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40,000 MUSLIMS TARGETED FOR EXTINCTION IN SREBRENICA, JUDGE T. MERON

August 20, 2009 Comments off
[Reading Time: 5 minutes. Highly Recommended]

“By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica… “Judge Theodor Meron [Polish-American Jew]

In 2004, Presiding U.N. Judge Theodor Meron – who is Polish-American of Jewish descent – delivered a historic speech at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial located in Potocari (near Srebrenica). His speech was both moving and inspiring, but also educational. We hope you read it carefully and learn from it.

ADDRESS BY PRESIDING JUDGE THEODOR MERON

It is with honour and humility that I stand today at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery. This place is a daily reminder of the horrors that visited the town of Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The crimes committed there have been well documented and have been recognized – and roundly and appropriately condemned – by the United Nations, the international community in general, and by the people of the region of former Yugoslavia. These crimes have also been described in detail and consigned to infamy in the decisions rendered by the court over which I preside, the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia.

I have had a special wish to visit the Potocari Memorial Cemetery because earlier this year I had the privilege of sitting as the Presiding Judge in the appeal which, for the first time, judicially recognized the crimes committed against the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 as genocide. In that case, named Prosecutor versus Radislav Krstic, the Appeals Chamber of our Tribunal convicted one of the leaders of the Bosnian Serb assault on Srebrenica, General Radislav Krstic, for aiding and abetting genocide. The Appeals Chamber also found that some members of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army harboured genocidal intent against the Bosnian Muslim people who sought safety in the enclave of Srebrenica, and that these officials acted upon that intent to carry out a deliberate and massive massacre of the Muslims in Srebrenica.

The judgment which the Appeals Chamber has pronounced will be of importance not only in acknowledging the crime committed in Srebrenica for what it is, but also in developing and enhancing the international criminal law’s understanding of genocide. By discussing and elaborating the legal requirement of genocide, and by explaining how they applied it in the circumstances of Srebrenica, the Appeals Chamber has facilitated the recognition – and, I hope, the prevention – of this horrible crime.

Many victims of this crime lie here, in this cemetery. In honour of their memory, I would like to read a brief passage from the judgment in Krstic, the passage which discusses the gravity and the horrific nature of the crime of genocide, and states unhesitantly that its perpetrators will unfailingly face justice.

“Among the grievous crimes this Tribunal has the duty to punish, the crime of genocide is singled out for special condemnation and opprobrium. The crime is horrific in its scope; its perpetrators identify entire human groups for extinction. Those who devise and implement genocide seek to deprive humanity of the manifold richness its nationalities, races, ethnicities and religions provide. This is a crime against all of humankind, its harm being felt not only by the group targeted for destruction, but by all of humanity.

The gravity of genocide is reflected in the stringent requirements which must be satisfied before this conviction is imposed. These requirements – the demanding proof of specific intent and the showing that the group was targeted for destruction in its entirety or in substantial part – guard against a danger that convictions for this crime will be imposed lightly. Where these requirements are satisfied, however, the law must not shy away from referring to the crime committed by its proper name. By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity. The Bosnian Serb forces were aware, when they embarked on this genocidal venture, that the harm they caused would continue to plague the Bosnian Muslims. The Appeals Chamber states unequivocally that the law condemns, in appropriate terms, the deep and lasting injury inflicted, and calls the massacre at Srebrenica by its proper name: genocide. Those responsible will bear this stigma, and it will serve as a warning to those who may in future contemplate the commission of such a heinous act.”

Those who drafted, on the heels of the Second World War and the Holocaust, the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of genocide, were animated by the desire to ensure that the horror of a state-organized deliberate and massive murder of a group of people purely because of their identity will never recur in the history of humankind. The authors of the Convention hoped that by encapsulating the crime of genocide, by declaring unambiguously that it will not go unpunished, and by requiring the international community to do the utmost to prevent it, they will forestall forever attempts to annihilate any national, ethnic or religious group in the world. As the graves in this cemetery testify, the struggle to make the world free of genocide is not easy and is not one of uninterrupted victories. But I would like to think that by recognizing the crimes committed here as genocide, and by condemning them with the utmost force at our command, we have helped to make the hope of those who drafted the Genocide Convention into an expectation and perhaps even a reality. As I stand here today, I can do little better than to repeat the solemn warning sounded by the Appeals Chamber of our Tribunal that those who commit this inhumane crime will not escape justice before the courts of law and the court of history.

