Archive for rape

NEVER FORGET VISEGRAD GENOCIDE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by visegrad92

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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

Visegrad Mass Murderers: Novo Rajak

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by visegrad92
Novo Rajak, sentenced for war crimes committed against Bosniaks in Visegrad.

Novo Rajak, sentenced for war crimes committed against Bosniaks in Visegrad.

On 27.November 2006 the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo declared Novo Rajak, a Bosnian Serb reserve police officer to 14 years in prison for war crimes against Bosniaks in Visegrad during the 1992-95  Aggression. The court convicted Novo Rajak, 41, of crimes against the Bosniak population of the Visegrad area in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina during the early years of the Genocide.

These included the expulsion of Muslim residents from their homes and the destruction of their property. The court also found him guilty of a role in atrocities against Muslim civilians, some of whom disappeared after Serbs captured the enclave of Zepa in 1995.

*READ about other Visegrad Mass Murderers:

1. Zeljko Lelek

2. Nenad Tanaskovic

3. Boban Simsic

4. Mitar Vasiljevic

5. Milan Lukic

Women with nothing to loose

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by visegrad92
Bakira Hasecic, from the Association Women Victims of War defiant to bring war criminals to justice.

Bakira Hasecic, from the Association "Women Victims of War" defiant to bring war criminals to justice.

“You will wait a long time before you see him again,” she hissed, nodding toward the defendant. “Did you spend all the money you stole?” Simsic’s wife stared back and then motioned to a court deputy. After a brief consultation with the two women, the deputy moved Hasecic to another seat.

Bakira Hasecic today is doing two jobs. For one she is gathering testimonies of raped victims throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. And second, she is gathering testimonies, evidence of Genocide in Visegrad. Once she gathers enough evidence she sends it to the Prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo.  Bakira’s work on gathering evidence on Visegrad and bringing war criminals to justice(Lelek, SimsicSavic to name a few) reminds us of Simon Wiesenthal’s work in Austria in post WW2 period.  And it’s no wonder that Bakira is disliked by many.

*READ Visegrad rape victimes say their crie go unherd

*WATCH Greek documentary on Visegrad rape camps “Vilina Vlas”.

*LISTEN to Only one Bakira(BBC)

*READ article about Bakira Hasecic in the Boban Simsic trial.

Bakira holding the picture of Milan Lukic during a protest infront of the UN building in Sarajevo.

Bakira holding the picture of Milan Lukic during a protest infront of the UN building in Sarajevo.

In the front row, Simsic’s wife and brother exchanged smiles. They were a stylish duo, she in a fur-lined jacket and he in a Dolce & Gabbana T-shirt. An hour into the hearing, as the wrangling continued, Bakira Hasecic turned and faced Simsic’s wife. “You will wait a long time before you see him again,” she hissed, nodding toward the defendant. “Did you spend all the money you stole?” Simsic’s wife stared back and then motioned to a court deputy. After a brief consultation with the two women, the deputy moved Hasecic to another seat.

It took two hours for the judges to grant a one-month delay in the trial so that the defense team could do additional research. In the meantime, they ordered that testimony begin. And so after hours of waiting, the first witness—a stocky, white-haired Bosnian Muslim named Nail Ramic—told his story. He testified that he had known Simsic for decades. When hostilities broke out in April 1992, Ramic fled into the forest near the town, where he hid for almost three months. Eventually, he was hunted down and brought to a local school, which had been converted into a prison camp. From then on, he said, Simsic singled him out for abuse. During one beating in a corridor of the school, Ramic heard a voice he recognized as Simsic’s telling him, “I am your god and master.” Ramic then described a perverse game of basketball in which his persecutors took shots at the basket as he stood under it. As the witness spoke, he looked over at the family members, who now sat stone-faced.

Perhaps anticipating a damaging cross-examination, the prosecutor pushed Ramic to reconcile some discrepancies between his account and his earlier written testimony. The witness flushed and grew combative as the prosecutor read from his previous statements and asked a number of times, “Was Simsic shooting baskets or just watching?” Simsic’s wife smiled as Ramic’s frustration mounted and he began to stammer. A red light on the courtroom wall flashed repeatedly as the two English-language interpreters working in an adjoining booth signaled that they were having trouble keeping up.

