RETURN TO UNCONQUERED BOSNIA HOMEPAGE
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Source: Serbian Unity Congress
Committee for the Collection of Data on
Crimes Committed against Humanity and
GENOCIDE OF THE SERBS IN MOSTAR
In his Sixth Periodic Report, Mr. Mazowiecki, special rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights, states:
"The number of Serbs, which before the war was 30,000, after the ethnic
cleansing of the Serbs in Mostar, fell to only 300."
1. A retired lady from Mostar 9/94, stated:
... On June 1, 1992, the Ustashi came to our flat in Mostar, beat me and my
husband, took away all valuables, gold, bracelets, chains, wedding rings,
watches, crystalware, expensive clothes. They took all this before our very
eyes. They repeatedly clobbered him with a stick and he fainted from the
blows. They also beat me. I had recently had surgery. I showed them my wound
but that did not help any, in fact they took the bandage from my wound and
stuffed it into my mouth trying to choke me. Then they put a knife to my
throat and cursed my Serb mother. This kind of torture went on until July
It was the worst on July 15. On that day they beat us the most and took away
everything from the flat - the household appliances, the cooking range, the
refrigerator, the TV set, the music deck and our two cars, one my husband's
and the other my son's. They forbade us to leave the flat and so we spent 15
On August 1, 1992, they took us to the camp at the Military Hospital where
they had set up a camp for Serbs. On that day they beat us and showered the
vilest abuse at us. In this camp they handed us over to Ivan Zelenika, an
inveterate criminal, who tortured all the Serbs in this camp. They stripped
me and my husband naked and pounded us with nightsticks. My husband's head
started bleeding. They took 700 DM from my husband. Two of them standing by
Ivan ordered me to take my wedding ring off and I did.
In this camp I shared a cell with 6 Serb women from Mostar whom I had not
known before. Here they also tortured us and threatened that we would be
taken to the camp at Ljubuski where they tortured inmates with gas and
electric shocks. From this place they took us to Grude where a notorious
camp for Serbs had been set up. There I saw people without eyes, with broken
arms, with cut off ears. They told us: Look at these people, this is the way
you will be treated also. One of them added that those were not people but
Serb dogs. As there was no place there they took us to the camp at Ljubuski.
There was no room there either. The exclusive inmates of this camp were
Serbs, whom they showed us. They had gaping wounds, burns, were without eyes
and were maimed.
2. In his statement the witness 91/94, a pensioner from Mostar, currently
residing in Belgrade, stated, inter alia:
... On July 9, 1992 a patrol of the Croatian military police led by Sergej
Belovic barged into my flat in Mostar on Ante Zuanica street. Immediately
they started beating me and my wife hitting us with their hands and kicking
us with their feet. They took us to the building of the former military
infirmary - the headquarters of the Military Police of the HOS (Croatian
Armed Forces) and separated us. They locked me up in a room in the cellar of
the same building. There they beat me for two days in a row because my sons,
who were in Belgrade then, were allegedly Chetniks. On the third day they
took me to Mario Milicevic, a high- ranking officer of the HOS. He said that
he would put me in the Dretelj camp which was like Aushwitz and that the
only way for us to be released was for our sons to pay them the sum of DM
35,000. He asked for the telephone number of my sons in Belgrade and I gave
it to them out of fear.
Several days later he informed me that he had reached agreement with my sons
and that he would hand us over to them at the Hungarian border.
On July 13, 1992, Mario Milicevic and Marko called "Zeljo" took us in a car,
via Split and Zagreb, to a spot at the Hungarian border near Koprivnica.
There they handed us eviction orders. We were handed over to our sons at the
Slovenian- Hungarian border, after they had given them DM 30,000. Later our
sons told us that over the telephone Milicevic had threatened to kill us
unless they gave them the money, so they agreed to this blackmail in fear
for our lives.
The witness states that things worth DM 50,000 remained in his flat in
Mostar which he had to leave forcibly. A garage worth DM 10,000 with a
"Lada- lux" automobile in it was also left behind.
3. The witness, file No. 92/94, stated, inter alia:
The witness lived in Mostar from 1963 working as a bookstore manager. After
the big explosion of a tank truck near the barracks on April 2,1992, which
caused vast casualties and damage to property, HVO (Croatian Defence
Council) military units began to be formed in Mostar. They began arresting
citizens of Serb nationality and taking them to "Celovina" prison on Santica
In May armed HOS units in black uniforms appeared. Members of these units
looted the apartments of Serbs and took Serb families to prison. Thus on
August 15, 1992 three uniformed HOS members fell upon the witness's flat. He
later learned that one of them was named Haris Fazlagic and one Sergej
Belovic. They demanded that all the gold, jewelry and money be put on the
table, so the witness and his wife brought all their valuables and put on
the table one watch worth DM 200, four or five lady's rings, several golden
bracelets, 1 gold chain and DM 200- 300. Belovic took it all.
The witness and his wife were taken to the former military infirmary and a
prison had been set up in the cellar of that building. Men were held in one
room and women in another. There he found some 20- 30 men. He was
immediately taken to the prison warden Ivo Zelenika for interrogation. The
latter wanted to know what property the witness possessed, so that he
concluded that the objective of the interrogation was for them to seize that
property. At a certain point Zelenika grabbed a saber and putting the blade
next to the witness's throat threatened to kill him unless he told them
where the money was. Already on the first day they beat him with clubs on
the body. After three days of interrogation he confessed to having another
DM 1,100 in the flat and told them where it was. He and the other inmates
were threatened that they would be surrendered over to the torturers
nicknamed "Crvenkapica" and "Luster". When they passed down the corridors
the guards kicked them with their feet in heavy army boots on the most
sensitive parts of the body. Handcuffed to each other in threes, and there
were nine of them, they were dumped into the cellar in which his wife also
was. He saw that she was severely bruised all over the body.