Finally, I take this opportunity to call, once again, for the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet their obligations under international law to cooperate fully with the ICTY. It is simply unacceptable that the authorities in the Republika Srpska have yet to arrest and transfer any individual on their territory who has been indicted by the Tribunal. This situation cannot be allowed to continue and I would like to see a dramatic change in the Republika Srpska’s level of compliance with its legal obligations. It is hightime that the RS break with its tradition of non-cooperation and obstruction of the Rule of Law.

In this regard, I take note of the findings in the Republika Srpska Srebrenica Commission’s preliminary report, which I see as a step in the right direction. It indicates a new readiness to come to terms with painful events of the past and to constrain revisionist tendencies. However, the process is far from complete.

SOURCE: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague, Netherlands http://www.icty.org/sid/8409.

VICTIMS OF SERB TERROR AROUND SREBRENICA LAID TO REST

April 28, 2009 3 comments
34 BOSNIAN MUSLIM VICTIMS BURIED IN NEARBY VLASENICA

Flashback: What did Bosnian Serbs do in heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica from 1991-1995? They had participated in a number of brutal massacres against the Bosniak population in and around Srebrenica, including nearby municipality of Vlasenica.

On April 25th, 2009, thirty-four Bosniak victims were laid to rest in Vlasenica, at the Rakita cemeteray. Bodies of victims were found in mass graves around Srebrenica. Another fifteen victims are awaiting DNA identification.
The youngest victim was Almir Jahic who was 16 years old at the time of his death. His body was found in the mass grave along with the body of his father who was buried last year. The oldest victim was elderly Melka (Hase) Mekić (1912) who was 80 years old when Serbs from surrounding villages around Srebrenica attacked nearby Vlasenica municipality and killed her.

Among the victims in Rakita there are mother and daughter Almasa and Suada Hajdarevic and Salko and Mehmed Efendic who come from a family in which seven brothers and one cousin were murdered.

Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica murdered 2.600 Bosnian Muslim civilians in Vlasenica municipality during the past war. Until now, 650 remains were exhumed and 350 bodies identified.

Serbian NGO “Women in Black” (photo on the left) came to pay their respect to the Bosniak victims of Serb terror around Srebrenica. Their representative, Staša Zajovič, said:

“We are going to Tuzla, Kozarac, Visegrad, to as many places as we possibly can, to places where Serbs committed crimes in our name, led by those who in the name of Serbhood, in the name of Greater Serbia, in the name of criminal politics, those who had committed such horrible brutalities. We express our human responsibility and a community act of solidarity with the victims of these crimes… We are disgusted with the current government in Serbia, as well as with the International community’s injustice toward the victims of this crime, which is one of countless crimes committed against the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially against the people of Bosniak nationality.”

Only Dragan Nikolic was convicted to 20 years of imprisonment for crimes in this town, while proceedings are ongoing against two more individuals. Other perpetrators are still free.

Here are NAMES of buried victims and FUNERAL PHOTOS:

  1. Hajdarević (Derviš) Almasa (1936-1992)
  2. Hodžić (Ahmo) Sadidin (1965-1992)
  3. Jahić (Avdo) Almir (1975-1992)
  4. Musić (Meho) Mehmed (1928-1993)
  5. Pezić (Sulejman) Enis (1962-1992)
  6. Salkić (Šaban) Nedžada (1974-1992)
  7. Hajdarević (Emin) Suvada (1954-1992)
  8. Heljo (Sejfo) Jasmin (1973-1992)
  9. Salaharević (Muhamed) Edin (1973-1992)
  10. Kičić (Munib) Galib (1974-1992)
  11. Efendić (Ahmo) Mehmed (1973-1992)
  12. Efendić (Ibro) Salko (1964-1992)
  13. Arnaut (Ramo) Selim (1956-1992)
  14. Hidić (Mehmedalija) Hakija (1952-1992)
  15. Durić (Hamid) Osman (1956-1992)
  16. Mekić (Haso) Melka (1912-1992)
  17. Hurić (Himzo) Hajrudin (1965-1992)
  18. Huremović (Mujo) Osman (1927-1992)
  19. Mehmedović (Redžo) Nedžad (1966-1992)
  20. Mehmedović (Redžo) Kemal (1964-1992)
  21. Gagulić (Alija) Hajrudin (1963-1993)
  22. Esmić (Muhamed) Mujo (1959-1993)
  23. Heljo (Sejdo) Paša (1927-1992)
  24. Jašarević (Sinan) Kadir (1959-1992)
  25. Hadžić (Muradif) Enes (1961-1992)
  26. Karač (Hamdija) Sead (1969-1992)
  27. Patković (Huso) Hasib (1940-1992)
  28. Ibralić (Šaban) Husein (1951-1992)
  29. Begić (Hasan) Suljo (1928 -1995)
  30. Ferhatović (Avdo) Advija (1974-1992)
  31. Mušanović (Mustafa) Fahrudin (1961 – 1992)
  32. Mušanović (Mustafa) Mevludin (1958 – 1992)
  33. Kastrati (Ahmet) Rahman (1931 – 1992)
  34. Hodžić (Juso) Rešid (1971-1993).