“Love” thy Neighbour

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2009 by visegrad92
vsg-dzamija

The site were a mosque used to stand for hundreds of years, burnt down and destroyed by local Serbs in May 1992.Today it is a park.

As a policy of ethnic cleansing, all mosques and symbols of Islamic arhitecture were destroyed by local Serbs in Visegrad in 1992.  Until today only one mosque has been rebuilt.

Bosniaks from Sanjak region in Serbia, kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Serb soldiers from Visegrad.

Bosniaks from Sanjak region in Serbia, kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Serb soldiers from Visegrad.

This picture above shows a Muslim man from Sjeverin in Sanjak(Sandzak) region in Serbia, being tortured by Serb soldiers in Vilina Vlas spa motel in Visegrad. Dozens of Muslims were kidnapped by Serb soldiers from a bus near Sjeverin, tortured and murdered nearby Visegrad. These  photograhps were published by B92 Television in Belgrade.

Milan Lukic shown here with traditional Chetnik  head gear.Undated war-time picture.

Milan Lukic shown here with traditional Chetnik head gear.Undated war-time picture.

*Above: Milan Lukic, the man called the “Warlord of Visegrad“, one of  the most notorious war criminals in Eastern Bosnia. He headed the “White Eagles” and  “Avengers” paramilitary units in and around Visegrad.

Arrested in Argentina in August 2005.

Gorazde: A Safe Heaven by Joe Sacco. He drew a strip according to eye-witness reports about war crimes in Visegrad.

Gorazde: A Safe Heaven by Joe Sacco. He drew a strip according to eye-witness reports about war crimes in Visegrad.

*READ Joe Sacco’s book Gorazde: A Safe Area about the war in Eastern Bosnia.

Sofa-the central part of the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad were Bosniak men, women and children were murdered.

Sofa-the central part of the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad were Bosniak men, women and children were murdered.

*Above: The central part of the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad (called “Sofa”) was the scene of mass murder of Bosniak civilians in 1992. Picture taken from Flickr.com.

Rape Warfare in Visegrad:Vilina Vlas

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

“I want to tell the Westerners the real truth. I want them to stop these crimes. There are plenty of girls in a worse position than me.”

-Mersiha, Muslim Girl, Rape Victim from Visegrad

vilinavlas

Vilina Vlas. Spa hotel near Visegrad used as a "rape motel" by Army of Republic of Srpska and local Serb paramilitaries to rape Bosniak women and girls during the Genocide.


One of the tactics used by the Army of Republic of Srpska and by local Serb Paramilitries in Visegrad was mass rape of Bosniak Muslim women and girls. The mass rape was planned: women were picked and brought to detention centers like the spa hotel Vilina Vlas, were Serb soldiers and paramilitaries would rape them.  The women and girls were told that they are to give birth to “Serbs”.

*Read the Investigation: Visegrad rape victimes say their crie go unherd by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network(BIRN) reporters and watch their TV report aired on Bosnian Television.

Today Vilina Vlas is a spa hotel. Many rapists and murderers still work there. Visit their offical website.

Merjem, a Muslim girl, rape victim from Visegrad gave her witness account when she arrived on free teritory. This was published in Edina Kamenica’s article in Oslobodjenje on 23  March 2000.

“Besides Lukic, other men participated in the collection and taking away of girls. Among them were Dusko Andric, a former policeman and now one of the chief terrorists, Risto Perisic, a former high school teacher in the high school ‘Hamid Becirevic’ and now the Serb police chief in Visegrad. Regarding Momir Savic, Dragan Savic, Petar Savic, Mirko Savic, Leko Tesevic, Milomir Tesevic, I can tell you that they are bums who haven’t done anything worthwhile in their whole life and who saw in the war a chance to kill, maltreate and take away civilians”.

Peter Mass, author of  “Love thy Neighbour“, wrote an article in Washingtion Post ”  on 27 December 1992 entitled “The rapes in Bosnia: A Muslim Schoolgirl’s Account”  were he interviews Mersiha, a young Muslim girl rape victim from Visegrad who was raped in Vilina Vlas by Milan Lukic.

