A witness at the trial for crimes committed in the Dretelj military prison testified that during his imprisonment, he was beaten, tortured and sexually abused.
Slavko Bogdanovic, a Bosnian Serb, said that in April 1992, he was arrested in Mostar and taken to Dretelj where he spent six months. The witness said that during his imprisonment, he was constantly beaten and abused.
“In Dretelj there were beatings and we had to sing Ustasha songs. We were beaten by guards, civilians, whoever was around... I was sexually abused, too. The prisoners were forced to take their clothes off and orally satisfy each other. They also made us kiss,” Bogdanovic said.
He testified that prisoners in Dretelj were abused by members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, which was a joint Croat and Bosniak paramilitary unit formed at the beginning of the Bosnian conflict. They fought Bosnian Serb forces in southern Herzegovina.
The Bosnian Prosecution charged Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic for crimes committed in 1992 in the Dretelj camp.
Four Bosnian Croats, Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic and a Bosniak, Edib Buljubasic, are charged with committing crimes against several hundred Bosnian Serbs from the municipalities of Mostar, Ljubuski, Capljina and Stolac, that were imprisoned in the Dretelj camp in 1992.
According to the indictment, Herceg was the former commander of the Dretelj camp, Buljubasic was his deputy, and Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic were camp guards.
The prosecution claims that Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic attacked prisoners on several occasions, and forced them to have sexual intercourse.
Bogdanovic recalled that Medic made him perform forced labour on several occasions, but did not hit him.
“On one occasion, members of HOS came from Mostar and beat us. That is when Ivan Medic pulled out a knife and stuck it in my tongue. He stabbed me and some other people in the tongue. He never tortured me after that,” said the witness.
Bogdanovic also described Buljubasic’s reputation in the jail and testified that he abused prisoners. “Buljubasic tortured and beat people. He hit me several times. Women from HOS also abused us. They forced prisoners to have sex,” he said.
Bogdanovic stated that the conditions in Dretelj were bad and prisoners did not have enough water or food. “They forced me to drink urine and to eat shoe polish and cigarettes. The abuse was constant. This is not even ten per cent of what was happening in Dretelj. I wish I could forget all of it,” he said.
The trial will resume on August 21.