ANNIVERSARY: MASSACRE OF CHILDREN IN SREBRENICA, CRIMES AGAINST BOSNIAKS BEFORE GENOCIDE

April 14, 2009 2 comments
On April 12th 1993, Serbs from heavily armed villages around Srebrenica massacred 74 Bosniak children and seriously injured more than 152 children in front of Srebrenica’s elementary school.

PHOTO: The blood-spattered Muslim survivor of the 1993 Srebrenica child massacre, identified as Sead Bekric, in hospital with his mom and brother. Click on a photo to view higher resolution.

On April 12th 1993, Serbs from militarized villages around Srebrenica attacked the town with heavy artillery hitting hospitals and schools. In this brutal attack, Serbs instantly killed 62 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) children, and injured more than 100 children in front of Srebrenica’s elementary school.

Another 12 children died in a hospital as a result of serious injuries sustained during the heavy artillery attack, bringing the total number od dead to 74.

Relatives of the victims visited this place again on Sunday to lay down flowers and pay respect to their loved ones, as well as to commemorate the 16th anniversary of this horrible crime against the children.

Bosnian Serb police was in charge of securing this peaceful commemoration and no incidents were reported.

Another event, titled Crimes Against Bosniaks Before July 1995 Genocide, was held in Srebrenica’s Cultural Center. The scheduled panel of speakers included Osman Suljić, mayor of Srebrenica municipality; Zulfo Salihović, vice president of Srebrenica municipality; Prof. Dr. Smail Čekić, Director of the Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law; and human rights activists Fadila Memišević i Hatidža Mehmedović.

Between 1991-1995 – not including the 1995 genocide – Serbs around Srebrenica torched approximately 95% of all Muslim villages in Podrinje region (where Srebrenica is located) and murdered more than 1,000 Bosniaks in brutal raids, ethnic cleansing, and horrific practices of torture. In 1992 alone, Serbs ethnically cleansed more than 90% of pre-dominanly Bosniak territory in Podrinje. To view photos of Serb terror around Srebrenica, click here.

DO NOT FORGET.

Note: You can view short video clip from Associated Press (for full-length video, you need to purchase a licence), at this link.

PHOTO: The blood-spattered Muslim survivor of the 1993 Srebrenica child massacre, identified as Sead Bekric, in hospital with his mom. Click on a photo to view higher resolution.

3,000+ IMAGINARY “SERB VICTIMS” IN VILLAGES AROUND SREBRENICA

March 6, 2009 4 comments
SERBS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST U.N. TO DIMINISH SIGNIFICANCE OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE

Trying to gain wider media exposure and promote their already discredited version of the number of individual Serb casualties around Srebrenica, a group of Bosnian Serbs based in the Netherlands have filed a lawsuit at the Dutch District Court in The Hague claiming the United Nations and the Netherlands failed to protect them around Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 war.

As a result of military operations conducted against the Bosniak Muslim civilians in and around Srebrenica (1992-1995), Serbs suffered 151 civilian casualties. Now, in order to justify the genocide committed against the Bosniak Muslim population of Srebrenica, Serbian nationalists propagate grossly inflated claims that over 3,000 Serb civilians were murdered around Srebrenica. Milivoje Ivanisevic (background), who came up with this number, is a Srebrenica genocide denier himself. Ivanisevic’s claim that there are about “3,000+ Serb victims” have been discredited by the International Criminal Tribunal (source), Human Rights Watch (source), and Bosnia’s State-level Research and Documentation Center (source).

In 1993, the U.N. forces were sent to Srebrenica to protect Bosniaks (Muslims) from Serbs, not the other way around. During the Bosnian war, 1992-1995, Serbs kept Srebrenica under deadly siege and terrorized Bosniak civilians in the most horrible ways. In order to prolong the suffering of innocent Bosniak Muslim victims from 1992-1995, Serbs in villages around Srebrenica barricaded Muslim women, children, and elderly men in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive (click here to see photos of Muslim victims around Srebrenica). Nonetheless to remind our readers that Serbs started killing Bosniak Muslim civilians around Srebrenica in 1992 and they never stopped until they committed genocide against the Bosniak Muslim population of Srebrenica in July 1995.

