Archive for emir kusturica

Ljubomir Tasic awarded by Visegrad Municipality

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


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:


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


Image: Pionirska Street Fire Massacre Infographics


Image: Bikavac Fire Massacre Infographics


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by visegrad92

After months of operative activities the Prosecutor and Investigators of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, located the suspect in France. The French authorities were requested to arrest and extradite him to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Following months of verifications and investigative activities the Prosecutor of the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH has, together with Investigators of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, located the suspect Radomir Šušnjar in the territory of the French Republic.

After he was located, the French judicial and police authorities were requested to arrest him immediately and to extradite him to the Judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Significant cooperation was achieved with the Office of the ICTY Prosecutor in The Hague during the course of these activities.

Radomir Šušnjar is suspected of being personally and directly involved in committing a horrible crime, publicly known as the “living bonfire” at a house located in Pionirska Street in Višegrad, together with Milan Lukic, who is on trial at The Hague Tribunal, and some other persons.

In July 1992 more than 60 Bosniak civilians, including women and children, from the area of Višegrad were captured in that house and then set on fire, while at the same time automatic weapons were used to fire inside the house.

On that occasion 59 people were killed and only seven of the victims managed to escape and survive.

The suspect Radomir Šušnjar is under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and is suspected of having personally participated in the incarceration of the victims in a house in the Pionirska Street and its subsequent setting on fire.

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH would like to thank the Embassy of France in BiH, the BiH Embassy in Paris, the Judiciary and the Police of the French Republic, the Interpol office in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Central Office of Interpol in Lyon, the Court of BiH, the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY and all other institutions that have helped in tracing, locating and the arrest of this suspect.

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH expects that he will soon be extradited to BiH Judiciary hence the activities in the aim of indicting continue. The aforementioned event is a clear message to all war crimes suspects that the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and law enforcement agencies will locate and prosecute the suspects no matter where they are hiding, all n the interest of the rule of law, peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia the Surreal: Emir Kusturica’s Fantasy Town Erasing the Brutal Past

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2014 by visegrad92

By Gianluca Mezzofiore
April 11, 2014 12:13 GMT

Entering Andricgrad, the controversial and ambitious “town within a town” built by filmmaker Emir Kusturica in celebration of literature and culture, is like something out of a Jorge Luis Borges book.

Every stone in the town, from the 19th century-like Spanish ‘Francisco Goya’ café to the Orthodox Church that rises like a lighthouse on the Drina River, echoes The Bridge on the Drina, the 1945 masterpiece by Nobel prize-winning writer Ivo Andric.

The book, published in 1945, captures the history of the uneasy relationship between the cultures of Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottoman Empire through the bloody story of the 16th century Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge that was built in Visegrad.

Everything from Thomas Mann Street to the multiplex cinema “Dolly Bell” breathes art and literature. Andricgrad also features an Austro-Hungarian academy of fine arts, a wine-tasting bookshop promoting Kusturica’s own book, an opera house dedicated to Italy filmmaker Luchino Visconti where Kusturica plans to stage the premiere of his opera, based on Andric’s masterpiece.

A joint project between Kusturica (who has 51% of the share) and the government of Republika Srpska, the Serbian enclave carved out after the 1992-95 war, the theme park cost between €10m and €12m.

Fantasy town

The project is controversial to say the least as it has been raised on the site of a sports centre that was used as a detention camp during the war. About 3,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed in Visegrad on or near the 11-arched bridge. Before the war 63% of the town’s 25,000 inhabitants were Bosnian Muslims. Despite the Dayton Peace Agreement, which called for the Bosnian Muslims (known as Bosniaks) to be able to return to their homes, only around 5% have come back.

Bosniak activists such as Bakira Hasecic, who was raped at Visegrad police station by Serb paramilitary leader Milan Lukic and after the war founded the Association of Women Victims of War, say they would never put a foot in Kusturica’s fantasy town.

“I would never enter Andricgrad even if my life depends on it,” she told IBTimes UK. “On 26 May 1992 along [what has become] the access road to Andricgrad the first buses for Bosnian Muslims who were forced into exile [by Serb forces] used to pass. In the sports centre where we took our kids to play there was the biggest concentration camp for Bosniaks.”

Supporters of Andricgrad dismiss those claims as propaganda. They maintain that the construction provided much-needed jobs to Bosniaks and Serbs alike.

The mayor of the town, Slavisa Miskovic, accuses media of political manipulation. “No one in Visegrad is against Andricgrad,” he told us. “Andricgrad is supported by the majority of Visegrad inhabitants.”

But his remarks are dismissed by the president of the Islamic community, Bilal Memisevic. “The mayor lies. The mayor does not support Andricgrad. His ‘grace’ still has not had a coffee in Andricgrad.”