4. The witness 140/94- 5, in the minutes dated April 13, 1994, stated, inter
From April 1992 to May 18 of the same year the witness lived in the village
of Goranci. The morning of that day the village was surrounded by Croat and
Moslem troops who ordered the villagers out of their houses. He too was
taken out of his house and immediately tied to a post with his hands on his
back. Then they beat him with their hands and kicked him with their feet and
also pounded him with a metal rod on various parts of the body demanding
that he tell them where his son was. They took him and the other captured
villagers to the west camp in Mostar, to the cellar of a university
Describing the physical torture they were subjected to the witness stated:
"They took the prisoners one by one to a room and there they beat them on
the arms and legs with some metal objects which were the fragments of an
exploded mortar shell with sharp points. When they returned from such
interrogation the men were bloody, disfigured, they would faint and the
police poured water on them to make them come to. They beat me in the same
way when they took me out, telling me that I was a Chetnik; once they hit me
in the face so hard that they knocked out six of my upper front teeth. They
hit me in the back, legs and arms, they forced me to kneel during
interrogation holding my arms up. I fainted from the blows."
He further explained how after three days he was transferred to Celovina
prison where he remained for three months and where the physical torture
continued. In this prison were also Medan, a judge of the District Court in
Mostar, Dusan, a policeman, M.M. and S.I., who would be brought back from
interrogation all beaten up, smeared with blood all over and fainting. They
broke M.M.'s both arms and wounded him with a firearm in the leg, and S.I.
lost his mind on account of the beatings. They beat especially viciously the
captured YPA reservists. Thus they broke the legs and arms of V.T. from
Bijelo Polje near Mostar so that after the interrogation he could not move
at all. They would take out M., the brother of M.M., strip him naked, tie
his hands and beat him with every conceivable object they had. He would
afterwards be brought back to prison on a stretcher.
Through the prison window he could see the policemen taking out younger
women from the basement of the building whom then they stripped naked and
raped and then forced to promenade in front of them naked. Among these women
he recognized the wife of the former director of "Hepok- Komerc" who was
later killed together with her daughter.
In conclusion the witness stated that his house in his native village of
Goranci had been burned down and destroyed.
5. The witness 140/94- 6, in the minutes dated April 12, 1994 stated the
... Until the outbreak of war in 1992 I lived with my husband and two
children in Mostar, the settlement of Zeljusa. One day Moslem and Croat
troops fell upon the village. A man from our neighbourhood called Duka was
in his passenger car at that moment. I personally saw Croat and Moslem
soldiers set his car on fire. Duka clambered out of the car alone. I saw a
soldier walk up to him and slit his throat right there. Duka burned in the
car. On that occasion all Serb houses were set to fire and the Serb families
fled in the direction of Nevesinje.
... In the village I had a house 12 m. long and 10 m. wide, which was burned
6. The witness 221/94- 10, a retired professor, stated, inter alia:
... Before the outbreak of war I lived in Nevesinje. In March 1992 I joined
the YPA as a reserve corps officer and with my unit I went to the "North
camp" in Mostar. On April 3, 1992, HOS members blew up the barracks in
Mostar and the armed conflicts began then.
... On June 16, 1992 I myself, Branko Glavan, deputy commander of the Mostar
security brigade, Novica Johlija, Velimir Avdalovic and tze private Mladen
Soldo set out for negotiations with members of the HOS and Moslem forces.
Before we reached the place where the negotiations were to be held we were
captured by the very same people who had invited us to negotiate and taken
to the store in Svinjarine. There we found an active YPA captain, a reserve
YPA major and a group of 26 soldiers. During the night they started to
insult us, to threaten that they would kill us, slit our throats, and they
hit some of the men in the process. I remember well that the owner of the
store in which we were, a large and fat man, kicked the captain in the face
with all his might, drawing blood from his mouth. They particularly
maltreated a woman from Mostar captured together with the group of soldiers.
... Around dawn HOS members came and took us over. They tied us and put us
aboard a truck and took us to the auditorium of the Faculty of Mechanical
Engineering in Mostar. A lieutenant colonel of the YPA joined us here. When
they took us in, there were about 200 uniformed HOS members sitting at the
students' desks. They stripped us stark naked, they forced us to raise our
right arms, to salute "Ready for the Fatherland" and to sing Croat and
Moslem songs they told us to sing. There they beat us with sticks, rubber
hammers, kicked us with their booted feet and pounded us with their fists on
all parts of the body. They brought grass and forced us to eat it. Then they
forced the soldiers captured together with us to have sexual intercourse
with one another. Anyone refusing to do so would be beaten until he did it.
They forced me to suck the captain's penis in front of everybody. He grabbed
me by the hair, threw me on the floor and kicked me fiercely in the ribs.
The major had to do this to the lieutenant colonel and the lieutenant
colonel had to the same to the YPA major. This torture lasted for a full
three hours, and from the thrashing I received my back and right arm were
totally black, and everybody else was just as badly beaten up.
... They took turns torturing us. In one of the groups I recognized Cazim
Maslo from Nevesinje, about 26 years old, and he ordered us to raise our
arms and sing Moslem songs.
... From there we were all transferred to Celovina prison. Here they placed
each of the officers in a separate cell. That first night I could hear the
horrendous cries and screams of people being beaten up.
... In the morning they tied us officers, dumped us into the boot of some
van and drove us to the tobacco station in Metkovic where they put us in a
room three stories below ground level, airtight, and serving as an atomic
shelter. There we spent 7 days. The room was 2 x 1.5 m and under 2 m. high
and airtight so that we suffocated. In the mornings when the door opened we
would be half dead for lack of oxygen. In the day civilians would come to
the hall above our rooms, as a rule drunken people who wanted to take it out
on us for one reason or another and the guards let them hit us and beat us
... I remember well how Miro Mesar from Metkovic once came and took out a
knife to slaughter us, but the guards prevented him and sent him away.
... I do not know the names of the guards and the other prison staff. I
remember one who was nicknamed "Bili", blond, of medium height, bony, who
beat us the worst.
... A woman from Mostar was singled out from the group on the old bridge in
Mostar and, as I learned later, taken to some private flat where she was
gang- raped. She was later exchanged.