The latest lawsuit against the U.N. was filed by Stephen Karganovic (aka: Stefan Karganovic), who happens to be a founder of the Srebrenica genocide denial NGO known as “The Historical Project Srebrenica” (Historijski Projekat Srebrenica). He is also a close associate of Dr. Darko Trifunovic (background) and Milivoje Ivanisevic (background) – both of them discredited Srebrenica genocide deniers.

Karganovic uses careful words in the media and passes himself as a man who does not deny “Srebrenica massacre.” As many Srebrenica genocide deniers do, Karganovic accepts the term “massacre,” but refuses to acknowledge the proper term – Genocide. For him, there was no genocide against the Bosniak population of Srebrenica.

Recently, he stated: “Our parallel task is to investigate the allegations of genocide against Moslem prisoners and correct the record on that score.” Note that he used the term “allegations” in referring to the Srebrenica genocide.

“All we want to achieve is that the Serb victims from around Srebrenica get the same attention as the Muslim victims in Srebrenica,” he said. In other words, Karganovic’s purpose is to equate the genocide perpetrated against the Bosniak Muslim population of Srebrenica with individual war crimes against the Serbs.

Serb sources maintain that casualties and losses during the period prior to the creation of the safe area gave rise to Serb demands for revenge against the Bosniaks based in Srebrenica. The ARBiH raids are presented as a key motivating factor for the July 1995 genocide. This view is echoed by international sources including the 2002 report commissioned by the Dutch government on events leading to the fall of Srebrenica (the NIOD report [see Answer to Question #10]). However these sources also cite misleading figures for the number of Serb casualties in the region. The NIOD report, for instance, repeats the erroneous claim that the raid on Kravica resulted in the total annihilation of its population. Many consider these efforts to explain the motivation behind the Srebrenica massacre are merely revisionist attempts to justify the genocide. To quote the report to the UN Secretary-General on the Fall of Srebrenica:

“Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it… The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create a geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of ‘moral equivalency’ through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.” – UN Report on Srebrenica

According to Human Rights Watch, the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party “launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area” which “was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime.”

Serbian media is also circulating gruesome photo forgeries alleging they represent Serb ‘victims’ around Srebrenica. Take a look at a sample photo forgery of alleged “Serb victim” around Srebrenica at this link.

A press briefing by the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) dated 6 July 2005 noted that the number of Serb deaths in the region alleged by the Serbian authorities had increased from 1,400 to 3,500, a figure the OTP stated “[does] not reflect the reality.” The briefing cited previous accounts:

“The Republika Srpska’s Commission for War Crimes gave the number of Serb victims in the municipalities of Bratunac, Srebrenica and Skelani as 995; 520 in Bratunac and 475 in Srebrenica. The Chronicle of Our Graves by Milivoje Ivanisevic, president of the Belgrade Center for Investigating Crimes Committed against the Serbs, estimates the number of people killed at around 1,200. For the Honorable Cross and Golden Freedom, a book published by the RS Ministry of Interior, referred to 641 Serb victims in the Bratunac-Srebrenica-Skelani region.

The accuracy of these numbers is challenged: the OTP noted that although Ivanisevic’s book estimated that around 1200 Serbs were killed, personal details were only available for 624 victims. The validity of labeling some of the casualties as “victims” is also contested: studies have found a significant majority of military casualties compared to civilian casualties. This is in line with the nature of the conflict—Serb casualties died in raids by Bosniak forces on outlying villages used as military outposts for attacks on Srebrenica (many of which had been ethnically cleansed of their Bosniak majority population in 1992).

For example the village of Kravica was attacked by Bosniak forces on Orthodox Christmas Day, 7 January 1993. Some Serb sources such as Ivanisevic allege that the village’s 353 inhabitants were “virtually completely destroyed”. In fact, the VRS’ own internal records state that 46 Serbs died in the Kravica attack: 35 soldiers and 11 civilians, while the ICTY Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation of casualties on 7 and 8 January in Kravica and the surrounding villages found that 43 people were killed, of whom 13 were obviously civilians. Nevertheless the event continues to be cited by Serb sources as the key example of heinous crimes committed by Bosniak forces around Srebrenica.