Rationalist architecture and metaphysical art

Erected on a stretch of land between the emerald green Drina and a tributary, Andricgrad strikes the visitor as a pastiche of Bosnia’s different history and stiles, where rationalist architecture and metaphysical art meet literary theme park.

Labelled a “time machine” by the official guide, it resembles more a nightmarish but fascinating caprice of genius. Behind a Serbian castle, Ottoman houses lead to a Byzantine tower; the main street is a clear example of Austro-Hungarian style.

Music pours out of Goya café into the empty Nikola Tesla town square, built in Renaissance style, where Ivo Andric’s black figure stands, unaware of controversies.

Kusturica himself is a controversial figure. He renounced Islam, despite being born Bosniak, and aligned himself with the Serbs. Local papers described project as “the unfortunate encounter between a limited imagination and poor knowledge of the past”.

Memisevic says: “It is politically dangerous because once the construction work has finished, Emir Kusturica is planning to shoot a movie based on Ivo Andric’s novel.

“The novel itself is a masterpiece in literary terms, but ideologically it is very dangerous work, because as every educated Bosnian Muslim knows it was commissioned by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts of that period.”

Memisevic says that in the book and in the film script the role of Bosniaks “will be mocked in relation to what we really are”.

“We are native European and with the Ottoman Empire we have nothing in common besides religion,” he says.

“The director says that Andricgrad is a time machine through Visegrad. Every culture is represented there besides mine. What kind of time machine is that?”

Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes – Vitomir Rackovic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2014 by visegrad92


Justice Report




Himzija Tvrtkovic told the Sarajevo court on Thursday that she lived with her family in the village of Kabernik until June 12, 1992.

That day, she said, her neighbour, Vitomir Rackovic, came to the village in a truck and told her husband and son to get on.

“He said: ‘Husein and Hamed, get on [the truck]’. I asked why he was taking them and followed him, crying, and he yelled at me: ‘Don’t make me kill you’,” the witness said, adding that the truck then went to Lijeska.

She said she never saw her husband or son again, and left the village that day.

“That hurts the most. So many graves and nothing. I want [him] to tell me. He said he would kill them, and I want him to say where their bones are,” said the witness, who recognized the defendant while leaving the courtroom, and told him that she wanted to know where her husband and son are.

Rackovic is charged, as a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, with participating in attacks on Bosniak villages and with taking part in illegal detentions, torture, forced disappearances and rapes in the Visegrad area from May to August in 1992.

According to the indictment, in July 1992, he took part in illegal arrests in the village of Kabernik. Some of those arrested were never found, while the bodies of others were later exhumed in the Zepa municipality.

Himzija Tvrtkovic’s son, Haris Tvrtkovic, who was 12 in 1992, also testified. He said that the truck with the soldiers came to village on June 12, 1992 and then left towards the village of Cancari.

“The truck later came back from Cancari direction and Besima Cancar, Esad Mameledzija and more people were in it,” he recalled.

“Vitomir Rackovic, who is now in court, got out of the cab of the truck… and ordered my father, brother and uncle to get on,” Tvrtkovic said, adding that his uncle managed to escape.

He also said that his mother, Himzija, had asked Rackovic where he was taking her husband and son.

“We never had any information about my father and brother. It has been 22 years and nothing,” he said.

Call to Action: Protest to La Fenice for involvement with Emir Kusturica

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2013 by visegrad92


Image: Satiric poster by an unknown author of the planned opera to be produce in a joint cooperation between La Fenice theatre and Emir Kusturica, under the support of Milorad Dodik and Republika Srpska.

Association Cuprija, the “Stop genocide denial” movement and several other non-governmental organizations have started a campaign against the decision of La Fenice theatre to jointly produce an opera entitled “The Bridge over the River Drina” based on the novel by Ivo Andric.

The email address of La Fenice director is:

The protest letter is below:


Dear Mr. Cristiano Chiarot,

I am writing to you to express my deep regret that an institution like La Fenice has decided to work with Emir Kusturica and Milorad Dodik on staging „The Bridge over the River Drina“ opera in “Andricgrad”. Taking into consideration Dodik’s and Kusturica’s genocide denial and the blatant discrimination on non-Serbs in Republika Srpska, and the fact that “Andricgrad” has been built on the land forcefully taken from a Bosniak family from Visegrad, I strongly object to La Fenice staging this work in in “Andricgrad”, as it has been announced by Kusturica.

It is highly problematic that with the announced joint project with Kusturica, La Fenice would be directly supporting continued repression of Bosniaks in Visegrad.

I remind you that Visegrad used to be a town with 65% Bosniak population. After the campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces, this population has been reduced to 400 Bosniaks, mostly elderly.

