A Bosnian Serb detained at the Silos prison camp in the Hadzici suburb of Sarajevo in 1992 testified in court that prisoners were attacked and deprived of food.
Nedeljko Njegovan said he lived in the village of Cesce until May 30, 1992, when Bosniak forces took him to a local administration building in Tarcin near Sarajevo. Upon arrival, he and other Bosnian Serbs were ordered to face the wall.
“People started screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ and they started beating us… When the group got tired of beating us, others stepped into their place. That lasted two or three hours, and then they took us to the Silos camp,” Njegovan told a war crimes trial in Sarajevo on Thursday.
He said that defendant Becir Hujic was the warden at the camp.
Hujic, Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember are accused of war crimes committed at the Silos detention camp, the Krupa barracks, and the 9th of May primary school in Hadzici, near Sarajevo, between 1992 and 1995.
According to the indictment, Kalember was a guard at the Silos camp. The other defendants were members of the police, the army, and the civil administration in Hadzici.
The prosecution alleges that a large number of Serb civilians and prisoners of war were held illegally at Hadzici, inhumanely treated, tortured, subjected to grievous bodily harm and used as forced labour.
Njegovan said that defendant Hujic came to his cell and treated the inmates fairly. But he added that Kalember, who he said was one of the guards, once took a prisoner called Djordje Vidovic from his cell.
“Kalember asked him who he was, and told him that he killed his uncle. Kalember took him outside and closed the door. We heard screams and later they put Vidovic back inside. He had lost a tooth or two and he could not eat or drink,” said the witness.
Upon his arrival at Silos, Njegovan said that he received little food and that other detainees starved to death.
“We got one bowl of stew for seven or eight prisoners. It smelled of urine… One of us took a spoon, then another, we would go in circles. Sometimes you got one spoonful of food, sometimes two or three,” said the witness.
He added that prisoners developed severe health problems because of the poor conditions.
Njegovan said he was detained until February 1993 because he was a Serb.
The trial will continue on March 14.