As for the destruction and casualties in the villages of Kravica, Siljkovići, Bjelovac, Fakovići and Sikirić, the judgment states that the prosecution failed to present convincing evidence that the Bosnian forces were responsible for them, because the Serb forces used artillery in the fighting in those villages. In the case of the village of Bjelovac, Serbs even used the warplanes.” – Office of the United Nations Prosecutor

The most up-to-date analysis of Serb casualties in the region comes from the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center, a non-partisan institution with a multiethnic staff, whose data have been collected, processed, checked, compared and evaluated by international team of experts. The RDC’s extensive review of casualty data found that Serb casualties in the Bratunac municipality amounted to 119 civilians and 424 soldiers. It also established that although the 383 Serb victims buried in the Bratunac military cemetery are presented as casualties of ARBiH units from Srebrenica, 139 (more than one third of the total) had fought and died elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian Book of the Dead, which was backed up by international experts (including Ewa Tabeau, head of the Demographic Unit research team of the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague), lists 151 Serb civilian victims.

RECOMMENDED READING:
United Nations Srebrenica Report (1999) – Online PDF version available in 6 languages.
Srebrenica Numbers – Quick Facts

Editorial Reminder: All content on our blog is free to be republished unless otherwise noted. Please circulate and translate in other languages.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE RESOLUTION

January 17, 2009 3 comments
July 11th as a Day of Commemoration of the Srebrenica Genocide throughout the European Union (EU)

European Parliament adopts Srebrenica Genocide Resolution

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly adopted a resolution (by 556 to nine, with 22 abstentions) proclaiming the 11th of July a Day of Commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide throughout the European Union (EU).

After the fall of Srebrenica on July 11th 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, and paramilitary units rapidly executed more than 8000 Bosniak (Muslim) men, boys, and elderly, who had sought safety in the area. Moreover, approximately 25000 people were forcibly deported in a UN-assited ethnic cleansing.

The victims’ bodies were first buried in mass graves, then dug out with bulldozers and moved to smaller graves. Remains can be scattered in several locations, and are not released for burial until two-thirds of the body have been recovered.

The European Parliament resolution called the Srebrenica Genocide “the biggest war crime in Europe since the end of WWII.” The assembly called it “a symbol of the international community’s impotence to intervene and protect civilians.”

“Proclaiming July 11 as a day of remembrance for the Srebrenica genocide should be a step in the right direction for reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region,” European Commissioner for Foreign Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in support of the initiative.

“The EP stresses that reconciliation is an important part of the European integration process, a process in which the religious communities, the media and the education system play a significant role”, the Parliament added, noting that bringing to justice those responsible for the massacres is an important step towards peace and stability in the region.

“In view of the fact that General Ratko Mladic is still at large almost 14 years after the tragic events, Parliament also demands that further efforts be made to bring the remaining fugitives to justice, stressing that bringing to justice those responsible for the massacres in and around Srebrenica is an important step towards peace and stability in the region,” the European Parliament said.

Members of the European Parliament said additional measures must be taken to find and arrest those responsible, including the former Bosnian Serb leader General Ratko Mladic.

“What happened in Srebrenica in July 1995 is the worst single atrocity that Europe has experienced since World War II,” said Bosnia’s High Representative Miroslav Lajcak in his statement, welcoming the EU resolution. “By commemorating the victims of the genocide, we can help reduce the pain of those still waiting to hear what exactly happened to their relatives killed in Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The resolution was drafted following a meeting between European Parliament President Diana Wallis, who is from the liberal and democratic grouping, and members of the Association of Mothers from Srebrenica and Zepa. Wallis and Jelko Kacin, a Slovenian delegate and the rapporteur on Serbia, attended the commemoration organized in Srebrenica last year.

Explaining the Resolution, Kacin said that “we must build Srebrenica in our common historical memory.” He said the resolution was not intended for the past, “although it speaks about the dead”, but is relevant to “the living and their better future.”

Editor’s Note: In 2007, Jelko Kacin issued the following statement, which we would like to share with you:

“Anybody who kills a single human being commits a crime, but those who commit genocide represent an international and political challenge.”

BOSNIAK WOMEN & CHILDREN BURNED ALIVE BY SERBS AROUND SREBRENICA

December 29, 2008 68 comments
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED / Last updated: Dec 31, 2008.

The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) population of the Podrinje.

In order to prolong the suffering of innocent victims, Serbs around Srebrenica would barricade Bosniak women, children, and elderly men in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive.

Those who tried to escape would be fired upon and killed. The youngest victim was 2 days old baby whose remains contained multiple bullet holes. Some babies died in their mothers’ wombs as you can see in forensic photos provided below. According to numerous testimonies presented at the ICTY, main organizers of these crimes were Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and Sredoje Lukic.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photos © Human Rights NGO Truth for Justice (www.ispa.ba); Photographer: Almir Arnaut; Used with Permission; Photos archived by www.Genocid.org project. Forensic evidence collected by the U.N. war crimes investigators. The remains of victims analyzed by the Department of Pathology at the University Clinical Center Tuzla. Click photos for higher resolution.