” The girls were taken to the Vilina Vlas motel, which has been described by the Slavic Muslim-led Bosnian government as one of the Serbs’ alleged “rape motels.” Mersiha was locked in one room and her friend was locked in another. Mersiha’s younger sister, Emina, was put in a room across the hall. A few hours later, Mersiha heard her sister moaning and sobbing. She never saw her again.

The warlord, Milan Lukic, who has been well-known locally for years, came into Mersiha’s room, put a table in front of the door and told her to undress.

“He said that if I didn’t do what he wanted, I would never go home,” Mersiha recalled, speaking in a nervous but steady voice. “Then he ordered me to take off my clothes. I didn’t want to do that. He said I must, that it would be better to take my clothes off myself, or else he would do it and he would be violent.”

Mersiha paused in her narration. She tightened her hold on the hand of her older sister, who is a student in Zenica and sat next to her throughout the interview, which was conducted in this government-held city in an empty pizzeria decorated with a few paltry Christmas ornaments. Mersiha stared hard at a spot on the tablecloth and resumed speaking.

“I started to cry. He said I was lucky to be with him. He said I could have been thrown into the river with rocks tied around my ankles. But I didn’t want to do it. He got angry and cursed and said, ‘I’m going to bring in 10 soldiers.’ ”

And so Mersiha, who said she had never had a boyfriend, tried to stop crying as she was raped. “

*Watch Greek Documentary “Vilina Vlas” by Mega TV:



Post-war Visegrad and victim families.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 30, 2009 by visegrad92
Tragic comic image from Visegrad

Tragic comic image from Visegrad.Association of raped women and victim families gather in Visegrad to mark the genocide commited there. The billboard in the rear reads: "Bosnia and Herzegovina is now safe and secure. It is time to turn towards the future."

Summary:

Visegrad during the 92-95 aggression was marked by ethnic cleansing of it’s Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) population. The Bosniaks in Visegrad  made up  62.8% of the entire population of the city before the genocide. Today a few hundred Bosniaks, mainly old people returned and live in suburban areas.

Walking across the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge

Walking across the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge. Association of raped women and victim families walk across the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge, the notorious crime scene where Bosniak men, women and children were murdered by Serb neighbours and thrown into the river Drina.

Summary:

Many public places and buildings were used by the Bosnian Serb forces, (Army of the Republic of Srpska) made up mainly of Bosnian Serb neighbours and volunteers from Serbia and Montenegro, as detention centers and as places of mass excecution of Bosniaks. These places include: the elementary school “Hasan Veletovac”, the secondary school, the Yugoslav People’s Army base “Uzamnica”  etc.

Visegrad’s mass murderers: Boban Simsic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 29, 2008 by visegrad92

Boban Šimšić, born on 17 December 1967 in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The accused surrendered voluntarily on 24 January 2005 since when he is in custody. The Court of BiH took over the case on 15 June 2005. The Court confirmed the indictment on 8 July 2005.

On 11 July 2006, the first instance judgment found Boban Šimšić guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The Appellate Panel judgment on 14 August 2007 found the accused guilty and sentenced him to final sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

(Boban SImsic is on the left.)


Factual allegations in the Indictment:

The Indictment alleges that, in the period between April and July 1992 on the territory of the municipality of Višegrad, together with other members of the Serbian army and police, the accused aided and participated in the persecution of Bosniak civilians on political, national, ethnic, cultural and religious grounds.

It is alleged in the Indictment that, from May to July 1992, Boban Šimšić took part in attacks on the villages of Žlijeb, Velji Lug and Kuke in the Višegrad municipality and participated in the killings, rapes, torture and illegal detention of Bosniak civilians at the premises of the Hasan Veletovac elementary school and the Fire Brigade premises in Višegrad.

The Indictment further states that, in mid May 1992, together with a group of Serb soldiers, the accused harassed five Bosniak civilians in order to obtain information on other escaping Bosniak inhabitants. It is also alleged that, on 17 June 1992, together with other members of the Serbian army and police, the accused took part in an attack against the village of Žlijeb, whereby the Bosniak population was expelled from the village and detained at the Fire Brigade premises in Višegrad.

The indictment further alleges that, on 18 June 1992, together with a group of members of the Serbian army and police, the accused took part in an attack on the village of Kuka, whereby three village inhabitants were killed and facilities owned by Bosniaks set on fire, while the village inhabitants were taken and detained at the Hasan Veletovac elementary school in Višegrad.