7. The witness 273/94 stated, inter alia:
... I was arrested on August 18, 1992 in Mostar by three HOS members led by
Sergej Belovic. The moment they barged into my flat they started beating me,
demanding gold and foreign currency, and after they gave me a vicious
thrashing they searched the flat, chose what they liked, wrapped it up in a
parcel 15 kilograms in weight and had me carry it. They took me to prison
set up in the former military infirmary where I was from August 18 - 25,
1992, locked up in a room serving as a torture chamber for Serbs which they
called "Little Serbia". They beat me with whatever was at hand, e.g. wooden
sticks, and kicked me with their booted feet. They beat me for a solid five
hours and I was dazed. They demanded that I tell them where I had hidden my
gold and foreign currency which they failed to find in my flat.
... In the room called "Little Serbia" there were at the time two brothers,
the son of one of them, and a number of other persons of Serb nationality
from Mostar and the vicinity (whose names the witness states).
In the room across Serb women were locked up.
During the week I spent at this prison I was beaten up every night. They
beat me all over the body. They broke several of my ribs. I was all black
and blue, I could not raise my arms at all and I could not walk. They called
me "the rubber Serb" because I had taken all that beating.
Screams could be heard every night coming from the room in which the women
The following beat us the most:
1. Vinko Martinovic, called "Stela",
2. Sead Kapetanovic, who they said was the chief of police,
3. Ivan Zelenika, prison warden,
4. Boris, a Croat, called "Sova", who took the lead in night beatings,
5. Dugalic, called "Luster", a greengrocer,
6. Mesuta Comic, called "Mensa",
7. Comic' s son, about 20 years old
In Mostar I had a flat and possessions in it worth DM 250,000, which was all
looted. I had also a collection of leather goods of the company for which I
worked as a traveling salesman in the value of DM 20,000 and silk samples
worth DM 5,000.
8. The witness 295/94- 2, stated on July 8,1994, inter alia:
... On July 7, 1992 he was taken to the Faculty of Economics in Mostar where
they interrogated him and then put him in prison on Alekse Santica street,
where there already were some 20 Serbs, mainly civilians. In prison they
were often maltreated by various individuals who kicked them and hit them as
they were doing hard physical work. The warden of this prison was Pero
Nikolic, who before that had been the director of the enterprise "Parkovi"
in Mostar. One of the commanders of the prison was Ante Peko, previously a
market inspector. The witness was in this prison for about two months and
was then transferred to the prison in Rodoc where he stayed until October
31, 1992 when he was exchanged with a group of prisoners and left Mostar. At
Rodoc prison the prisoners were physically maltreated the most by a man
named Ivo from Krusevo who had previously worked for the "Hercegovina"
enterprise in Mostar. His wife told him that while he had been in prison
their neighbour Slobo Ivanisevic had been taken away by Huso Begovic and
Azis Belja and killed on Bijeli Breg.
9. The witness 295/94 stated the following, inter alia:
... On May 25, 1992 I was arrested by HVO members in front of the house in
which I lived in Mostar and I was taken to the Faculty of Law. Among the
people present there I recognized Luka Sunjic, Marko Leko, Nijaz Salcine,
Babic whose first name I cannot remember, and Pusic, commander of the HVO
police. Pusic interrogated me and asked me why, being a Serb, I had remained
on the right bank of the Neretva and whether I knew that "Chetniks" could
not stay there for they would be destroyed and liquidated. They asked me
what my place of birth was. Then Pusic told his men to take me to see my
people from Bogodol, and they took me down to a cellar room where I saw 35
or 36 people from my town, all of them tied with a single length of wire.
Blood covered their faces and clothes. Then they took me back to the
interrogation room. Pusic ordered them to handcuff me and to take me to
another room in the cellar where they sat me on a chair and several of them
started beating me with a crowbar, a stick and a thick copper cable 1 metre
long. When I fainted and fell off the chair they splashed me with cold water
till I came to and then started all over again. This torture lasted for 24
hours with only short breaks.
... The next day they took me to Celovina prison the commander of which was
Ante Peko and the warden Pero Nikolic. They put me in solitary confinement
and handcuffed me at night. They threatened me every day, they swore at me
cursing my Chetnik mother, saying that 1992 would be a much worse year for
the Serbs than 1941 had been.
... Seven days after that they returned me to the Military Police building
where I was maltreated again. When four military police came to my solitary
cell I was sure that they were going to take me out and kill me and I
resisted. Later nine of them came, armed and as I did not want to go with
them they fired shots at the ceiling and then at me, wounding me in the
right shoulder and left leg. On account of heavy bleeding I lost
consciousness and when I came to I was still in the military police
building. There I recognized members of the police Babic, Luka Sunjic and
Jura. They started to beat me with a copper cable while I was handcuffed.
They hit me mostly on the arms with this cable and broke them above both
wrists. I fainted from the pain. When I regained consciousness I was smeared
The next day the doctor established fractures on both arms. They took me to
"Celovina" prison again and kept me in solitary confinement there for a full
90 days. The prison doctor came to see me every two or three days and he
established that 6 of my ribs were broken, the back of my skull injured and
both my arms fractured.
... While I was in prison my wife and my two minor children were in our
apartment in Mostar, practically in house detention, they were not allowed,
in fact they were prohibited to leave the flat. During that period HVO and
HOS members came to the flat 6 times and searched it and took away our
valuables, e.g. the TV set, the VCR, the tape recorder, gold jewelry and
money and ripped gold chains off my children's necks.
... Apart from military police members, the prisoners were also maltreated
by the security staff in prison Ivan Skender, Jure Skender, Helmut Puce,
Ante Peko, Nikola Puce, Ante Bukovac and others.
10. The witness 295/94- 9, stated, inter alia:
... I was born in the village of Bogodol, the local community of Goranci,
the commune of Mostar where I lived until the outbreak of this war. There
were about 40 Serb households in the entire community.
... In World War II, more precisely on St. Vitus' Day, June 28, 1941, 90
villagers were taken to Listica and put in the school. Four women went after
them to carry them food. However, these four women and 6 of the 90 men were
killed in Gradac near Listica. These four women and six men were killed by
the local Ustashi. The remaining 84 were saved by the local friar named
Damnjan. After that all the Serbs from our village were called to come to
Goranci to receive the Catholic faith. Many did not respond to this call.