PHOTO: Remains of a pregnant Bosniak woman and her unborn baby excavated from a mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. Fetus body was preserved in mother’s womb with tiny legs and undeveloped brain clearly visible. The woman was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. In 1992, Serbs barricaded approximately 150 Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly men in two abandoned houses located in the Srebrenica region near Visegrad and then burned them alive. Zehra Turjacanin was the only survivor from the burning house in Bikavac and recently she testified ‘what it feels like to burn alive’ at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic.

PHOTO: Pathologists at the University Clinical Center Tuzla examine remains of a pregnant Bosniak woman and her unborn baby found in mother’s womb. The woman was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. The victims were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of a pregnant Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) woman and her unborn baby excavated from the mass grave Suha in Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. Baby’s undeveloped head, fingers, and legs are clearly visible. The woman was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Pathologists at the University Clinical Center Tuzla show remains of a pregnant Bosniak woman and her unborn baby. She was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide, when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of a Bosniak woman and her unborn baby excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. Baby’s undeveloped body was preserved in mother’s womb. She was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Pathologist at the University Clinical Center Tuzla inspects remains of unborn Bosniak baby that was found in a womb of a murdered mother. The woman was barricaded in an abandoned house and then set on fire by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. When she tried to escape, she was shot with a single bullet to her stomach. The victims’ remains were excavated from the mass grave Suha in Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of a baby bottle and baby clothing containing multiple bullet holes were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The Bosniak victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive in 1992 by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide, when Serbs overtook Srebrenica summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.


PHOTO: Remains of a baby bottle and baby clothing containing multiple bullet holes were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The Bosniak victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive in 1992 by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of a baby bottle and baby clothing with a bullet hole were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The Bosniak victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive in 1992 by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of Bosniak children killed by Serbs around Srebrenica. The victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica in 1992. The victims’ remains were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide, when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Remains of a Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) child and a baby killed by Serbs around Srebrenica. The victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica in 1992. The victims’ remains were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.


PHOTO: Remains of Bosniak children killed by Serbs around Srebrenica. The victims were barricaded in an abandoned house, set on fire, and burned alive by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica in 1992. The victims’ remains were excavated from the mass grave Suha in the Srebrenica region, near Bratunac. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Dignitaries and forensic workers attend process of exhumation of victims from the mass grave Suha around Srebrenica, near Bratunac. Bosnian Muslim victims – women, children, and elderly men – were barricaded in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive. Those who tried to escape were shot and killed. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosnian Muslim population of Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Dignitaries and forensic workers attend process of exhumation of victims from the mass grave Suha around Srebrenica, near Bratunac. Bosnian Muslim victims – women, children, and elderly men – were barricaded in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive. Those who tried to escape were shot and killed. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

PHOTO: Dignitaries and forensic workers attend process of exhumation of victims from the mass grave Suha around Srebrenica, near Bratunac. Bosnian Muslim victims – women, children, and elderly men – were barricaded in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive. Those who tried to escape were shot and killed. The events preceding and leading to the Srebrenica genocide included unprecedented levels of cruelty committed by Bosnian Serbs around Srebrenica against the civilian Bosniak population of the Podrinje. In July 1995, crimes against humanity had culminated in a crime of genocide when Serbs overtook Srebrenica, summarily executed between 8,372 and 10,000 Bosniaks (men, children, and elderly), and forcibly expelled more than 20,000 people in a U.N.-assisted case of ethnic cleansing.

According to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, some of the victims that were burned alive included:

