Archive for mass murder

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

Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge:A Monument to Genocide

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by visegrad92

Image: Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge built by the Ottomans. Hundreds of Bosniaks(Bosnian Muslims) were murdered and thrown off the bridge into the Drina River by Bosnian Serbs. Picture Copyright © Velija Hasanbegovic

Witness X(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“Zeljko Lelek, Mile Joksimovic and Vlatko Pecikoza arrived almost at the same time at the bridge. Lelek was in a taxi driven by Bosko Djuric. They took out two women out of the car, both were in their early 20s, one was carrying a five to six month old baby. Vlatko grabbed the baby from her and said ‘Let the baby have some fresh air’. He took it and threw it up in the air. Lelek was holding a knife and caught the little body on it,” the witness said, adding that Joksimovic then forced the mother to lick the child’s blood “in order to stop the bleeding”.

Witness KB(Zeljko Lelek case, Court of Bosnia&Herzegovina):

“I saw them bringing two older people whose hands were tied. One was wearing a French beret on his head. They lined them up by the water and forced them to go into the water. When the water was up to their waist, the men started shooting. People fell down and I was sick from watching it,”

Witness Hasan Ajanovic(Vasiljevic, Lukic case):

“Lukic told us to wade out into the water,” he said, interviewed by telephone from a Western European country that he insisted not be identified. “I did not hear the first shot, I suspect because Lukic’s gun had a silencer. But I heard the screams and then the other shots. Meho’s body fell on top of me. I lay with my face in the sand until night. I swam across the river and escaped. The water stank of death.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Mesud Cocalic:

“The bodies were often slashed with knife marks and were black and blue,” he said. “The young women were wrapped in blankets that were tied at each end. These female corpses were always naked. We buried several children, including two boys 18 months old. We found one man crucified to the back of a door. Once we picked up a garbage bag filled with 12 human heads.”(Source)

Witness Hasena M. :

“watched them put my mother and sister astride the parapet, like on a horse. I heard both women screaming, until they were shot in the stomach. They fell in the water – the men laughing as they watched. The water went red.” (Source)

Image: From Joe Sacco’s “Gorazde: A Safe Area”

Witness Hasnija Pjeva:

“If the Drina River could only speak, it could say how many dead were taken away,”(Source)

Visegrad’s Forgotten Live Pyres

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by visegrad92

In Visegrad there were two well-known live pyres: The Pioneer Street and the Bikavac live pyre. However there were a couple more live pyres which little is known about since there were no survivors. Here is the story of one of them.

In the center of Visegrad, in the JNA Street(popularly known as Jondza), in Esad Brankovic‘s house around a dozen Bosniak civilians were burnt alive.

This included: Vezima Hasecic(1952, the daughter of Demir Osman);  Nermina(Remze)Hasecic(1977); Alma(Remze) Hasecic(1977); Osman Demir; Nefa Demir; Sulejmena(Mustafa)Tvrtkovic; Abida (Omerovic)Tvrtkovic and Selim (Sulejmena)Tvrtkovic(1975). They were last seen in Zulfo Hasecic’s house. The suspected perpetrators of this crime is the infamous Bosnian Serb Army Special Unit popularly known as the “Avengers”, “White Eagles” or “Garavi Sokak” which were led by Milan Lukic.

Image: Selim(Suljemena)Tvrtkovic born 1975.

Image: In the center with dark hair, Nermin(Remze)Hasecic born 1977.

Image: In the middle, Alma(Remze)Hasecic born in 1981.

No one has yet answered for this live pyre. Visegrad Serb authorities have constantly obscured investigations and exhumations. The victim remains have most probably been moved to another location.

During the Visegrad Genocide around 120 children were murdered or burnt alive by Visegrad’s Bosnian Serb Army soldiers or Bosnian Serb Police.

