Archive for concentration camps

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.

Visegrad Genocide Quotes – 1

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

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Beco Filipovic – The XX Century Man

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

In 2009 Bosnia  and Herzegovina was left without one  unknown man who was treated in a cruel by life – Beco Filipovic. Beco, who was 86 years old when he died,  survived three concentration camps: Mathauzen(World War Two); Goli Otok(Tito’s Yugoslavia) and Ušće near Doboj(Bosnain Serb concentration camp during the Bosnian Genocide).

Luckily, a documentary film has been made commemorating Beco. It is directed by Haris Prolić and has a superb title: The XX Century Man.

Rest In Peace

Bećo Filipović(18. 12.1923. – 2. 2. 2009.)

What is the Visegrad Genocide?

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

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.

Image: Exhumation of Bosniak genocide victims in Straziste cemetary, Visegrad, 2009.

According to ICTY documents, based on  victims reports, some 3,000 Bosniaks were murdered during the violence in Višegrad and its surrounding, including some 600 women and 119 children. It is estimated that over a hundred Bosniak women were raped by Bosnian Serbs which was part of a systematic genocidal rape warfare used by the Bosnian Serb Army and Police throughout occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Višegrad genocide was one of the worst during the Bosnian Genocide 1992-95 because it was mostly committed by local Serbs and  it occurred over a period of several months:

April-May was marked by the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army occupation on 15 April; arrests and murders of Bosniak intellectuals, looting, beatings, by Bosnian Serb Police and Yugoslav Peoples’ Army;

June-July was marked with systematic destruction of mosques and other Islamic architecture, several massacres of Bosniak civilians by Bosnian Serb Army including the Barimo massacre, Bosanska Jagodina massacre, Paklenik massacre and the infamous Bikavac and Pioneer Street live pyres where dozens of Bosniak civilians – elderly, women and children(including a two-day old baby) were burnt alive; besides these outragest crimes, the most brutal were committed on the Ottoman Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge where for weeks, Bosniak civilians were brought to the bridge, murdered either by knife or gun and thrown into the river Drina;

Augustby this time, most of Visegrad’s Bosniak population was murdered, raped, deported or exchanged. There were still Bosniaks in concentration camps like Uzamnica military camp or Vilina Vlas, the infamous spa motel-turned rape motel were hundreds of Bosniak women were raped numerous times by Bosnian Serb Army and Police. A little known fact is that until 1995, in Višegrad, there were dozens of Bosniaks who were working as forced labour on private and community farms. They were exchanged by wars end in 1995.

→ Until today the following have been convicted for war crimes convicted  in Visegrad:

1 )Novo Rajak;

2 )Nenad Tanaskovic;

3 )Boban Simsic;

4 )Zeljko Lelek;

5 )Momir Savic;

6 )Milan Lukic;

7 )Sredoje Lukic;

8 )Mitar Vasiljevic

Read more :

+ Crisis Committee Visegrad(Krizni štab)

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Destruction of mosques in Visegrad Municipality

+ Visegrad Genocide Denial

Ed Vulliamy and the Visegrad Genocide

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2009 by visegrad92

VGM Editor: Ed Vulliamy was the first foreign correspondent to put the puzzles together and tell the world what happened in Visegrad. We thank him for writing the truth. We will never forget!

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Image: Ed Vulliamy speaking to genocide survivors in Omarska, Prijedor.

Excerpt from Ed Vulliamy’s “Neutrality” and the Absence of Reckoning: A Journalist’s Account

(…)

Jasmin was 13 when the war began and his town Zepa was sealed off from the outside world by a noose of Serbian artillery. He was deemed too young to fight, assigned instead to spend the war by a crook in the Drina River, “to get the bodies out, and to give them a decent burial.” For three years, Jasmin rowed a little boat into midstream to haul the bloated corpses — sometimes headless, sometimes child-sized — out of the river to bury them, often under fire, in a makeshift cemetery. Jasmin said he found the bodies beneath the great Ottoman Bridge, the same bridge that spans the Drina at Visegrad, serves as Bosnia’s emblem and is the title of a great work of literature by Ivo Andric, the country’s most celebrated writer. I followed this trail, only to discover that the Serbs had turned Andric’s bridge into a human abattoir. I last saw Jasmin when he was among the lucky refugees to flee Zepa in July 1995. He was evacuated to a mental hospital in Dublin in 1996, at the age of seventeen.

“That bridge will drive me mad,” said a shuddering Hasena Muharenovic, for whom the reckoning can never come. Living in Sarajevo, she recalled how a Serbian squad came for her mother and sister, took them to the bridge, cut them up and threw them off it, along with a carload of others. She bade goodbye to her crippled father, whom she left in an armchair to await his turn and she fled. She was captured and spent the war in a camp with her two young daughters, enduring forced labor and “making coffee” — a euphemism for forced sex with officers. Now, in peacetime, she does not know whether to wait and hope that her husband will return, or give up and leave Sarajevo, killing him in her own mind.

(…)

* Read Ed Vulliamy’s article published in The Draw Bridge :

Still they applaud as the river turns red

Ed Vulliamy

Twelve years ago, I talked to a girl called Zehra whose face, ears and hands had melted like wax. She was the sole survivor from a house into which some seventy people – Bosnian Muslims aged from two days to 78 years old – had been packed and incinerated alive. It had happened in the town of Visegrad, nestled in the Drina valley at a particularly beautiful moment in its flow, where precipitous rocks give way to a verdant valley.

“The Serbs took a garage door from another house and put it up against the balcony, so we couldn’t get out,” recalled Zehra. “We weren’t screaming or banging on the doors, just crying because we knew what was going to happen. 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 pulled off my burning clothes. Outside the Serbs were standing around watching the house go up in flames. They were drunk and playing music very, very loud.”

Spanning the river at Visegrad is a glorious bridge, iconic of Bosnia: an Ottoman structure of pumice stone, hewn in 1571 and inspiration for a Nobel prize-winning novel by Ivo Andric, Bridge Over the Drina. In the book, the bridge bears silent witness to Bosnia’s history. But Andric died in 1975, seventeen years before the bridge was turned into a slaughterhouse. Night after night, truckloads of Bosnian Muslim civilians were taken down to the bridge by Bosnian Serb paramilitaries, unloaded, sometimes slashed with knives, sometimes shot, and thrown into the river, dead or in various states of half-death, turning the Drina’s turquoise current red with blood. Witnesses to this carnage also remember the booze and song, the air of festivity in the proceedings.

We are used to thinking of rage as a last resort, unleashed when humanity is at its wits’ end. Some is blind rage, like ghetto riots after Martin Luther King was assassinated. Some is just human, like the estimable reaction of Bobby Gillespie, singer with Primal Scream, who attacked a tannoy at Chalk Farm station, unable to bear any more announcements about planned engineering works (why doesn’t everyone do that?). Then there is genuine outrage, such as one feels upon learning that Tony Blair’s conversion to Catholicism fuelled his determination to go to war in Iraq, just as he secures a post teaching divinity at Yale and accepts yet another greedily lucrative investment banking consultancy, like a camel breezing through the eye of a needle into the Kingdom of Heaven. Such rage is righteous and rational but has no impact beyond oneself and one’s sleep.

But what is this other rage which seems to have little motive and no anger behind it? The rage of the boozers and singers who lock families and babies into houses and set them alight? Rage against a group or individual which one knows to be spurious (the Serbs knew perfectly well their Muslim neighbours were not “Jihadis”), yet generates some of the most horrific violence. Rage that is tribal, but ultimately recreational.

Continues in the print edition. Order now.