According to my mother, during mass at the church in Goranci the Ustashi
came and took away 45 Serbs and no one knows to this day where they were
... On April 3 or 4, 1992 a tank truck exploded in Mostar demolishing the
YPA barracks. Tensions began to mount in the village, but no one touched us
until April 18, 1992. Around 4 a.m. 6 armed Ustashi entered my house and
they took me to Mostar to the former "West Camp" barracks. They took me to
the HVO headquarters there, the commander of the Military Police of which
was a man named Dzida. He ordered them to take me down into the cellar,
where I found another 20 men from my village, all of them beaten up and
covered with blood. Then one Ustashi asked who had organized the arming of
the village and they said that it had been me. They immediately took me to
an upper floor where there were 5 or six men, Dzida among them, who fell
upon me and beat me so hard that I was bruised all over. They returned me to
the cellar and there they beat us incessantly for three days and three
nights, all on the orders of this Dzida chap. After that we were all taken
to Central Prison in Mostar on Alekse Santica street.
... In addition to myself, another 18 villagers from Bogodol were taken to
prison. Here they beat me and a neighbour of mine particularly viciously. We
were beaten the most by Dzido, Nikola Puce and one Viktor. The warden of
this prison was Pero Nikolic, called "Pepa", and his deputy was Ante Peko.
Ten days after our arrival to Central Prison another group of 10 Serbs was
brought to it.
... Once they took me and another two Serbs to the airport where they beat
us so hard that they broke the arm of one man. One member of the IV
battalion from Krusevo hit him with a metal rod.
... I remained in Mostar prison until October 30, 1992. There was an
exchange before that, on August 3, 1992. All the Serbs in the village of
Bogodol were told to assemble by the church and to take their personal
belongings with them. They were transferred by bus to the military camp in
Mostar where 6 adult men and one girl were kept in prison. The others were
taken by bus to the front line towards Nevesinje, given white flags and they
crossed over to Serb territory. Thus the village of Bogodol remained without
a single Serb - Serbs were simply banished from this village.
... We would be taken in groups of twenty to work in the Serb village of
Rastane which had been evicted. There we removed roof tiles, dismantled the
roof structure and stripped the joinery from Serb houses and all that would
be taken to Citluk, Listica, Mostar and other places.
... I know women who have been raped. Many women in the prison, from Mostar
and the surrounding villages, had been raped, but dared not say so.
... In the second half of September 1992, Jure Sunjic, Dzevad Babic and
Skender Puce of the Military Police came and asked for 10 labourers. Without
telling us where they were taking us they took me and another four Serbs to
the Military Police at the university, in the compound of which a shell had
fallen before that killing two Croat soldiers. There were speculations as to
who had fired the shell, that it had been the Serbs was a variant, but there
were also some who claimed that the Croats had fired it themselves. They
ordered us to collect the dismembered body parts. When we started to do it,
the 50 or 60 soldiers present at the scene started pounding us viciously
with wooden sticks and rifle butts, breaking the arm of one Serb and beating
me unconscious. They took me unconscious to the camp where the then deputy
warden Ante Peko did not allow me to be given medical assistance. The next
morning, when I came to, my head was so swollen that I could not recognize
... The chief of the military police was Zeljko Dzidic from Cim, a suburb of
Mostar. He himself beat and tortured people. He was an ardent Ustashi and
whatever went on was on his orders, with his approval and knowledge. In
addition to him, Zoran Martinovic was a particularly cruel torturer.
11. The witness 295/94- 14 stated:
Before the conflict broke out the witness lived at Goranci. Together with
his father he was deprived of freedom as a civilian on May 18, 1992 by the
HVO and taken to Mostar. On that occasion they rounded up all men above the
age of 18, without giving any reasons.
While they were still in the village they beat them with sticks and rifle
butts. They put them in the cellars of the faculty building under Bijeli
Breg where they spent three days. There were other prisoners there from
other villages but exclusively Serbs. They beat them without any
explanation. Elderly people, women and children had all been banished from
Bogodol and Goranci so that these villages remained completely deserted.
12. The witness 473/94- 31, in the minutes dated September 30,1994, stated,
When armed conflicts broke out the witness and her husband and daughter
remained in Mostar, as their Croat an Moslem neighbours had guaranteed them
However, at night on July 10,1992, she was arrested with her husband and
taken to HOS headquarters in Mostar and interrogated by Ivo Zelenika. During
the interrogation he hit her twice on the back with a stick. He accused her
of having a Chetnik for a brother. They spent three days in HOS prison.
There were 16 women of Serb nationality in a small room. She remembers the
name of some of the imprisoned women. The prison commander was Vinko
Martinovic, called "Stela".
13. The witness 440/94- 41 stated the following:
Until the outbreak of war the witness lived with his wife and daughter in
Mostar - until August 1, 1992. Tensions were mounting and there were
manifestations of hatred, especially on the part of Moslems towards the
Serbs, who kept saying that the Serbs should be banished and driven across
the Drina river. He says:
"When the tank truck was blown up in front of the YPA barracks, large- scale
arrests of Serbs in Mostar began, with the arrests being made by Croat HVO
units and the Moslem "Green Berets". I was arrested on June 15 or 16, 1992
by HVO soldiers and taken to the cellar of the Faculty of Law in Mostar. In
making the arrest the HVO soldiers tied me up and then hit me and kicked me
and lashed me with some rubber covered cables. They hit me in various parts
of the body, especially in the chest. They punched me with their fists and
kicked me with their feet in the head so that my face swelled up so much
that I could not see at all. In the premises of the Faculty of Law they
handcuffed me and then suspended me on come central heating pipes and I
spent the whole night suspended in that position. The other detainees were
strung up in the same way.
