News 31 Jan 13

Bosnia Prison Camp ‘Had Blood on Walls’

At the trial of eight men charged with abusing Bosnian Serb detainees in Hadzici near Sarajevo, a witness said he was held in a crowded cell and beaten with a gun.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

The prosecution witness said he was locked in a cell in the Silos camp with another 34 Serbs and attacked by guards several days after he arrived in May 1992.

“Two men burst in and one of them told me that I would not celebrate my patron saint’s day anymore,” witness Lazar Krstic told the trial in Sarajevo.

“When he hit me with his rifle, I fell, and when I came to, I saw I was bleeding. I looked around and saw that the walls were covered in blood,” he said.

The Bosnian prosecution accuses Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember of war crimes committed in the Silos camp, the Krupa barracks and the 9th of May primary school.

According to the indictment, Hujic was the warden of the Silos camp, as was Halid Covic at a later date. Mesanovic was one of the deputy wardens in the Silos and also camp warden at Krupa, while Kalember was a guard at Silos. The others were members of the civilian, military or police authorities.

The witness said that once an unknown guard poured a bowl of prisoners’ urine over his head.

He said that he bathed for the first time only after spending four months in the camp, and that during the first three months, prisoners were only given one meal a day.

The witness also said he saw “Kalember kicking [prisoner] Jovo Krstic in the groin”. Asked by Kalember’s lawyer why he did not say that in the deposition he gave in 2008, the witness said he did not know.

He added that 500 to 600 people were locked up in the Silos camp, among them women.

The trial will resume on February 7.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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