  • Kurspahic, Aisa – Approximately 49 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Aida – Approximately 12 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Ajka – Approximately 62 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Alija – Approximately 55 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Almir – Approximately 10 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Aner – Approximately 6 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Becar – Approximately 52 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Bisera – Approximately 50 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Bula – Approximately 58 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Dzheva – Approximately 22 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Enesa – Approximately 2 years old.
  • Kurspahic, first name unknown – Approximately 2 days old.
  • Kurspahic, Hasa – Approximately 18 years old
  • Kurspahic, Hajrija – Approximately 60 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Halida – Approximately 10 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Hana – Approximately 30 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Hasan – Approximately 50 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Hasiba – Age unknown
  • Kurspahic, Hasnija – Approximately 62 years old
  • Kurspahic, Hata – Approximately 68 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Ifeta – Approximately 17 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Igabala – Approximately 58 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Ismet – Approximately 3 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Ismeta – Approximately 26 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Izeta – Approximately 24 years old
  • Kurspahic, Kada – Approximately 40 years old
  • Kurspahic, Latifa – Approximately 23 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Lejla – Approximately 4 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Maida – Age is unknown, she was a little girl.
  • Kurspahic, Medina – Approximately 28 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Medo – Approximately 50 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Mejra – Approximately 47 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Meva – Approximately 45 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Mina – Approximately 20 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Mirela – Approximately 3 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Mujesira – Approximately 35 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Munevera – Approximately 20 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Munira – Approximately 12 years old.
  • Kurspahic, Munira – Approximately 55 years old
  • Kurspahic, Osman – Approximately 67 years old
  • Kurspahic, Pasana or Pasija – Approximately 56 years old
  • Kurspahic, Ramiza – Approximately 57 years old
  • Kurspahic, Sabiha – Approximately 14 years old
  • Kurspahic, Sadeta – Approximately 18 years old
  • Kurspahic, Safa – Approximately 50 years old
  • Kurspahic, Saha – Approximately 70 years old
  • Kurspahic, Sajma – Approximately 20 years old
  • Kurspahic, Seila – Approximately 2 years old
  • Kurspahic, Seniha – Approximately 9 years old
  • Kurspahic, Sumbula – Approximately 62 years old
  • Kurspahic, Vahid – Approximately 8 years old
  • A boy whose name is unknown – Approximately 11 years old
  • Aljic, first name unknown, father of Suhra Aljic – Approximately 65 years old
  • Alijic, first name unknown, mother of Suhra Aljic – Aproximately 65 years old
  • Aljic, first name unknown, son of Suhra Aljic – Approximately 1 year old
  • Aljic, Suhra – Approximately 25 years old
  • Jelacic, first name unknown – Age unknown
  • Tufekcic, Dehva – Approximately 28 years old
  • Tufekcic, Elma – Approximately 5 years old
  • Tufekcic, Ensar – Approximately 1.5 years old
  • Turjacanin, Dulka – Approximately 51 years old
  • Turjacanin, Sada – Approximately 29 years old
  • Turjacanin, Selmir – Approximately 9 years old
  • Vilic, first name unknown, daughter of Mina Vilic – Age unknown
  • Vilic, first name unknown, son of Mina Vilic – Age unknown
  • Vilic, Mina – Approximately 32 years old
  • Vilic, Mirzeta – Approximately 8 years old
  • Ajanovic, Mula – Approximately 75 years old.
  • Delija, Adis – Approximately 2 years old
  • Delija, Ajnija – Approximately 50 years old
  • Delija, Jasmina – Approximately 24 years old
  • Family name unknown – Hasena Age unknown
  • Jasarevic, Tima – Age unknown
  • Jasarevic, Hajra – Approximately 35 years old.
  • Jasarevic, Meho – Approximately 42 years old.
  • Jasarevic, Mujo – Approximately 47 years old.
  • Memisevic, Fazila – Approximately 54 years old
  • Memisevic, Redzo – Approximately 57 years old
  • Sadikovic, Rabija – Approximately 52 years old
  • Sehic, Enver – Approximately 13 years old
  • Sehic, Faruk – Approximately 12 years old
  • Sehic, Haraga – Age unknown
  • Sehic, Kada – Approximately 39 years old
  • Velic, Nurka – Approximately 70 years old
  • Velic, Tima – Approximately 35 years old
  • Vila, Jasmina – Approximately 20 years old

IN MEMORIAM: DR NEDRET MUJKANOVIC, SREBRENICA’S WAR SURGEON AND A TRUE HERO

December 28, 2008 7 comments

Last updated: January 7, 2009.

  • Risked his life to reach Srebrenica on foot through hostile Serb-held territory in 1992.
  • Worked as Srebrenica’s war-Surgeon and saved many lives in the Enclave under the siege.
  • Recipient of the Golden Lily medal – the Bosnian Army’s (ARBiH) most prestigious award.
  • Recipient of the Saint Peter dabrobosanski medal – the biggest award of Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia-Herzegovina (see here).
  • His team of pathologists worked on identifying Srebrenica victims, including pregnant women and children that Serbs around Srebrenica burned alive (see photos).
  • Served as a a key Prosecution witness at Naser Oric’s trial. [Note: His testimony actually helped the Defence]
  • His life in Srebrenica was documented in a book titled “War Hospital: A True Story Of Surgery And Survival” by Sheri Lee Fink (limited preview here)

Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic’s (48) lifeless body was found by his wife Jasminka in their Tuzla home around 4:00 am on December 25th 2008. Local Bosnian media widely reported the cause of his death as “suicide by hanging.” According to a local web portal, Tuzlarije, his colleague Dr. Lejla Muminhodzic said that Dr Mujkanovic’s neighbours heard him begging and screaming for help for about 10 minutes. Apparently, neighbours reported a loud noise, as if somebody was slamming objects. However, his wife Jasminka told police that her husband attempted to commit suicide just a night before. His funeral was held on Saturday, December 27th. The case is under police investigation.

