Jezik / Language:
9 November 2011

Karadzic: Scared People

British journalist Ed Vulliamy says at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, that prisoners, whom he saw in “Omarska” detention camp in August 1992, looked “horrified”, describing prisoners, who were held in “Trnopolje” detention camp, “as skeletons”.
Vulliamy, former reporter with the “Guardian” daily newspaper from London, said that he was one of the first journalists, whom indictee Karadzic allowed to visit Omarska and Trnopolje detention camps, near Prijedor in August 1992.

“While we were in Omarska, we tried to speak to the scared and horrified people in the dining room, while food was distributed to them and guards rushed them...One of them told us that he did not want to lie, but he could not tell the truth,” Vulliamy said.

As he said, when he tried to get inside one of the hangars, where prisoners, mainly Bosniaks, were held, he was not allowed to do that. “Then they took us out. Guards got their guns ready for shooting. It was rather frightening. They took us to Trnopolje,” the witness said.

After having seen a recording of prisoners standing behind barbed wire in Trnopolje, Vulliamy confirmed that “prisoners were held in a space that was surrounded by barbed wire”.

“They were brought from other detention camps for the purpose of forcible resettlement,” the British journalist said.

Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska, is charged with crimes against Bosniaks and Croats in detention camps, near Prijedor in 1992. Karadzic is charged with genocide in Srebrenica, the persecution of the non-Serb population and terror against civilians in Sarajevo by conducting long-lasting shelling and sniping activities in the period from 1992 to 1995.

During the cross-examination Karadzic said that British journalists, and not Bosniak prisoners, were the ones standing behind barbed wire in Trnopolje, but Vulliamy denied his allegations.

“We were not standing inside the area, photographing and interviewing people, who were walking outside. I personally saw that those men were held behind the fence and that guards guarded them,” the witness said.

Karadzic said that, on the video recording taken in Trnopolje one could hear a cameraman say: “Give me the emaciated ones”. Vulliamy responded by saying that he saw several extremely skinny prisoners.

Responding Karadzic's suggestions, Vulliamy confirmed that he did not see any signs of violence in the detention camp, but he said that the prisoners, who were in a better physical condition, were brought in front of the British journalists in Omarska.

“You said that Omarska was the worst of those prisoners. I agree with you. Many misdeeds were committed in it,” the witness said, mentioning “mass murders, torture and rape”.

When Karadzic said that he was not neutral and that he was “anti-Serb” oriented, the witness said that he was “partial against extreme violence”. “Not against Serbs, but against the things, to which many Serbs objected, that were sometimes done in the name of Serbia,” Vulliamy said.

The trial of Karadzic is due to continue on Thursday, November 10, when a protected witness will testify at a closed session.
comments powered by Disqus