... I saw a young man whose both hands were broken and hung limply over the
handcuffs that he was shackled with. There were about 30 people in the other
rooms, all Serbs. They beat me as well as the others as we hung there, with
rubber cables 60- 70 cm. long. We hung like that all night and the next
morning they took us for interrogation. After the interrogation I was
returned to the cellar and spent another 2 days there. While we were in that
room HVO soldiers came and hit me and kicked me and lashed me with a rubber
cable. They broke my right collarbone and knocked out four of my upper
... In September 1992 I went to Hodbina to help in the transport of hay. In
a house I saw three bodies, two women and a man, which were decaying. I
don't know who these people were but I know that they were Serbs because it
was a Serb settlement. In the same village, in front of the house of the
Serb family Glavas I saw the bodies of a mother and her two daughters which
had been cut up and massacred. I learned from the Croats from that village
that these women had first been raped and then killed and massacred by the
Moslem family Demirovic. The Croats told me that in July Martin Boskovic
from the settlement of Buna had thrown Stana Knezevic, a Serb woman from
Hodbina, into the fire alive and that on the same day he had set fire to
about ten Serb houses. Martin Boskovic is a member of Paraga's party. The
HVO arrested him on several occasions but he is still at Buna.
14. The witness 445/94- 4 literally stated the following:
... I was arrested in Mostar on August 2, 1992 and together with my wife
taken to prison in the former military infirmary. They took me to the prison
warden Ivo Zelenika, who immediately started shouting at me and hitting me.
He asked me to tell him where my children were. In vain, I tried to explain
to him that I had no children at all and that he could check that, but he
would not listen to me and kept beating me. Then they took me to another
room and continued to pound me there with nightsticks and to kick me with
their booted feet in the back and I screamed in pain. A guard beat me there.
Then Zelenika came carrying a syringe filled with some liquid. He started
threatening me that he would stick the syringe into my eyes and in the end
squirted the liquid from it in my face. Then they beat me again and
handcuffed me to a man named Kovacevic."
15. The witness 445/95- 5, stated, inter alia:
On May 8, 1992 his flat in Mostar was searched. HVO members forbade him to
leave the house until further notice and ordered him to answer their
telephone calls. This situation lasted until July 5, 1992 when a patrol came
and searched the flat again, took all valuables, and took the witness to the
military infirmary which had been turned into a prison which was run by one
As regards the torture he was subjected to in prison the witness concretely
... They fell upon me the moment they took me in, right there on the stairs.
Two girls beat me especially hard, and then I was beaten in a room by about
ten of them, all wearing black uniforms. Thereafter they took me to a cellar
where there were about 10 imprisoned Serbs. There they beat us too. They
would come in, give you a beating, take you out into the corridor, beat you
16. The witness 445/94- 9 stated:
... On August 2, 1992, the day when they set fire to the church in Mostar,
they arrested me and my husband on Krpica street in Mostar. Four of them
with black bands on their heads and wearing black came. They seized all our
valuables - all our gold worth DM 6,000, DM 2,800 in cash and they took our
car keys. Right there in the flat they started hitting us with sticks on the
... They took us to prison in the military infirmary and to the warden,
Zelenika, who attacked me immediately saying that I was a "Chetnik harlot"
and started hitting me. He ordered me to take off my two golden wedding
rings. He clobbered me on the head with a nightstick and I fell. He told me
that I would not get out of Mostar alive. I spent only one night in that
prison and then they took me to a camp.
17. The witness 445/94- 11, inter alia, stated the following:
... I lived in Mostar since 1960. On April 13,1992 I tried to get out of the
city, but I was prevented from doing so and returned home. Two days later
some men in uniform came and ransacked the flat.
Describing his arrest and the physical torture he had been subjected to in
prison the witness concretely said:
... On May 18, 1992, they took me from my flat and to their Command at the
foot of Bijeli Brijeg. It was a large ground floor building. As soon as they
took me in they seized my house and car keys.
Three or four rooms in this building served as a prison. There they beat me
viciously. On May 19, after having been beaten with a rifle I fainted and
regained consciousness only the next day.
I was transferred to hospital in Mostar, the surgery ward. I had a triple
fracture of the lower left leg, injuries to my right eye and two broken
ribs. When I was discharged from hospital on June 9,1992 they transferred me
to Celovina prison.
In the prison at Bijeli Brijeg I was beaten by Hasan Dilic, around 25 years
old and a Moslem by the surname Trnavac, whose first name I don't know.
There were two brothers and the younger one beat me. They lived by the
tobacco factory and were employed with the "Hercegovina" company.
... At Celovina prison Ante Peko, an "HVO HQ officer" and Nikola Puljic
ruled the roost.
18. The witness 445/94- 14 described in the first part of his statement the
political circumstances prevailing in Mostar before the outbreak of the
conflict and up to the time of his arrest.
He was employed with the police station in Mostar.
At the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990 inter- ethnic tensions began
clearly to mount. Emigres known to be members of the Ustashi movement
flocked in from abroad. People were removed from various positions and
persons of Croat nationality were appointed to the majority of important
posts. Earlier the Croats had set up a training centre on the island of Pag
where they prepared personnel not only for police work but also for all
other state administration agencies.
In January 1992 they started blowing up Serb- owned businesses. They blew up
the cafes of Milan Kovacevic, Jovan Kukavac and of many others.
On April 3 or 4, 1992, a tank truck full of explosives was placed in front
of the "North Camp" barracks and remotely activated. The blast demolished
the barracks and all the buildings in the settlement of Zaluk. One soldier
and three civilians were killed. Immediately afterwards, on April 6, Croats
started shelling the barracks and the entire neighbourhood from artillery
from the area of Listica, having previously evicted all Croats from the
This operation was organized by Dragan Nikolic, until then a crime
technician in the Secretariat of the Interior of Mostar and his brother
Pero, director of the "Plastika" enterprise in Mostar. Also participating
were Miro Krtalic, a trucker from Mostar, Branko Jedvaj, a driver at
"Autoprevoz" and others. The tank truck filled with explosives was the
property of the "Novogradnja" enterprise from Listica.
When the army withdrew, the persecution of the Serbs began. They were mostly
arrested by Croats, some were killed, and the Moslems played a secondary
role in all that.
