Archive for massacre

The search for Pionirska’s victims goes on

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 14, 2011 by visegrad92

Today experts from the Missing Persons Institute (BH state institute) searched the area around Adem Omeragic’s house in Pionirska street in search of any evidence of the remains of victims from the massacre. Only bullet shells and remains of house items were found.

Here are some pictures from today’s search:

Image: Bullet shells found around the house. Victims were shot at as they tried to escape from the burning house.


Life sentence for Milan and Sredoje Lukic

Legacy of truth

Hamed&Himzo Oprasic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by visegrad92

On 25 May 1992, Hamed Oprasic was arrested in his home and taken away by armed Bosnian Serbs. His son Himzo Oprasic, was later gathered along with other Bosniak civilians – women and children- to be exchanged. While being driven in a truck towards the exchange point, Himzo was taken off the truck by Bosnian Serb soldiers and murdered.

Image: Hamed Oprasic(born 1945)

Image: Himzo Oprasic(born 1983)

Read more:

+ Partial list of murdered children in Visegrad

+ What is Visegrad Genocide?

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Visegrad Genocide Denial

Bikavac fire victims

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by visegrad92

The Bikavac fire was an atrocity perpetrated in Bikavac, near Višegrad, eastern Bosnia, on 27 June 1992 in which at least 60 Muslim civilians, mostly women and children, were killed after the house in which they were confined was set on fire.

The victims included:

Image: Vasvija Bajic(left) and Ramiza Bajic Dudojevic(right)

Image: Behija Sabanovic

Image: Tija Sabanovic

Image: Sevka and Hrustem Murtic

Image: Suhra Murtic

In the all too long, sad and wretched history of man’s inhumanity to man, the Pionirska street and Bikavac fires must rank high. At the close of the twentieth century, a century marked by war and bloodshed on a colossal scale, these horrific events stand out for the viciousness of the incendiary attack, for the obvious premeditation and calculation that defined it, for the sheer callousness and brutality of herding, trapping and locking the victims in the two houses, thereby rendering them helpless in the ensuing inferno, and for the degree of pain and suffering inflicted on the victims as they were burnt alive.”     –   Judge Patrick Robinson

Read more:

+ Bikavac pyre

+ What is Visegrad Genocide?

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Destruction of mosques in Visegrad Municipality

Barimo massacre victims

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2010 by visegrad92

We earlier wrote about the Barimo massacre which occured in August 1992 in Visegrad. Barimo is a village in the Visegrad municipality. In August 1992, Bosnian Serb Army attacked Barimo which was inhabited mostly by elderly people, while the rest were hiding in forests or managed to escape to free territory. At least 26 Bosnian Muslim men, women along with a few children were massacred in their homes or executed and buried in a mass grave on the river banks of the Drina.

Image: A monument built by family members commemorating the massacre.

Image: Ćamila Beha, 1941, wife of Bego Beha

Image: Hadžira Bosankić, 1913

Image: Hanka Halilović, 1900, murdered while she was praying.

Image: Muša Bosankić, 1940

Image: Sabaheta (Bege) Beha, 1968

Image: Hidajeta (Bege) Beha,1976

Image: Samardžić  Munira, 1927

Image: Samardžić Smail,  1912

Read more:

+ List of Barimo victims

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Destruction of mosques in Visegrad

+ What is Visegrad Genocide?

Post-war Visegrad population

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by visegrad92

Image: Burnt down Bosniak houses in Borovac near Visegrad. All of Visegrad’s Bosniak population was expelled and murdered during the genocide. Photograph credits: ©Elvis Komic

According to the census taken before the genocide in 1991 the municipality had a population of 21,199: 62.8% of Bosniak ethnicity, 32.8% Serb and 4.4% classified as others. Today the population is almost cut in half, all Bosniaks were expelled or murdered from the municipality. A few elderly returnees are seen in surrounding villages.

One part of Visegrad’s pre-war Serbs left for Serbia or other countries in Europe. Some left because they actively took part in the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks, others left because they witnessed horrible crimes and thus do not want to live in that town. For example, Branimir Savovic, the SDS Crisis Committee President now lives in Serbia along with a few other high-ranking Visegrad Serb officials. Mile Lukic, Milan’s father who also took part in the persecution of Bosniaks, along with his wife lives in Obrenovac. A few dozen other direct perpetrators live with their families in Serbia. At least two perpetrators live in France, one mentioned a couple of times in the Zeljko Lelek case.

But this does not mean that war criminals do not live in Visegrad anymore. Miladin Milicevic, member of the Visegrad municipality war presidency and former Mayor of Visegrad, lives and works in Visegrad. The man who ran the Vilina Vlas rape motel lives as a pensioner in Visegrad. A few other direct perpetrators work in the State Border Police, Police station Visegrad, State Police “SIPA” etc.

Some Serbs who did not agree with the Municipality policy left Visegrad  when they had the opportunity to. For example, a Serb women, who was a witness in the Vasiljevic case VG 115, left Visegrad in 1994. She was a crucial witness of the murders of Medo Mulahasic and an elderly many Kahriman.

