Archive for Visegrad genocide

Bikavac exhumation 25.2.2016

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2016 by visegrad92

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25.2.2016 – An exhumation was carried out on the foundations of Meho Aljic’s house in Bikavac where on 27.6.1992 one of the worst war crimes was committed during the genocide 1992-95. At least 70 women and children were burnt alive by Bosnian Serb soldiers.

On 25.2.2016, the Missing Persons Institute conducted an exhumation on this location and found one piece of human bone. There were several exhumations conducted on this location but this was the first time a human bone was discovered.

The crime scene was destroyed by the local authorities during or after the war. The house was bulldozed and the site was turned into a garbage dump.

DNA analysis will be conducted on the discovered bone in order to try and establish an identity of a victim.

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Photo credits: Avaz

 

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Italian-Chetnik cooperation in World War Two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2015 by visegrad92

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Image: An Italian soldier and a local Serb Royalist Soldier (Chetnik) pose for a photograph with the Chetnik flag near Visegrad in 1942.

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

What is the Visegrad Genocide?

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

The Višegrad genocide was an act of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Bosniak civilians that occurred in the town of Višegrad in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed by Bosnian Serb Army and Police forces at the start of the Bosnian War during the spring of 1992. Over a period of four months, Bosniaks were murdered, tortured, raped and publicly humiliated on a daily basis in Visegrad’s streets, in the victim homes and in concentration camps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 )Novo Rajak;

2 )Nenad Tanaskovic;

3 )Boban Simsic;

4 )Zeljko Lelek;

5 )Momir Savic;

6 )Milan Lukic;

7 )Sredoje Lukic;

8 )Mitar Vasiljevic

Read more :

+ Crisis Committee Visegrad(Krizni štab)

+ Eliticide in Visegrad

+ Destruction of mosques in Visegrad Municipality

+ Visegrad Genocide Denial

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

For the record: A Month In The Hands of Milan Lukic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by visegrad92

BIRN’s Justice Report
5 November 2009

For the record: A Month In The Hands of Milan Lukic

Merima Husejnovic

Emina S was 22 when she fell into the hands of the Bosnian Serb
paramilitary chief who repeatedly raped her until she escaped into the
woods. She told her story to Merima Husejnovic.

“At the very beginning of the war I lived with my family in Visegrad,
in a place called Mahala. This is where my tragic experiences began.

One evening I went to the shop. Some soldiers, dressed in camouflage
suits, were standing in front of the building. I wanted to go back but
didn’t manage to do so. Milan Lukic and his pals stopped me and asked
what I was doing. I was instantly aware of what might happen.

He said I had to come with them. They picked me up and took me to the
spa hotel in Visegrad. When we got there, he took me out of the car
and we walked to the hotel, which was full of soldiers. The name of
the hotel was “Vilina Vlas”. I did not know the place.

As soon as we went in, I could hear the screams. I guessed that many
women had been taken there before me. There was screaming, crying,
everything …  But one couldn’t move. There was nothing one could do
right then. You went in there and you did not know if you would stay
alive …

I couldn’t see anybody else in the Vilina Vlas. I knew there were
other women and they were being raped. The men were doing to them what
they wanted to do. But nobody saw anybody else. We did not know about
each other. All the rooms were closed.

Lukic did not care whether they were old or young — all he cared
about was having a woman and doing what he wanted. He would take women
for himself and then let others have them. He did not care what those
people did to the women.

He took me upstairs to a room and told me to sit on the bed, adding
that nothing would happen. It was hard. I was scared and I panicked. I
simply do not know what to do with myself.

He then ordered me to lie on the bed and take off my clothes. He did
what he wanted. It was my first time with a man. Milan Lukic took away
my virginity.

When it was over, he told me not to try to do anything because I would
not be able to escape. I realized what had happened. I did not know
what to do next.

We stayed in the room until dawn. He kept his gun next to the bed.
When he woke up I begged him to take me home. He stood up, put on his
clothes and took me with him.

We first stopped by a coffee shop. He wanted to see his pals. He took
me by my hand and took off his beret. I had long hair at the time and
he stuck the beret on my head. He said: ‘This is my future wife’,
adding that nobody should touch me.

He took me home but said I must not go anywhere because he would find
me and kill me and my whole family if I disappeared anywhere.