In connection with his arrest, the treatment of prisoners, the physical and
mental torture they were subjected to, the persons who took the lead in
torturing and inhumanely treating prisoners, the witness stated the
... I was arrested on May 4, 1992 and tied and taken to the building of the
Faculty of Economics. They asked me to work for their police, which I
refused. The chief of their police was Stipe Petrovic, formerly a traffic
policeman. Then there were Andjelko Lakic, Josip Marcinko, Marko Buhac,
Ilija Pervan, Jure Kraljevic from the vicinity of Imotsko, and others.
As of May 14,1992 I was at Celovina, held in the District Prison building. I
would occasionally be taken and spent some time in prisons in Listica,
Duvno, Grude, Ljubusko and "Lora" in Split.
People were taken to do hard labour from this prison and many of them would
be beaten while working because the guards allowed their soldiers to beat
the prisoners. Every day men totally black and blue from the beating
returned from work.
I remember well how once they beat up Slavko Milosevic viciously, then
poured oil on him and set him on fire.
Until July 5,1992 they often interrogated me, punching me with their fists,
kicking me with boots and hitting me with baseball bats all the while and I
often fell down. The first time they took me out of prison they blindfolded
me and took me to Listica. On the way they stopped the vehicle every now and
then and showed me to the public as a Chetnik duke. The people would spit on
me, insult me and hit me. I could not see a thing because I was blindfolded.
In Listica they locked me up in a room at the police station and took the
blindfold off. A Squipetar who had been told that I had been in Pristina and
that I had beaten and maltreated Squipetars presently came into the room. He
beat me with a cable thicker than a police rubber club. He hit me on the
head and all over the body.
I fainted from the blows and when I came to I saw that I was lying on a
large table in the cellar of the police station. A doctor and a lady doctor,
allegedly from Germany, were standing by the table and they gave me
injections in both shoulders and the pain soon abated. I have visible scars
to remind me of this beating. The man who beat me was about 30 years old and
about 180 cm. tall. I found out that he had an ice- cream parlor in Split
and that he was the bodyguard of Ivica Pusic - the man in charge of the HVO
police for western Herzegovina. Ivica Pusic was the chief instructor for the
training of policemen on the island of Pag. He was strabismic in the right
eye. He interrogated me in the building of the former Communal Committee.
During the interrogation he called in two or three persons every now and
then who mercilessly beat me and trampled me underfoot as I lay crumpled on
In addition to the beating, he forced me to swallow lit cigarettes. And even
more terrible than this was when Ivica tied my bare feet and hands to some
chairs and lashed my upturned palms and the soles of my feet viciously with
a cable. The soles of my feet were swollen so badly that I could not stand.
During these interrogations Ivica and his helpers would handcuff me to a
central heating installation pipe under the ceiling. There were two pipes
running parallel and he would handcuff each of my wrists to one of the pipes
and I hung there crucified thus. Before that he would strip me naked and
suspend some iron object from my penis; the object forked out two ways at an
angle of 90 degrees and kept my legs spread apart and its weight pulled me
downwards. Every move caused me excruciating pain in the genitals and
stomach. I would be suspended thus for three to four hours and he would come
later and interrogate me again.
My left shoulder was dislocated because of the weight of my body as I hung
there, and I cannot move it normally to this day. In this period also Ivica
in person sent me flying into a corner with a classic karate chop, turning
and kicking me with his foot in the chest twice and breaking my ribs.
The deformation in my chest is still clearly visible and also the scars on
my left arm above the elbow. The middle finger of my left hand, its first
phalanx was broken.
Ivica and his team knocked out all of my upper teeth with their blows and of
others only fragments were left and I had to have them extracted later, and
am now wearing a denture. They knocked out four teeth in the left side of my
lower jaw, and the entire lower jaw shifted rightward in relation to the
upper one so that I could not close my mouth properly and even today I am
unable to articulate a number of words.
They took me to Duvno to a room where they showed me 9 disfigured people.
They were all wearing military uniforms, they were bloody, their faces
deformed. They were maimed to such an extent that their arms and legs could
not be made out, as if they were not human beings at all. They told me that
they were all YPA officers. They demanded from me to see whether I knew
anyone of them. I could not recognize any of them and I told them so.
I saw many incarcerated Serbs in this building in Duvno, which, judging by
the desks was a school, and I realized that they were being beaten for I
could hear them screaming and crying out in pain all the time.
The next day they took me to the "Lora" military prison in Split where they
interrogated me; they also interrogated me in Mostar, in the wine cellar at
Ljubuski and then I was returned to prison in Mostar.
In the beginning of August, as I was cleaning the prison cells, they brought
a young man, cut off both his ears before my very eyes and then viciously
kicked him and pounded him with baseball bats and smashed in his skull
spilling his brains. They trampled on him for at least half an hour more as
he lay there, already dead. The lad was killed by members of their police
wearing uniforms, and the surname of one of them was Krtalic, from Dracevica
near Mostar.I do not know his name, he was about 25 years old, of medium
height, well built. I remember him well because he always brought a dog, an
Alsatian to the prison.
Many times when I went cleaning the cells I found dead bodies and the fresh
blood in the cells indicated that it had happened overnight.
When I was released from prison, people by the surname of Ljepava from
Trebinje came to visit me and showed me the picture of their son, a lad
about twenty, who they knew had been in Celovina prison and they asked me if
I knew anything about him. I believe that the youth who had been killed
before my very eyes could have been their son.
In my estimate there could have been some 650 Serbs incarcerated at
Celovina. There were also women there.
After the ordeal that I have gone through my physical and mental health is
gravely impaired. I lost over 30 kilograms in weight in prison. I also got
When I was in Celovina they took me to watch the demolishing of the Serbian
Orthodox Church at Bjelusine near Mostar.
19. The witness 445/94- 16, stated:
Before the outbreak of war she lived in Mostar with her husband.
"On May 9, 1992 members of the Moslem TD and Hilmo Salcin, the brother of
Jasmin Jaganjac named Sacir I believe, and another one whom I did not know
came to our flat. They demanded that we give them our new "Golf" car which
was in the yard. My husband would not give it to them." Fearing retaliation,
the witness took the keys and gave them to Hilmo Salcin.