The  largest number of Serbs left Visegrad because of the economic situation in Visegrad and Eastern Bosnia. Every year the number of children in classes is smaller and smaller. Anyone who had the opportunity to leave – left. When a pre-war citizen of Visegrad today walks through Visegrad, he or she can recognize only a few people.

Many Serbs were tricked into leaving their pre-war homes in the Federation and moving to parts of Republika Srpska. A large number of Serbs from Sarajevo and Konjic were re-settled in Visegrad. They were promised new homes and jobs by the SDS-government in 1996 after the Dayton Peace Treaty.

Serbs from several villages in the Konjic area were naive enough to re-settle in Visegrad and other towns in Eastern Bosnia. According to Glas Srpske, a fascist newspaper published in Republika Srpska, around 1.500 Serbs from Konjic villages Bijela, Borci, Ostrožac, Čičevo, Glavatičevo, Bradina, Blace, Donje Selo, Kula etc. re-settled in Visegrad in 1996.

It is important to note, that these Serbs from Konjic were not forced to leave their homes but instead did so on a voluntary basis believing the SDS leadership’s promise of a better life and a creation of an all-Serb state.

Edited: 6.01.2010

ICTY Orders Zuhdija Tabakovic Into Custody

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by visegrad92

Image: Zuhdija Tabakovic. Credits: ICTY

Zuhdija Tabakovic, a former policeman from Visegrad, who is charged before the Tribunal with contempt of court, has been transferred to The Hague and has been ordered into custody.

The custody decision notes that on December 18 Tabakovic was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, at The Hague. Tabakovic will make his first appearance before the Tribunal on December 22 this year.

The indictment against Tabakovic was filed with the Hague Tribunal on October 30 this year. It was confirmed on November 17. Its content has still not been made public.

Available data suggests that Tabakovic is charged with contempt of court in connection with the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic.

In July 2009 the Hague Tribunal pronounced a first-instance verdict, sentencing Milan Lukic to life imprisonment and Sredoje Lukic to 30 years in prison for crimes committed in the Visegrad area.

The Defence of Milan and Sredoje Lukic presented first-instance verdict appeals. The case is currently before the Appellate Chamber of the ICTY.

In November this year the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered a number of prohibiting measures against Tabakovic, including, among others, a ban on leaving his place of residence or traveling outside of Sarajevo Canton and an obligation to report regularly to the police station. Under this decision, his personal identification and travel documents were temporarily confiscated. However, on December 15 this year the Court rendered a decision canceling the prohibiting measures.

Source: BIRN

Image: A child from Visegrad during victim families protest.

Euro 1,000 in Exchange for False Testimony

The Hague Tribunal charges Zuhdija Tabakovic with having taken money
in return for false testimony at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic.

The indictment, which was confirmed in November this year, alleges
that Tabakovic agreed to give a false statement against the Lukic
cousins in exchange for one thousand Euros.

In July 2009 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia, ICTY, pronounced a first-instance verdict, sentencing
Milan Lukic to life imprisonment and Sredoje Lukic to 30 years in
prison for crimes committed against Bosniaks in Visegrad.

The Lukic cousins appealed the verdict. The case is now being
considered by the Appellate Chamber of the ICTY.

In November this year the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered a
number of prohibiting measures against Tabakovic, including, among
others, a ban on traveling outside of Sarajevo Canton and an
obligation to report regularly to the police station. The decision was
subsequently changed and the measures were terminated. On December 18,
2009 Tabakovic was transferred to the Hague Tribunal.

He made his first appearance before the judges on December 22 this
year, when his indictment was read. His Defence attorney Steven Powles
called on the Court to read the indictment at a closed session. The
Court accepted his proposal, so the public was excluded from this

The confirmed indictment alleges that, on October 18, 2008 Tabakovic
met Jelena Rasic, a member of Milan Lukic’s Defence team, in Sarajevo.
Rasic allegedly offered him money for signing “a previously written
statement”. He accepted the offer.

“Zuhdija Tabakovic read the statement. He knew he would give a false
statement by signing the paper. Tabakovic did not witness the events
described in the statement. He does not have any information about
them, but still he agreed to sign the statement,” the indictment

The second count contained in the indictment charges Tabakovic with
having “agreed”, as abetted by Jelena Rasic, “to find two more men,
who will sign the previously prepared statements”.

“In exchange for signing those statements, each man was given Euro
1,000 from a person named Dragan, who works with Jelena Rasic. Zuhdija
Tabakovic was present in the Novi Grad municipality building in
Sarajevo when they signed the statements and took the money,” the
Hague Prosecution’s indictment alleges.

Zuhdija Tabakovic was a policeman in Visegrad before the war.

A person guilty of contempt may be sentenced by the Tribunal to a
maximum of seven years in prison or fined up to 100,000 Euros.

Source: BIRN


VGM Editor’s note:


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)

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