The vast majority of them were expelled from Visegrad by Yugoslav Peoples’ Army and Republika Srpska Army, 3,000 were murdered, many Bosniak women and girls raped, women and children burnt alive in houses. These crimes have been well documented by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

Currently 600 Bosniaks are registered as missing in Visegrad municipality, buried in mass graves known to the municipal authorities who are refusing to reveal their whereabouts.

Not only is there no attempt by Visegrad and Republika Srpska authorities to acknowledge the crimes and compensate the victims’ families, but they have recently issued an order to remove a monument built for Visegrad’s genocide victims at Straziste cemetery. As you can see, while La Fenice is planning operas with the Dodik’s blessing, Bosniaks in Visegrad are denied the basic right to commemorate their victims.

Furthermore, “Andricgrad” has been built on the land which belongs to Hadžić family from Visegrad, who had it confiscated illegally from them by the municipality as part of the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs. Hadžić family members, who today live in the UK, Switzerland, Austrija, Australija, New Zealand and Sarajevo, will claim their property back in an international lawsuit and initiate legal action against Republika Srpska authorities and Kusturica. It is difficult to believe that such a renown institution of culture like La Fenice would allow itself to be an accomplice in an illegal enterprise that “Andricgrad” clearly is.

While I have no objection to the promotion of culture La Fenice champions, I strongly disagree Visegrad is a place where such events should take place until it deals with the legacy of extermination of its non-Serb population. For this reason, I ask you to refrain from from this morally objectionable project and in doing so demonstrate the due respects to genocide victims at Straziste cemetery.

Yours sincerely,

Venice La Fenice Theatre to co-produce “The Bridge over the River Drina” opera

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by visegrad92


Image: Superintendent of La Fenice Theatre Cristiano Chiarot, Emir Kusturica and Milorad Dodik.

On 26 March 2013,  the director of the La Fenice – Verdiana Theatre of Venice, Christian Chiarotto, signed a letter of intent for co-producing “The Bridge on the Drina River” opera in cooperation with Emir Kusturica. The opera is due to be played on 28 June 2014 in the newly built Andricgrad in Visegrad. 28 June marks St. Vitus Day in Serb Orthodox tradition marking the anniversary of the Kosovo battle in 1389.


This act by the La Fenice Theatre is problematic for several reasons:


  1. Cooperating with Emir Kusturica and Andricgrad under the blessing of RS President Milorad Dodik. Both figures are genocide deniers and have a record of criminal records.
  2. Andricgrad was built by Emir Kusturica and Republika Srpska partially on Bosniak land without the knowledge and approval of its rightful owners.
  3. The Visegrad Municipality has been terrorizing Bosniak returnees and denying Visegrad Bosniaks the right to build memorials for theirs victims. The latest case has been the Visegrad Municipality order to remove the genocide memorial at Straziste cemetery commemorating the victims of 1941-45 and 1992-95.
  4. Serb authorities in Visegrad have still not released the locations of mass graves where the estimated 600 missing Bosniaks from Visegrad are believed to be buried.
  5. All the mosques and other Islamic heritage in Visegrad were destroyed by Serb authorities. This heritage has been partially reconstructed by the Islamic Community without any help from the Serb authorities in Visegrad.
  6. Italian troops in World War Two have left a negative image of Italy and Italians among the Bosniak population due to their cooperation with the Serb fascist Chetnik forces. The Italian troops acted identically as to the Dutch UN in Srebrenica – in October 1943, the Italian troops surrendered the Visegrad enclave to the Chetniks and watched passively as thousands were massacred and the rest tried to flee over Mt. Sjemec towards Sarajevo.


Working with Kusturica and Dodik will bring more damage to La Fenice Theatre and Italy and any good. Instead it would be a good idea if representatives of the La Fenice Theatre along with the Visegrad Municipality representatives would visit Straziste cemetery and pay respect to the genocide victims buried there.



Isreali Foreign Minister in Andricgrad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2012 by visegrad92


Photo: Emir Kusturica and Avdigor Liberman in Andricgrad

On Sunday 09.09.2012. Republika Srpska media reported that Isreali Foreign Minister Avdigor Liberman visited Visegrad together with RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica and Visegrad mayor Tomislav Popovic. After visiting Andricgrad and strolling through town, there was a photo session on the sofa of the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge. Later on the delegation traveled upstream Drina river near Zepa for a private party.


Photo: Minister Liberman sitting on the sofa together with Visegrad mayor Tomislav Popovic(left) and Emir Kusturica(right). The sofa on the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge was the site the worst massacres during the genocide. The bodies of Bosnian Muslim men, women and children were thrown into the Drina from the Bridge.