In 1992, Dr Nedret Mujkanovic was asked to risk his life and trudge for seven nights through miles of hostile territory from Tuzla to Srebrenica. According to War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival by Sheri Lee Fink,

“When the ham radio operators in Srebrenica started calling for a surgeon, the responsibility for finding one fell to Tuzla’s surgery department chairman, an Orthodox Christian in a still-mixed but increasingly Muslim city being attacked by separatist Orthodox Christian Serbs… he knew he had little chance of convincing any surgeons to go to Srebrenica against their will, and, with 40 percent of the surgical faculty in Tuzla having fled at the start of the war, he didn’t have much of a selection. After an unsuccessful search for volunteers among the better-trained surgeons, he landed on Nedret, one of his last hopes. The chairman summoned Nedret from his field station to the hospital and made his request. Would Nedret go to Srebrenica? Nedret was flattered to be asked, but how could he get there given the intervening sixty miles of territory controlled by the nationalist Serb military?”

According to Chuck Sudetic (The New York Times, April 24, 1993), Dr Mujkanovic accepted the risky mission and managed to reach Srebrenica by August 5th 1992. “The medicines, bandages and other medical supplies, carried into Srebrenica by 50 men who accompanied him on his trek through Serbian lines, started to run out in mid-September… Dr. Mujkanovic estimated that during his nine months in Srebrenica about 10 to 15 percent of the 4,000 patients brought to the town’s hospital died… Between December and early March, about 20 to 30 people were dying daily from pneumonia and other diseases worsened by long-term hunger,” reported Sudetic.

As the only surgeon in the besieged town, Dr. Mujkanovic performed 1,390 operations, 100 amputations and four Cesarean sections – many times without anesthetics. According to war correspondent, Peter Maass, (The New Republic, October 12 1998) “…in addition to Muslims, he operated on captured Serb soldiers and protected them from the retribution that many people in Srebrenica desired.”

In The New York Times article, Dr Mujkanovic recalled some of the horrors he experienced during his stay in Srebrenica. “The Serbs knew there was a camp of refugees from Cerska and Konjevic Polje in the school,” he said. “They directed their fire at that location. It came completely by surprise. There were pieces of women scattered about, and you could not see how to fit them together. I saw one dead mother lying on the ground and holding the hands of her two dead children. They all had no heads.”

After the war, Dr. Mujkanovic received the Golden Lily medal (“Zlatni Ljiljan”), the highest level of recognition awarded by the Army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The medal was awarded in recognition of Dr. Mujkanovic’s service, bravery, and commitment to save lives in the besieged enclave of Srebrenica.

On November 1st 2004, Christian Orthodox Mitropolit Dabrobosanski Nikolaj awarded Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic a medal of Saint Petar Dabrobosanski – the biggest award of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This prestigious recognition was awarded to Dr. Mujkanovic as a sign of appreciation for taking care of Bosnian Serb Orthodox church priests Jeremia and Aleksandar Starovlah who were injured during SFOR action at Pale. At that time, Dr Mujkanovic worked as the director of the University of Clinical Center (UCC) Tuzla (see “Acknowledgments” section of the UCC Tuzla web site).

In 2005, Dr Mujkanovic served as one of key Prosecution witnesses in Naser Oric case. However, his testimony helped the Defence. He testified that Naser Oric’s forces had to attack militarized Serb-villages around Srebrenica in desperate attempts of starving Bosniak civilians to find food. For example, Serbs used the village of Fakovici as a military outpost for massive attacks on Srebrenica. “No one, including Oric, could have [had] effective control over civilians and the armed forces,” he testified. Oric was “fiercely opposed to those acts of burning and looting” he insisted. Dr. Mujkanovic testified that Oric often visited patients in his hospital. Prosecutors wanted to know whether he was interested in well-being of Serb patients. Dr. Mujkanovic confirmed that Oric “paid the same sort of attention to everyone, [Bosniaks] and Serbs alike.”