Read more:

+ Kurspahic, The Koritnik Tragedy

+ Bikavac Live Pyre

+ Destruction of Mosques in Visegrad Municipality

+ Bloody Trail of Butchery at the Bridge , Roy Gutman

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

New mass grave in Visegrad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by visegrad92

A new mass grave has been found in Visegrad. It is located in the Straziste cemetery in Visegrad. The site was covered with garbage. Among the remains of Bosniak victims were roof tiles, rubbish and especially lime.

The most important fact is that remains of clothing were found by which some victims maybe identified.

Note: This mass grave was found thanks to information given by local Visegrad Serbs who knew about this mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

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Image: A new mass grave was discovered in Straziste cemetary in Visegrad. The remains were mixed with roof tiles, rubbish and covered with lime. Clothing and shoes of victims were found in the mass grave.

JNA linked to Ethnic Cleansing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by visegrad92

Yugoslav army implicated in atrocities against Muslims in eastern Bosnian town.

By Emir Suljagic in The Hague (TU 323, 05 September 2003)

A witness in the Milosevic trial this week accused Yugoslav army, JNA, troops of crossing the border into Bosnia to ethnically cleanse the town of Visegrad in the early phase of the Bosnian war.

The claim is potentially hugely significant – prosecutors say Milosevic, then the president of Serbia, had control over Yugoslav security forces.

Testifying under a pseudonym B-1505, he said JNA troops came to Visegrad, took control of the eastern Bosnian town and helped expel the Muslim population.

JNA troops turned up in Visegrad in mid April 1992, under the command of Colonel Dragoljub Ojdanic, one of Milosevic’s top commanders.

B-1505 said he met the colonel in person on two occasions in the town. Once, while waiting for him at army headquarters, he said he overheard five JNA officers planning the ethnic cleansing of local Muslims.

One pulled out a map of the town on the table, and said that the right bank of the Drina river was “clear”. “And tomorrow, we will cleanse this part,” the witness claimed the officer said.

B-1505 said the colonel took him to a place where 3,000 to 4,000 people had taken refuge. The witness insisted that the JNA protect them. Ojdanic then ordered one of his subordinates to arrange for them to be brought into the town.

The next day, thousands of civilians were escorted to Visegrad’s football pitch. When they arrived, they were split into four groups and searched before being allowed to leave. They could not go home, however.

A JNA officer, which the witness could identify only as Colonel Jovanovic, told them that they would only be able to go to the villages that were under his control. He said that outside this area there were Serb paramilitary units, the White Eagles, roaming around and they would kill Muslims on sight.

Then came apparent confirmation of links between the Bosnian Serbs and Yugoslav army. While waiting to see the colonel at the Visegrad Hotel, the witness saw Bosnian Serb vice president Biljana Plavsic arrive with Branimir Savovic, head of the local Serbian Democratic Party. They arrived for talks with the JNA officers.

“They went into a room. I was told later that colonel could not see me and that I should come the next day,” he said.

In the next few days, JNA took control of Visegrad.

Later, atrocities took place across the town, with Muslims taken to its famous bridge, shot and dumped into the river.

Milosevic denied that JNA had taken part in the ethnic cleansing there, saying the whole testimony was “a lie”.

But the witness said there was a simple fact that underpinned his testimony, “There were 13,000-14,000 Muslims before the war. There was none in 1993. And there are 1,500 today.”

Emir Suljagic is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

Source: IWPR

Bosnian Serb MP’s turn down Holocaust&Srebrenica rememberence days.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by visegrad92

Holocaust deniers

Today (13.05) the B&H parliament voted on an initiative to proclaim 21 January as Holocaust Rememberence Day and 11 July as Srebrenica Rememberence Day. Bosnian Serb Members of Parliament from Republika Srpska(Republic of Srpska) voted against this initiative. The initiative was based on a European standard which Yad Vashem clearly shows and the European Parliament  Srebrenica Resolution.

Mass grave filled with Bosniak civilians. Thousands of Bosniaks were murdered by Bosnian Serb Army in a genocide in and around Srebrenica in July 1995.