Boban Šimšić is further charged with having participated in an attack on the village of Velji Lug on 25 July 1992, where it is alleged that seven Bosniak civilians were killed, several facilities owned by Bosniak set on fire and the remaining population detained at the premises of the Hasan Veletovac elementary school.

As alleged in the Indictment, in the second half of June 1992, at the Fire Brigade premises in Višegrad, together with two Serbian soldiers, the accused took part in the harassment and rapes of ten girls and women of Bosniak ethnicity, and further took part in the seizure of money and jewelry from detained civilians. The Indictment further states that, together with Milan Lukić, the accused took eighteen men of Bosniak ethnicity, who were taken to the location of Vilina Vlas, where Miloje Joksimović selected seven of them, whom the accused took to the river Drina and executed.

It is further alleged in the Indictment that Boban Šimšić was as a guard at the facility of the Hasan Veletovac elementary school during the second half of June 1992, when Bosniak civilians were detained at the school. During this time, it is alleged, the accused either on his own or together with other members of the Serbian army, police and paramilitary formations took part in the killing of at least one civilian of Bosniak ethnicity, enforced disappearance of at least eight civilians, rape of a number of girls and young women, infliction of serious injuries, and torture and seizure of money and jewelry from detained civilians.
Counts in the Indictment:

The accused Boban Šimšić is charged with the criminal offenses of Crimes against Humanity from Article 172 (1) (h) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina – persecution against any group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual gender other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in conjunction with following sub-paragraphs of the same Article:

  1. Murder
  2. Forcible transfer of population
  3. Imprisonment
  4. Тorture
  5. Rape
  6. Enforced disappearance of persons
  7. Оther inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to physical or mental health

Course of the Proceedings:

The main trial started on 14 September 2005. On 11 July 2006, the Court rendered the first instance verdict finding the accused guilty of Crimes against humanity and sentencing him to 5 years imprisonment. On 5 January 2007, the Appellate Panel rendered a decision upholding the appeals filed by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and Defence and revoking the Trial Panel’s verdict. The same decision orders a retrial before the Appellate Panel. On 14 August 2007, the Appellate Panel handed down the final verdict findig the Accused guilty of Crimes against humanity and sentencing him to 14 years imprisonment.



Visegrad’s mass murderers: Nenad Tanaskovic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by visegrad92

Nenad Tanasković aka Nešo, born on 20 November 1961 in the village of Donja Lijeska, Višegrad municipality.

The Accused has been in custody since 11 July 2006. The indictment was confirmed on 6 October 2006.

On 24 August 2007, by first instance verdist, Nenad Tanasković was found guilty for the crimes against humanity and sentenced to 12 years inprisonment. On 26. March 2008, the Appellate Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina modified the Trial Panel’s verdict regarding the sentencing, so the Accused Nenad Tanasković is now sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment for the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity.

Serb War Criminal Nenad Tanaskovic charged for War Crimes against Bosniaks in Visegrad

Serb War Criminal Nenad Tanaskovic charged for War Crimes against Bosniaks in Visegrad

Factual allegations in the indictment:

The indictment alleges that, as a reserve policeman in the Višegrad Public Security Station, in the period April to June of 1992, the Accused participated in a widespread or systematic attack of the Army of Srpska Republika BiH, police and paramilitary formations on the Bosnian Muslim civilian population of the Višegrad municipality.  It is alleged that during this attack hundreds of civilians were killed, tortured, beaten, raped, illegally deprived of liberty, detained in inhumane conditions and forcibly transferred out of this municipality.

The indictment alleges that on 25 May 1992, in the village of Kabernik in Višegrad municipality, together with two unidentified soldiers, the Accused captured one person and transported him to the village of Donja Lijeska.  The Accused and Novo Rajak allegedly brought the heavily beaten captive and his father into the Uzamnica barracks where they were allegedly held in inhumane conditions and subsequently killed.

It is alleged that, on 31 May 1992, together with a group of paramilitary soldiers the Accused attacked the undefended villages of Osojnica, Kabernik, Holijaci and Orahovci which were populated by Muslim inhabitants.  The indictment further states that the alleged perpetrators formed a human shield using the captured civilian male residents, telling them that they were doing it to protect soldiers from mines and attacks by Muslim forces and threatening to kill anyone who attempted to escape.  According to the indictment, the Accused personally participated in setting the captives’ houses on fire and beating some of them.