On the same day three HVO policemen came, ransacked her flat and took away
her husband, and shortly thereafter they took her herself to the Faculty of
Law for interrogation. There she saw her husband all beaten up and with
bruises on his face. There Zeljko Dzidic attacked her verbally calling her a
"Chetnik harlot" but he let her go home. The next morning Senad Tufek,
formerly a taxi driver, and a member of the 16th Croat battalion from
Imotski at the time, came to her flat and informed her that the Ustashi from
Cim were demanding DM 100,000 in exchange for her husband's life. They
repeated this demand the next day promising that her husband would be set
free. She agreed to collect some marks and gold and for them to come one
night to get it and afterwards fulfil their promise.
In the night of May 18,1992 Tufek and Drazen, the driver of Jasmin Jaganjac,
came in two cars. They demanded that she take along the money and gold and
told her that her husband would join them on the way and that they both
would be taken to Zenica. She took with her DM 50,000 and a kilogram of
various gold jewelry. Near Imotski they took the road turn to Split and left
her there with her mother and children.
They took the money and the gold and they went back.
20. The witness 445/94- 18 stated:
"Before the outbreak of inter- ethnic clashes I worked at the Hydroelectric
Power Plant in Mostar.
I was captured on June 16,1992 in the capacity of officer of the reserve
corps, in Podvelezje near Mostar.
They took me to the store in the village of Svinjarine, Podvelezje. There I
found other prisoners. There were 18 soldiers and a girl among them. We
spent one night there. They called us names and threatened that they would
torture and kill us all.
From that place they took us to Mostar, to the former "West Camp" to the
Faculty of Economics. They led us into the auditorium where an HOS police
battalion was stationed. They ordered us to strip stark naked and then the
physical maltreatment began.
First they had us raise our hands and salute "Ready for the Fatherland".
Then they beat us with nightsticks, wooden bats, a large rubber hammer the
kind of which I then saw for the first time in my life. We had to place our
hands on the desks and they hit us on the hands and fingers with sticks.
Then they broke some bottles on the floor and forced us to walk on the
broken glass barefoot until our feet bled. They brought in grass, strewed it
on the floor and forced us to eat it making sure that we swallowed it. This
barbaric orgy lasted some four to five hours. I was taken back to Celovina
I do not know who our torturers in the auditorium were. They were all young
and wore uniforms. I only know Bert Pusic who took me out and to Celovina
prison. He did not take part in the torturing.
In Celovina I was interrogated by "Pepa" Nikolic, previously employed with
the Secretariat of the Interior in Mostar. His brother Pero Nikolic was the
prison warden at the time. From there, together with other prisoners I was
taken to the camp set up in the shelter of the Tobacco Station in Metkovic.
21. The witness 445/94- 29, inter alia, stated the following:
... Before armed conflicts broke out in Mostar divisions on national grounds
were already in evidence. Provocations of Serbs by Croats and Moslems
started. Little by little the Croats established their police force and then
direct persecutions of individuals began. At the time I was the director of
a branch office of the Health Insurance Administration.
On April 25,1992 I stopped going to work because my theretofore deputy Zoran
Kazazic, a Moslem, had been appointed to my post. Replacing Serbs and
appointing Moslems and Croats to their positions had already become large-
scale practice and in fact many Serbs were dismissed from their workplaces
HOS members repeatedly raided my flat which was near their command, searched
it and took away valuables. Later, when I was in prison, a Croat family
moved into my flat. While I was still free they interrogated me at the
police station twice.
On July 28,1992, together with about 40 other men they took me to the
auditorium of the Faculty of Economics where the HQ of the HVO police was.
They brought our wives there too. They separated those who were in mixed
marriages and let them go and to us they delivered lectures about the
history of the HVO and the Independent State of Croatia.
Four days later we were transferred to Celovina prison. I was put in a cell
with another 10 prisoners.
A group of us prisoners was assigned to dismantle the roofs of Serb houses
in the village of Rastani, the houses of Serb families which had been
expelled from the village. In several days we completely dismantled five or
six houses. The building material was hauled away by lorries, to, as I found
out later, the villages of Krusevo and Dracevine, both Croat villages.
While I was in prison we were subjected to mental torture all the time and
maltreated, insulted and called all sorts of names.
Every day I could hear people screaming as they were being beaten up in the
rooms above us, as well as the screams of the wretched people being tortured
in the cellar.
Of the prison staff I know the warden Pero Nikolic, who used to be the
director of "Plastika" in Mostar and Anto Peko, one of the administrators.
In Mostar I had a fully furnished flat and I also had a house in Malo Polje
near Buna which was set to fire.
My stay in prison seriously impaired my health, especially my mental health
on account of the maltreatment I was subjected to, and in that short time I
lost 20 kilograms.
22. The witness 445/94- 30, stated:
... After April 4, 1992, when the tank truck exploded in front of the YPA
"North Camp" barracks, they raided my flat on Omladinska street in Mostar
every day, they searched it and took things away - clothing, the VCR, a
colour TV, the music deck and other things of value. They were HOS members.
On May 29, 1992 HVO police arrested me and took me to their headquarters at
Celovina. Nikola Puce, then the prison warden, talked to me then. He asked
that I join the Croat army, which I refused. They put me in solitary
confinement right away and held me there for 7 days. Afterwards they
transferred me to a room in which was one Serb from Bogodol, another 10
Serbs from Mostar and some others. They started taking us out to do hard
They took us to the front line at Podvelezje where we dug trenches and
fortified bunkers in the midst of fighting.
They physically maltreated and beat us as we worked. The following HVO
members beat us: Buhovac from Jasenica, around 30 years old, three or four
members of the family Kordic from Sretnice near Mostar, whose first names I
do not remember. They were prison guards. Other soldiers also came. The
guards presented us as dangerous Chetniks to them and they beat us too. They
would hit as with a hose on the naked body seeking to make bruises in the
form of a cross. One day one of them who they called "Mad Max", about 40
years old, from Listica, made exactly 67 such crosses on me. I had blood
swellings on all those places, my skin burst and I bled.