Mass grave filled with Bosniak civilians. Thousands of Bosniaks were murdered by Bosnian Serb Army in a genocide in and around Srebrenica in July 1995.

Bosnian Serb Members of Parliament who voted against this initiative are:

  1. Milorad Zivkovic
  2. Slavko-Slavuj Jovicic
  3. Milica Markovic
  4. Drago Kalabic
  5. Lazar Prodanovic
  6. Zeljko Kuzmanovic
  7. Momcilo Novakovic
  8. Savo Eric
  9. Mirko Okolic
  10. Hadzi Jovan Mitrovic
  11. Branko Dokic

In Memoriam: Himzo Demir

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2009 by visegrad92

Himzo Demir, head-teacher of Višegrad High School.

Himzo Demir, head-teacher of Višegrad High School.

Himzo Demir was the head-teacher of Višegrad High School in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and had formerly been a chemistry teacher.He was 54 years old, and married with two sons. At the beginning of the war, the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) took control of Višegrad, and began the large-scale persecution of the town’s Bosniac [Bosnian Muslim] population. Himzo Demir was summarily sacked from his job, as were many other Bosniacs who held influential positions in the local community. Mr Demir had also served as the headof the local government as a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

At approximately 4pm on 28 May 1992 Himzo Demir was at home with his wife Sadija and one of his sons when five cars surrounded the house, and six or seven people wearing camouflage uniforms came to the door. Mrs Demir believes that these men were members of the “White Eagles”, a paramilitary group operating in eastern Bosnia, but mainly originating from Serbia. They said that they wanted to take Himzo Demir and his son for questioning. The couple’s eldest son was in Sarajevo at the time, but their younger 15-year-old son was with them. Mrs Demir begged the men not to take her son away, and they did not take him.

One member of the group – who was known to the family as one of Mr Demir’s former pupils – patted Himzo Demir on the shoulder, saying “You were the best school principal”. Others in the group spoke with accents which suggested to Mrs Demir that they came from what is now the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). These men also searched the house for valuables and stole some jewellery that they found. Himzo Demir was driven away in a red “Lada” car and has not been seen since.

Five days after he was taken away, the deputy head of the school where Himzo Demir used to work asked Mrs Demir to provide him with the school’s official stamp. Mrs Demir believes that this stamp was needed to stamp certificates for students leaving at the end of that school year. Although Himzo Demir had been sacked, he was officially still the head of the school and would have been required to sign the certificates. She believes that her husband was still alive at this time, but believes that he was killed a few days later.

Mrs Demir asked the local police to help her find her husband, but received no information about the whereabouts of her husband. On 31 May she, and her son, fled from Višegrad and – after a period in hiding – eventually made their way to Goražde which was then controlled by the Bosnian Government, and where they still live.

Editor’s Note:Text taken from Amnesty International; Bosnia-Herzegovina: The “disappeared”: Himzo Demir – head-teacher: “disappeared from Visegrad

Preventiva in Visegrad?

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

*Preventiva – the network of guards and contacts protecting Karadzic.

On 26.01.2005. an anonymous email arrived at Nezavisne Novine ( a newspaper in Banja Luka) which claimed that Preventiva was planning assassinations in Republika Srpska. The author of the email distanced himself from the murder of Bosniaks in Visegrad and even called it “genocide“. He claimed that he was a member of the war Presidency in Visegrad municipality and that he “could not help the poor people who suffered in Visegrad” because the main people in charge were “Brane Savovic and Risto Perisic“.

Milan Lukic led away in a police car in Argentina after being arrested.

Milan Lukic led away in a police car in Argentina after being arrested.

The author also named  a few Visegrad Serbs who were supposedly targeted for assassinations: Drazen Perendija, Stojan Papic, Mile Lukic and  Mile Peric.

