News 09 Jun 16

Bosnia Mujahideen Prisoner ‘Forced to Kiss Severed Head’

At the trial of former Bosnian Army general Sakib Mahmuljin, a witness said he was beaten and given electric shocks by mujahideen fighters and forced to kiss another prisoner’s severed head.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo
Sakib Mahmuljin. Photo: YouTube.

Former Bosnian Serb servicemen Miodrag Samac told the Sarajevo-based court on Wednesday that while he was held captive by the Bosnian Army’s El Mujahedeen unit in Zavidovici in July 1995, he was assaulted and forced to kiss the severed head of a murdered fellow prisoner.

Samac testified that he was taken prisoner on July 21, 1995 near Vozuca in the Zavidovici municipality by El Mujahedeen fighters.

“We thought they were members of the Bosnian army. However, they looked nothing like people from here. Some had big beards and did not speak the language,” said Samac.

He said that he was then taken with other prisoners to Livade, where they were tied up in a house.

“They hit us while we were tied up. They gave us electric shocks, and while they beat us, they filmed it with a camera. I fell unconscious with a wire around my neck and my hands and legs tied,” he said.

The witness said that the prisoners from Livade were taken to the El Mujahedeen camp in Gostovici on July 23, 1995.

“There they took us to the playing field, between white tents, and spat on us, beat us,” he said.

“One night they told us to lie on our stomachs and blindfolded our eyes. Then one of the prisoners, Gojko Vujicic, said he would kill them all. We heard a shot, someone saying ‘Allah Akbar’, and a thud,” he added.

After the blindfolds were removed, Samac was forced to kiss Vujicic’s severed head, he said.

“The head was mounted in the room we were staying in,” he added.

Former Bosnian Army Third Corps commander Sakib Mahmuljin is charged with failing to stop the volunteer fighters from the El Mujahideen unit committing war crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners of war in the village of Vozuca in 1995, or to punish them for what they did.

According to the charges, the Islamic volunteers killed more than 50 Serb prisoners in Vozuca. Some of their heads were cut off and shown to other captives.

The indictment alleges that Mahmuljin failed to take any action in order to prevent the crimes, although he had been informed that members of the unit were getting ready to commit the crime, and failed to do anything in order to punish the crime perpetrators.

Another former Bosnian Serb serviceman, Velibor Tesic, also testified at Wednesday’s hearing and said that he was taken captive and transferred to Livade and then to Gostovici.

He confirmed that El Mujahedeen fighters killed Vujicic and cut off his head.

The trial resumes on July 13.

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