The indictment further alleges that on 16 June 1992, the Accused beat an individual and forced him to lick blood off the floor in the Hotel Višegrad garden.  Subsequently, the Accused allegedly escorted this individual to the Višegrad High School Centre, which was used as a detention centre.  The Accused and another unidentified solider allegedly beat this person with wooden sticks and riffle butts.


Counts of the indictment:

Nenad Tanasković is charged with the criminal offence of Crimes against humanity pursuant to Article 172(1) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH) in conjunction with the following items of the Article:

a)  Depriving another person of his life (murder)
d)  Deportation or forcible transfer of population
e)  Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violations of fundamental rules of international law
f)  Torture
g)  Coercing another to sexual intercourse
h)  Persecution, and
k)  Other inhumane acts,

all in conjunction with Article 29, Article 35, and Article 180(1) of CC BiH.
Course of the proceedings:

Following the confirmation of the indictment on 6 October 2006, the Accused entered a not guilty plea on 25 October 2006.   The trial commenced on 2 February 2007.  On 24 August 2007, the Trial Panel handed down the first instance verdict finding the Accused guilty of Crimes against humanity and sentencing him to 12 years imprisonment.

On 26. March 2008, the Appellate Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina modified the Trial Panel’s verdict regarding the sentencing, so the Accused Nenad Tanasković is now sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment for the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity.

Visegrad and Andric, Part 3, In Memory of Jasna Ahmedspahic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 29, 2008 by visegrad92

by Michael Sells, 7/5/96


IN MEMORY OF JASNA AHMEDSPAHIC

In two postings above, I discussed the role of Ivo Andric in the development of religious nationalism in the Balkans: see “The Saddest Eyes I’ve Seen” and the posting that follows it. Here I conclude my comments in two postings. In the first posting, I need to establish more concretely the kind of activities that took place in Visegrad, putting some human names and human figures in the story, rather than numbers and statistics only.

1A) Milan Lukic and the “Cleansing of Visegrad”

After the “cleansing” of Muslims from Visegrad in the spring and summer of 1992, it was natural for the residents and former residents of Visegrad to look to Andric’s work for an explanation. After all, Andric had made the city the centerpiece of his best known novel. There was an Ivo Andric High School in Visegrad, and a monument to Andric which was vandalized in the spring of 1992. And writers from outside the former Yugoslavia invariably mention Andric when discuss the religious exterminations that occurred in Visegrad.

According to the survivors of the atrocities, the man in charge was Milan Lukic, the head of one of the many religious nationalist paramilitary groups organized, financed, and equipped in Serbia. The tragedy began when the Uzice bridge of the Yugoslav National Army took the town of Visegrad. As in many other cases, the Yugoslav army then turned the Muslim population over to the militia commandos and maintained security for the commandos to carry out their atrocities. As is the case throughout the atrocities, many of the original instigators were not from Bosnia proper.

On Aug. 5, 1994, Sgt. T. Cameron, a United Nations policeman, Milomir Obradovic, and gathered a Serbian testimony to the Lukic led program of “cleansing” in Visegrad.

As reported by Chris Hedges (NYT 3/15/96) and Ed Vulliamy, Obradovic’s testimony backs up the numerous stories of Muslim survivors and paints a picture of organized slaughter. Obradovic, in Hedges’ account, testified how “In fleeing Muslims were hauled off buses, lined up and shot by Lukic and his companions. He identified the sites of two mass graves, but neither have yet been investigated. He said Lukic and his followers raped young girls held captive at the Vilina Vlas spa outside Visegrad. And he said Jasna Ahmedspahic, a young woman, jumped to her death from a window of the spa after being raped for four days.”

Muslims survivors, including the Muslim woman I described in my first person account above (“The Saddest Eyes I’ve Seen”), and Obradovic described how Lukic turned the Visegrad bridge into a torture and killing center, from which men and women would be abused, taunted, and then forced to jump.