The letter continues naming members of the “Preventiva“:

Milan Josipovic, former Police commander and  Drazen Knezevic, policeman as the leaders for Eastern Bosnia. Policemen Lelek, Goran Nedic, Srecko Nedic, Novak Poluga, Miro Moljevic and ex-policemen Rakovic and Milicevic.

For the Sarajevo-Romanija region Milovan – Cicko Bijelica. For the Banja Luka-Posavina region Radomir Njegus and for Hercegovina Zoran Mandic.

For financial support, the main persons in charge Brane Smiljic, aka Zika, from Visegrada; Pecikoza, former director of  a firm called “Terpentina”;former director of  Dam “Visegrad” Marjanovic.

According to the letter all important meeting were held in Zlatiboru, in the apartments of Branimir Savovic, Brane Smiljica and Riste Perisica. The core of the organization are Branimir Savovic, Radomir Njegus, Risto Perisic, Cicko Bijelica, Milan Josipovic and Momcilo Mandic,who was in charge for contact with the State Security of Serbia.

The letter also states who is in charge of supplying the organization with weapons: former commander of the  Visegrad brigade Luka Dragicevic and Milan Kosoric, who during war-time supplied Serb Democratic Party with weapons from Serbia. Persons in charge for logistics: Radoje Tasic, journalist from Visegrad, and lawyer Radomir Tanaskovic.

As for the author, at the end of the letter he claims that his role during the war was to gather material support mostly from outside of Bosnia. He mentions that he worked with Miroslav Kojic.

He also admits that he is writing this because he found out that Branimir Savovic and Risto Perisic are planing to plant him an indictment at the Hague so as to save themselves. He also notices that not a single member of the war Presidency has been indicted for war crimes.


War-time picture of Milan Lukic in a military uniform in Visegrad.

War-time picture of Milan Lukic in a military uniform in Visegrad.

VGM Editor’s Note: On 8. April 2005 an email signed by Milan Lukic arrived at “Nezavisne Novine” in which he blames some leading Visegrad Serbs for killing his brother Novica. This letter where he calls Savovic and Perisic “communist scum”, is not important because of its content as it is for other reasons. Namely, thanks to this  email, Hague investigators were able to track down Lukic in Argentina. And also “Nezavisne Novine” published that this letter and the last letter giving details about “Preventiva” came from the same server. So most certainly Lukic is the author of the previous email.

*Read: How he slipped into hiding by Ed Vulliamy

*Read:Lukic set to face trial for Visegrad Terror by Nerma Jelacic

*Full letter in Bosnian here.

WITNESS REMEMBERS LUKIC’S SMILE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by visegrad92
Milan Lukic at the Hague

Milan Lukic at the Hague

THE HAGUE, 04.09.2008.

VG-32, one of the two Bosniaks who survived the execution on the Drina river bank near Visegrad on 7 June 1992 testifies at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic. As he identified Milan Lukic in the courtroom, the witness said that he ‘remembered well his smile’ before the execution on the river bank

Protected witness VG-32 is one of the two survivors from a group of seven Bosniaks executed, as alleged by the indictment, by the accused Milan Lukic and his accomplices on 7 June 1992 on the Drina river bank near Visegrad. The trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic opened in July 2008 with the testimony of witness VG-14 who spoke about this event.

After a few weeks in Gorazde, the witness returned to Visegrad in early May 1992 because he had a work obligation in the local health care center. The witness moved to the house of his father-in-law; it was located near his workplace to avoid having to pass through numerous check points all over town. The situation was getting risky: ‘Muslims were disappearing every day’, he said.

In the afternoon of 7 June 1992, Milan Lukic and several armed men came to the house of his father-in-law. They took the witness and his friend to a nearby house where a number of captured Muslims – including a boy – were detained. After he took all of their valuables, Milan ordered four of them to come with him. A car with three other prisoners was waiting outside the house. They all drove to the Vilina Vlas hotel, where they were joined by Mitar Vasiljevic. Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic’s best man, is currently serving a 15-year sentence for his part in this crime.