When I got home I felt overwhelmed by fear. I thought he would find me
wherever I went. They were everywhere. I didn’t dare go out because if
you went out, you could disappear. That is how it was.

He used to come every day. He took me with him and brought me back
whenever he wanted. He would come at night and take me away. When he
knocked on the door, my mother used to faint.

He used to take me to the pool. In the pool and by the pool …
whichever place suited him best. You had to keep quiet and pray.

It went on for a month, this exhaustion. Every day it became more and
more difficult. He would take me away and bring me back. For that
month he did whatever he wanted to do with me.

In the end I couldn’t stand it. I decided I had to run away, no matter
whether I lived or died. I couldn’t longer live with it. It was
unbearable.

So I went with my mother to the village of Okrugla, near Visegrad. We
walked through the woods before reaching the village of Dobrun. I
lived in the woods, spending my time fear because he came there
looking for me and asking people about me.

I hid in those woods until I met my present husband who helped me get
my life back. Were it not for him, I wouldn’t be alive today. I felt I
had been rejected by everybody, the whole world. I was still only 22.

That time changed my life completely. Even today my life appears good
for nothing. When I go back to Dobrun, everything reminds me of that
time. When I see the Vilina Vlas it all comes back. This is something
that cannot be erased.

Visegrad is still a nice town but it entails tragedies, a lot of
things …  We lived there without any problems until 1992 when the
war began. Life will never be as it was. Years can pass and many
generations live, but nothing will be as it once was.

I am struggling to go on with my life. I have to hold on for my kids
and my family. But no matter how strong I am, I can’t overcome it. I
ask: Why did this happen to me? Why did I have to be the one?’

My first child had a shattered brain. The doctors say it may have been
due to my fears and to all the things that had stayed in me.

The only consolation for me would be to see Milan Lukic admit his
crimes. He must accept the gravity of his actions and admit his guilt.
The things that happened to me cannot be forgotten. It is different
when someone points a gun at you, but this was different. It was a
wound to the soul.”

The Vilina Vlas hotel is located in the woods, about 5 kilometres from
Visegrad. A rehabilitation centre and thermal spa, the Hague Tribunal
in 1992 described it as the headquarters of Milan Lukic’s paramilitary
group, the “Beli orlovi” (“White Eagles”) or “Osvetnici (“Revengers”).
A 1994 UN report on rapes in Bosnia mentioned the hotel as a detention
centre where girls as young as 14 were routinely raped. Fewer than ten
of those detained in the centre survived.

In July 2009, the Hague Tribunal sentenced Lukic to life imprisonment
for various crimes committed in the Visegrad area from 1992 to 1994 —
but rape was not one of them. The surviving victims have protested
against the court’s failure to take note of the numerous rapes
committed at various locations in Visegrad, including the Vilina Vlas.
(See: Visegrad rape victims say their cries go unheard
<http://www.bim.ba/bh/32/10/1312/>)


/Merima Husejnovic is a BIRN – Justice Report journalist
<merima@birn.eu.com>. Justice Report is an online BIRN weekly
publication./

“For the Record” is a special appendix to Justice Report in which we
record the life stories of people who survived horrific events in the
war in Bosnia.

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network invites you to send us your
own memories of the war, which we will consider for publication. Write
to us at: urednik@birn.eu.com

Koritnik-The Kurspahic Tragedy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by visegrad92

On June 14 1992, in Pioneer Street(Pionirska Ulica) in Visegrad around 60 Bosniak civilians, (women, children and elderly) were barricaded and burnt alive in Adem Omeragic’s house. Almost all were from Koritnik village and a majority of them belonged to the Kurspahic family. Koritnik was looted and set ablaze.

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Image: Senad Kurspahic, standing in front of his house in Koritnik next to a board with names of his family who were burnt alive(including a 2 day-old baby) in Adem Omeragic’s house in Pioneer street in the center of Visegrad.

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Image: Visegrad genocide survivors and family members gather in Koritnik to mark the crimes committed there.

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Image: Family members place boards with names of victims-their loved ones who were murdered by the Bosnian Serb Army.

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Image: Genocide survivors and family members leave a sign for the perpetrators: “War criminals, our neighbours first robbed us, expelled us and then burnt us alive. 8 of us survived.”

Read more:

1.Milan&Sredoje Lukic Judgement

2.Huso Kurspahic – Legacy of Truth

3.List of Bosniak Women and Children Burnt Alive in Visegrad