Archive for White Eagles

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

Exclusive: Pictures from Visegrad during the Genocide

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2009 by visegrad92
visegradduga1

Serb soldier harrassing an elderly Bosniak man in Visegrad 1992. The Serb soldier is most probably a member of the "White Eagles" paramilitary formation.

Exclusive: Picture showing  an unknown Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) elder being harassed by a Serb Soldier in Visegrad in 1992. Hundreds of Bosniaks were arrested and taken to Police Stations for “informative interrogation”. This picture was published in Serbian nationalist  Duga magazine in September 1992. The picture is undated.

*We apologize to readers for the low picture quality*-VGM

visegrad92

Unidentified Serb soldiers taking a smoke in Visegrad at the height of the Bosnian Genocide.

Exclusive: Picture showing unidentified Serb soldiers in Visegrad in  1992. At least 1700 Bosniaks were murdered, several hundred raped and thousands deported by the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army/Army of Republika Srpska and local Serbs.  This picture was published in Serbian nationalist  Duga magazine in September 1992. The picture is undated.

*We apologize to readers for the low picture quality*-VGM

visegradduga2

Two Serb soldiers searching an apartment owned by a Bosniak. The original caption in the picture reads:"The enemy is hiding somewhere out there."

Exclusive: Picture showing unidentified Serb soldiers in Visegrad in  1992 searching an apartment owned by a Bosniak. At least 1700 Bosniaks were murdered, several hundred raped and thousands deported by the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army/Army of Republika Srpska and local Serbs.  This picture was published in Serbian nationalist  Duga magazine in September 1992. The picture is undated.

*We apologize to readers for the low picture quality*- VGM

The man who burned children

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by visegrad92

Serb War Criminal Mitar Vasiljevic. Commited Crimes Against Bosniak Muslims in Visegrad.

But it was in the south-eastern city of Visegrad one year earlier, say prosecutors, that a different ethnic campaign was maybe even more successful. In Courtroom Two, Bosnian Serb Mitar Vasiljevic is being tried for extermination and murdering Muslims while he was a member of the White Eagles paramilitary group. Before the war, over half of Visegrad’s residents were Muslim. After it, there wasn’t a single one left, and prosecutors say that following Srebrenica, Visegrad has the highest number of people who “simply disappeared.” “Mitar Vasiljevic is not the most infamous among the Tribunal’s indictees,” Prosecutor Dermot Groome told the three judges hearing the case. “But he is one who by his own hands committed an act which is perhaps one of the single most horrific and egregious affronts to humanity in the war, to the most innocent of victims.”

Those victims were some 70 Muslims — mostly women and children — who prosecutors say were trying to leave Visegrad. Posing as a Red Cross worker, Vasiljevic is alleged to have led them to a house on Visegrad’s Pioneer Street, where he said they’d be safe. Instead, he and two other men charged with him are said to have burned them alive, shooting at people as they tried to escape through windows. “There was a small baby among them,” said Groome. “She had yet to see her third day on this earth. Anguished cries from the dying echoed … for two hours after the match was first struck.” Five people managed to survive. They will come to The Hague to testify against Vasiljevic, who says he wasn’t there when the fire was set.

There will also be other survivors: two Muslim men who survived a mass execution along the Drina River. One of them, a protected witness, Witness 32, testified Tuesday. The 36-year-old dental technician told how he was one of seven men forced to line up on the banks of the Drina River. Vasiljevic was there with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon. Witness 32 remembers hearing a voice asking whether they were going to “shoot individually or in bursts of gunfire.” The answer, said Witness 32, was individually. He recalled, with his voice choking, the interminable walk down to the river. “These last ten meters of my life I just wanted to spend them with my two-year old daughter. While I was crossing these 10 meters, I didn’t see a thing … I just saw the image of my daughter running into my arms.” He, along with one other, survived by jumping into the river and pretending to be dead. Vasiljevic is charged, in part, with murder as a crime against humanity for being one of the executioners in that massacre.