They left the hotel and headed towards the Drina River. When they got close to the river bank, Milan lined them up facing the water and ordered his companions to open fire at the prisoners. ‘I felt a flicker of hope’, VG-32 said describing the moments when he jumped in the river before he was hit and a body of another victim fell on top of him. When he heard the attackers leaving, VG-32 realized that another man had survived the execution without injuries. The two of them remained in the water for some time and then took shelter in the bushes. When the night fell, they swam across the river ‘holding to a tree stump’.

VG-32 also gave evidence about his encounter with witness VG-114 several days after she managed to escape from the house set on fire in the Bikavac neighborhood. Milan and Sredoje Lukic are also indicted for this crime. The state VG-114 was in when they met ‘went beyond the worst horror movie’, he said. Her face was burned beyond recognition and the wounds in her hands were ‘full of maggots’. In its opening statement the prosecution indicated that witness VG-114 would be testifying without protective measures. VG-114 wanted to describe how it felt ‘to be burned alive’ and to look Milan Lukic, her schoolmate, ‘who did this to her’ in the eye as she told her tale.

In the cross-examination, Milan Lukic’s defense counsel continued with his mistaken identity strategy: he claims the witness mistakenly identified the accused because he didn’t know him personally. According to the defense counsel, the information the witness had about the accused were based on rumors. The witness rejected this argument saying that the person sitting in the courtroom was Milan Lukic who took him to the execution site on 7 June 1992 and ‘whose smile he remembered very well’.

Source: Sense Agency

STRIPPING NAKED WORSE THAN DEATH

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by visegrad92
Milan Lukic and his cousin Sredoje Lukic in the Hague.

Milan Lukic and his cousin Sredoje Lukic in the Hague.

THE HAGUE, 05.09.2008.

Mother and son who managed to escape the living pyre in the Pionirska Street on 14 June 1992 gave evidence at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic, charged with crimes committed in Visegrad. The witnesses recounted how they were humiliated before the house in which they were shut in together with some 70 other Bosniak prisoners was set on fire. Only seven of them survived

Two survivors of the massacre in the Pionirska Street in Visegrad, mother and son testifying under the pseudonyms VG-18 and VG-84 gave evidence about what happened on 14 June 1992 when some 70 Bosniaks from the village of Koritnik were burned alive in a house in the Pionirska Street in Visegrad.

VG-84 was barely 14 years-old when he was shut in a house in the Pionirska Street together with his mother and about 70 of his neighbors. In his brief examination-in chief by the prosecutor he said that there were some fifteen other children in the house, including a two-day old baby. He couldn’t imagine that he would ‘burn in flames’ at the age of fourteen; he ‘played until the very last moment’.

In his replies to the defense counsel of Milan and Sredoje Lukic, the witness confirmed that he didn’t know the two accused before that day. He had heard their names from older people who recognized them when they came to the house to take away their ‘money and gold’. In his words, when the JNA had left Visegrad, ‘everybody was scared’ when the names of Milan and Sredoje Lukic were mentioned. The rumor had it that they go around Muslim villages ‘burning down houses and taking men away’. The witness was not able to identify them in the courtroom because, as he put it, he was ‘too young to be able to clearly remember faces’.

In the part of her evidence given in public session, VG-18, housewife from the village of Koritnik and mother of witness VG-84 talked about the humiliation and abuse of captured women prior to the fire. Being forced to strip naked together with other women was, as she said, ‘worse than death’. The witness said that in that afternoon Milan Lukic took two young girls away for several hours. When they returned, everybody was ‘ashamed’ to ask them what had happened, but everybody guessed that they had been raped.

‘It hurts to know that my village is empty’, the witness said at the end of her evidence. She was visibly upset. She said that ever since 14 June 1992 she had had problems ‘with nerves and high blood pressure’ every time she thought about this incident.

The trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic will continue on Monday when the defense counsel will examine the witness VG-18.

Source: Sense Agency