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18 July 2013
News

Cries, Noise and Screams in “Silos”

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A State Prosecution witness describes, while testifying at the trial for crimes in the Hadzici area, how a detainee hit him as per an order by unknown people in “Silos” detention camp.

Dragan Mutabdzija, who was brought to “Silos” in mid-May 1992, said that facility Manager Becir Hujic once told detainees that they would be visited by “a delegation”.
 
The witness said that some people came to “Silos” three days later and that “cries, noise and screams” were heard afterwards.

“A person, whom they called Major, threw a wooden plank into our room and ordered Vukasin to hit all those present with it. Two detainees had to box each other…They ordered me to take a part of the plank and hit one person. Then they threw a rubber stick and ordered Vukasin to hit me on my feet with it,” the witness said.

He explained that the Manager was not present on that occasion, but he came later and said that “not even he knew what was going to happen.”

Becir Hujic is charged, along with Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember, with crimes committed in the “9. maj” school building, the “Silos” detention camp and “Krupa” military barracks. The indictment alleges that Becir Hujic was Manager and Deputy Manager of the “Silos” detention camp, just like Halid Covic. Kalember was a guard in “Silos”, while the other indictees were members of civil, military and police authorities.

Mutabdzija told the Court that, during his stay in “Silos” he was taken out and beaten several times, adding that he received physical injuries due to the beating. He said that he once asked for medical assistance and that he received it.

“A guard escorted me to Covic. I think his first name is Halid. I heard that he was Deputy Manager. I asked him if I could get medical assistance. He sent me to a doctor,” Mutabdzija said.

Speaking about the conditions in “Silos”, he said that detainees did not have enough food. During his detention he was not taken to other locations to perform forced labour, but he said that he heard that other detainees were. He left “Silos” on November 2, 1992.

At the beginning of his testimony Mutabdzija said that he used to live in the Hadzici area until the beginning of the war. In March 1992 he went to “Krupa” military barracks and joined reserve forces of the Yugoslav National Army. He was captured in an attack on the military barracks.

The trial is due to continue on July 19.

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