Killings continued on a daily basis, along with some of the most brutal instances of organized rape recorded. Survivors said that “on at least two occasions, Lukic herded large groups of Muslims into houses and set the buildings on fire. Zahra Turjacanin, her face and arms badly marred by the flames, escaped from one burning house June 27 and raced screaming through the streets. Townspeople said she was the only survivor of 71 people inside”

In the meantime, as happened throughout the areas dominated by both Croat and Serb religious nationalists, Muslim survivors were stripped of all property.

There are many testimonies. Hedges cites the following: “On the afternoon of July 19, 1992, Milos Lukic kicked down the door where Hasena Muharemovic lived with her sister, mother, invalid father and two small girls, Mrs. Muharemovic said. Her husband had been abducted and had disappeared two weeks earlier. She swept up Nermina, 6, and her older girl and hid.

But her mother, Ramiza, and her sister, Asima, were driven to the center of the bridge. Mrs. Muharemovic crept from her hiding place and saw her mother and sister sitting astride the wall.

‘Milan Lukic and his brother shot them in the stomach,’ she said. ‘When they fell in the water, the men leaned over and laughed.’ Mrs. Muharemovic and her daughter were then held for weeks by Serb militiamen, but refuse to talk about what happened to them there. When they finally sent out to work as slave laborers, “‘Lukic would come to stuff pieces of pork in our mouths,’ she said. (Pork is forbidden under Islamic dietary rules.) ‘He beat people with metal rods and took many away.'”

Mrs. Muharemovic ends her, account (only a portion of which could be repeated here) with a powerful evocation of the bridge, and and perhaps an allusion to Andric:

“‘I do not sleep much,’ she [Mrs. Muharemovic] said. ‘I am plagued by the same dream. My room is filled with water. I am fighting to get to the surface. I see the bodies of my mother and my sister swirling past me in the current. I burst to the surface.

Her voice went low and hoarse.

‘I can always see it above me,’ she said. ‘The bridge. The bridge. The bridge.'”

Another image is more directly related to Andric: “I read again Ivo Andric’s novel during the war,’ said Boshko Polic, 68,the retired principle of the Ivo Andric High School, now taken over by Serbian families displaced from Sarajevo. ‘I would look up from the pages and see what he was describing around me.'”

According to survivors of the Srebrenica massacre, Lukic took 65 captives from Srebrenica who were originally from Visegrad and had them exterminated as well.

1B. Clogging the Dam

The account of Ed Vulliamy in the London paper The Guardian, provides the testimony of Obradovic, along with other witnessings by survivors. Vulliamy is the author of the superb account of “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia, Season in Hell (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), a riveting account, particularly detailed on the atrocities carried out by the Croatian militia, the HVO. Vulliamy was one of the first outside visitors allowed into Omarska and one of the first visitors allowed into the HVO concentration camps.

Vulliamy cites Obradovic as he details massacres at the village of Prelevo and Dragomilje where busloads of Muslims were stopped and excuted, and provide specific details on the mass graves.

At one point in Vulliamy piece, the following story is related about Lukic’s practice of dumping his many victims into the Drina river: “At the end of June a Visegrad police inspector, Milan Josipovic, received a macabre complaint from downriver, from the management of Bajina Basta-hydroelectric plant across the Serbian border. The plant director said I could whoever was responsible please slow the flow of corpses down the Drina? they were clogging up the culverts in his dam at such a rate he could not assemble sufficient staff to remove them.”

Vulliamy begins his article with a discussion of Andric: “The bridge that spans the River Drina’s lusty current at Visegrad is a Bosnian emblem. Bridge on the Drina is the title of great work of literature by the country’s most celebrated author, Ivo Andric, a Nobel prize winner. In Andric’s book, the bridge is at once backdrop and silent witness to Bosnia’s history… ..For in the hidden history of Bosnisa’s war, the Bridge on the Drina was bloodily defiled. It was turned into a slaughterhouse-a place of serial public execution by a man we now reveal as one of the most brutal mass killers of the war.”

Both the Hedges and Vulliamy account evoke Andric. Both are careful not to try to use Andric to explain the events, though some of the figures in their story do. In the next section, I will examine what happens when Peter Maass does evoke Andric to try to explain the Visegrad killings.

Michael Sells

http://www.haverford.edu/relg/sells/postings/visegrad3.html