Jezik / Language:
12 July 2013

Horrible Conditions in “Viktor Bubanj”

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Testifying at the trial for crimes in Sarajevo, a State Prosecution witness says that guards used to taken detainees out of the Central Prison at night and beat them up.
Witness Zdravko Grujic said that he was captured and brought to the Central Prison in Sarajevo in late May 1992. He was examined by a man named Ramiz.

“He was a younger person, black-haired, about 30 years old. He asked for my personal data. He did not do any harm to me. He treated me in a correct manner,” Grujic said.

He said that guards, who worked at the Central Prison, used to take prisoners out at night and beat them.

Grujic and other prisoners were transferred from the Central Prison to “Viktor Bubanj” military barracks.

“I was in cell number three. On average there were 13 or 14 of us in the cell. When we went to sleep, two of us had to stand, because there was not enough room for everybody to lie down,” the witness said, adding that prisoners did not dare complain about the bad conditions.

Grujic said that, while he was in the military barracks, he heard about Vintila, but he did not know him. He said that he stood trial while in the military barracks and that he was transferred to the Central Prison after the trial.

Ramiz Avdovic and Iulian-Nicolae Vintila, who are charged with having participated, as members of a joint criminal enterprise, in the establishment and maintenance of a system for abusing Serb civilians from late June to the end of November 1992, are on trial for having committed crimes in the Central Prison and former “Viktor Bubanj” military barracks .

The indictment alleges that Avdovic was Commander of Guards on the fifth floor of the District Prison in Sarajevo and former “Viktor Bubanj” military barracks, while Vintila was a cook and guard in the former barracks.

Second witness Savo Bendzo said that he was detained in “Viktor Bubanj” on July 23, 1992. As he said, after having been examined, he was taken to the Central Prison.

“I was taken from the Central Prison back to 'Viktor Bubanj' on August 1. I was placed in a prison cell. The conditions were horrible. I slept on concrete floor... Food was awful,” the witness said.

He pointed out that he stood trial in the former barracks in 1993.
The trial is due to continue on July 19.
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