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18 September 2014

Bosnian Serbs ‘Beaten, Starved’ in Hadzici Jail Camps

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Former prisoners said that Serbs held by Bosniak forces in detention centres in Hadzici near Sarajevo during wartime were beaten up and starved.
The statements from former prisoners which were read out in the Sarajevo court on Thursday detailed a series of abuses at the Bosniak-run detention camps in the Hadzici municipality near the capital in 1992.

A statement from Sreten Srdanovic, who died before the trial, said that he was detained at the 9th of May school building in Pazaric in June 1992 where prisoners were beaten up.

“The beatings in that detention camp were done exclusively by [a guard called] Ibro Jamakovic. The beating continued almost every day,” the witness said, adding that detainees were also tortured by being deprived of food.

Srdanovic said that he was transferred from the school building to the Krupa barracks and then to the Silos camp. He said that Serif Mesanovic, known as Sera, was the manager at Krupa, he did not allow guards, soldiers or other fighters to harm the detainees.

The prosecution charges Mesanovic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic and Nermin Kalember with crimes against Serb and Croat prisoners at the Silos detention camp, the Krupa barracks and the 9th of May school in Hadzici.

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 at the detention centre and also camp warden in the Krupa military barracks, Kalember was a guard, while the others worked for the civilian, military or police authorities.

A second deceased witness, Radivoje Golub, who was also detained at the 9th of May school building, said in another statement read to the court on Thursday that detainees were beaten and that they did not get enough food.

“During the course of that month [when he was detained there], we used to get one meal per day,” said Golub, who was also transferred to the Krupa barracks afterwards.

He said that Serif Mesanovic was the manager of Krupa and that he often visited the prisoners in his cell.

“He sometimes even brought guards with him and told them, in front of us, that they must not beat us, because he noticed that some of us had been beaten up,” the witness said.

The trial is due to continue on October 2.
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