Visegrad 1992.
Report submitted by the BiH government to the Human Rights Committee of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Document submitted in compliance with a special decision of the Committee* : Bosnia and Herzegovina. 27/04/93.
CCPR/C/89. (Additional Info from State Party)
Convention Abbreviation: CCPR
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Document submitted in compliance with a special decision
of the Committee*
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
[30 October 1992]
32. The identical programme has been carried out in the Višegrad region. The camps there have been established in the Fire Station, the “Vilina Vlas” Hotel, the High School Centre, the Primary School “Hasan Deretovac”, the former JNA garrison at Vardište, and the Primary School “Zelimir Ðuric Zeljo” at Prelevo. Special places of execution included private houses in which the aggressor kept dozens of prisoners. Most of these prisoners were killed, while the rest of them were sent to the hard labour camps. In the “Vilina Vlas” Hotel, Muslim women and teenage girls were subjected to brutal abuse by local Chetniks, then either murdered or exiled from the Višegrad region. The crimes were also committed at the following locations: the old and the new bridge on the River Drina, and near the village of Prelevo. Mass murders were committed there – people were either shot or slaughtered, or simply burned. In a house in Višegrad (on Pionirska Street), 60 people were kept inside and then set on fire, the same happened to 70 people in the Bikavac settlement. The activities of some humanitarian organizations were also abused; through the Red Cross the extremists have formed the so-called refugee committees inviting the non-Serbian population to seek shelter at “more secure places in Tuzla, Skopje, or Hungary”, then taking those gathered to the places of execution.
33. After the Chetniks’ defeat at Zepa, the Serbian terrorists surrounded the village of Zlijeb with the ultimatum that all villagers should move out. Those gathered were taken to the village Obravnje, then by trucks to Višegrad’s Fire House, where they were robbed, women and girls taken out of line and raped. These women were subjected to repeated mistreatment and rape, while the men were slaughtered on the bridge of the River Drina, their heads cut off and kicked, the bodies thrown into the river. While committing these crimes, the terrorists laughed, cursed the Ustashi, shouting that was “the massacre of Zepa people”, and that the “Turkish women will from now on give birth to Serbs and Chetniks”. A retired police officer by the name of Zaric was slaughtered slowly and savagely. The uniforms of the criminals and the bridge itself were all bloodied, while the terrorists themselves boasted that they were slaughtering all men under 50. Those over 50 were beaten up and left to be exchanged later on.
34. On 18 June, the extremists slaughtered 22 Muslims on the new bridge in Višegrad, the executors being Milan Lukic, Jovan Planojevic, and one Momir. The Lukic group tore out the kidneys of several individuals, while the others were tied to cars and dragged through the streets. Children were thrown from the bridge and shot at before they hit the water. Those who organized the ethnic cleansing of the territory also include Mr. Risto Perišic and Mr. Vladimir Tanasijevic, who also issued ultimatums to the Muslim population to move out. Mr. Planojevic took the looted goods to Šeganje. The crimes are also committed by members of the Srpko Popovic group to which Mr. Milan Milovanovic also belongs. They have killed dozens of Muslims, while Mr. Popovic, who in a single day had killed 17 persons, often takes the Muslims to the Višegrad Electric Plant, locks them in a room, then kills them and throws them into the river releasing the water from the reservoir. After having promised safe conduct by buses to the town of Olovo, they put a group of about 60 women, children and old men into a house and set them on fire. The Chetniks have also tied a large number of Muslims and then thrown them into the River Drina from the bridge; the mouths of some of them were stuffed with the explosives which were then detonated. Among the terrorists, the most cruel include the former member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Višegrad: Dragan and Boban Tomic, Nedo Sekulic and his sons Dragan and Veljko, Mirko Lakic and one Lukic. Apart from the Muslim apartments they also loot the apartments of those Serbs they do not regard as loyal. The looters also include Mr. Vlado Tanaskovic, Mr. Borislav Furtula, and one Andric.
35. In some villages the agressors have killed men right away, while some of those captured have been brutally tortured. In the village of Drinsko, Višegrad, Bodo Tabakovic died a terrible death after having been horseshoed. Women and children were put in one of the houses, while the village was looted, then taken to another village which was to be looted, so the group of prisoners multiplied. A group of 58 women and children from the villages of Kurspahici and Koritnik was put in a house which was then set on fire by Slavko Gabrilovic, Mile Joksimovic, Zoran Joksimovic, and Boško Ðuric. Though the Chetniks quarrelled over the looted goods, they still took groups of people from one village to another, thus transporting some of them to the Visoko region. In the village of Musici near Višegrad, Chetnik Lukic threatened women and children, asking them whether they would like to be killed, bombed, or slaughtered. Several days before the attack, the same guaranteed the villagers their peace and security, claiming later on that taking away the male population meant nothing else but a retribution for the killed Serbs. Lukic also took part in bringing a number of teenage girls to the Višegrad Bath, where they were raped, while the mothers who reported these crimes to the so-called Serbian Secretariat of Internal Affairs were told by the Chetniks that “the Turks also do nasty things to Serbian kids”. After repeated attacks by various Chetnik formations and a total plunder of Muslim houses, the so-called Serbian territorials would enter the village and issue ultimatums – that the inhabitants clear out the village “within an hour, never to return”.
Source: United Nations, Human Rights Committee