Immediately after that they forced me to lie down and to put my head in some
dirty water into which they had urinated, which I had seen them do with my
own eyes, and then they trampled on my back and neck with their boots.I
suffocated for lack of air and I opened my mouth and that dirty water came
into my mouth and I had to swallow it.
After that I had to kneel on some gravel while two of them jumped on my back
and two others punched me with their fists on the head. After that they
forced me to stand in the sun with my arms raised and it was 40 degrees
Centigrade outside. Blood streamed down my face but I dared not wipe it off.
I stood thus for around 2 hours.
Then they ordered me to lie down and poured oil on me and repeatedly brought
a lighter close to me as if to set me on fire so that I was terrified and
waited to become a living torch and burn to death any minute.
Then they started hitting me with a hoe handle on the shoulders and back
until the handle broke from the blows. This lasted for about two and a half
hours and after all this I had to work.
In the days that followed they also insulted us and maltreated us every day
as we worked. They placed pistol barrels in our mouths threatening to kill
During my time in prison my physical and mental health was gravely impaired.
I lost 35 kilograms in prison.
23. The witness 445/94- 31 stated:
... I was arrested on May 6, 1992 in my cafe in Mostar by six armed persons
wearing black uniforms. They put me in a van and took me to the Faculty of
Economics in Mostar. Zeljko Dzidic, formerly a driver at the "Vodovod"
(Water Supply Administration) was there. He was the chief of the HVO
military police in Mostar then. There were also Stipo Petrovic, an ex-
policeman, then Zeljko Dzidic's deputy, Dragan Barbaric, who initially was
the warden of Celovina prison and was later transferred to HVO headquarters
as a jurist, Branko Conkic- Marinovic, born in 1960 in Ilici - Mostar,
Habibija whose first name I do not know, who lived at Zalik near the railway
station, Irenko Coric, who lived at No. 38 Rudarska street in Mostar, and
Mate Ancic, a neighbour of mine and a known criminal from Mostar born in
1958, Ivan Marincic, born in 1959 in Mostar, who, as I heard later was
killed, and Predrag Maric, born in 1957 in Mostar. There were other persons
there also whom I did not know.
The moment I entered the room and sat down in a chair they handcuffed my
left arm to a radiator pipe. Dzidic interrogated me and was generally in
charge. Right away they started hitting me with rifle butts, punching me,
kicking me, burning my beard and this lasted for a full three hours. I
fainted a number of times. They broke my nose, loosened three of my upper
teeth, broke both of my supraorbital arches and pierced my ears. Zeljko
Dzidic and Conkic- Marinovic beat us the most.
After this torture they transferred me to the newly- set up prison at
Celovina. There were five or six prisoners there, all from Mostar. I
remained there until mid- September 1992.
They kept insulting us and showering us with abusive language. Worst of all
they forced us to do hard labour. Occasionally we had to work on the front
line. Once we were working near Sutina, at the outskirts of town where we
dug up 11 bodies. They showed us on that occasion to the press and TV as
Chetniks who had killed those people who were buried there. We were all in
YPA uniforms which they had us put on when we were brought to prison. The
local people swore at us and maltreated us. Women poured hot water on us and
some hit us. All this was being filmed by a camera crew.
During work the guards allowed their soldiers to beat us as we worked near
their positions. Various persons hit me as they pleased. I remember well how
once in Gnojanice a soldier stabbed with a knife a man by the surname
Popara, I do not know his given name.
The worst incident happened early in September 1992 when some 10 prisoners
had been sent to collect the remains of two HVO policemen whose car had been
hit by a shell which blew them up. In the evening we had to carry these 10
men out of the van, all of them were badly beaten up, disfigured and unable
to get out by themselves. They told us how they had been beaten and how the
viscera of the killed men had been smeared on their faces.
I knew many of the guards and of the prison staff from before. The prison
warden was Petar Nikolic, his deputy was Ante Peko, and the guards were:
Adem Hajdan, shift c.o., Ramic, also shift c.o., Zijo Toljaga, ex-
goalkeeper of the "Velez" soccer team, Adne Zarkusic, Milenko Zubor and
We went to work in the villages, dismantling Serb houses and taking the
building material to Croat villages.
I went to work in the villages of Rastani, Vrapcici, Hodbina, Buna, all Serb
villages and thus we tore down hundreds of Serb houses. We worked in groups
of 10 prisoners each and our daily assigned quota was to pull down 2 houses
and transfer the material to Croat villages. When we came to the same
village on the next day we could see that the remnants of the houses had
been set to fire or demolished by explosives. I remember that in Rastani we
dismantled the houses of families which I knew, and one of the prisoners had
to dismantle his own house and carry the material to a Croat village. In
Vrapcici we dismantled the houses of the families Antelj and Miskin. In the
village of Ortijes we dismantled one house for the needs of Vlada, the son
of the soccer player Blaz Sliskovic.
The stay in prison and the torture I was subjected to seriously impaired my
health. I was treated at the Medical Centre in Sremska Mitrovica and
documentation attesting to the state of my health can be obtained from it.
24. The witness 445/94- 38 stated:
... On July 14, 1992 I and my common- law wife were arrested in our flat in
Mostar by five HOS members and taken to prison in the former military
infirmary. There they separated us. I spent 7 days there. They searched us,
looking for money, German marks in particular. They took about DM 1,000 and
a wrist watch from me. I was interrogated on several occasions by the prison
warden Ivan Zelenika. He kicked me and punched me with his fists during
these interrogations. He poured salt in my mouth and forced me to swallow
it. He took me to a filthy crouching toilet, pushed my head into the faeces
and held it there until I became green in the face and then poured water on
A certain Dziko, a large and fat man, occasionally took me out from the
office in which I was being interrogated into another room where he lashed
me on the back with a whip and kicked me with his feet. Sergej Belovic was
also with him, who being the offspring of a mixed marriage took particular
pains to prove himself a good Ustashi by beating up the prisoners especially
Apart from beating us during interrogations they also barged into our cells
at night to beat us or terrorize us in other ways.
Once after a beating I had to stand in a solitary confinement cell all night
so that my blood spilled all over my body and on the concrete. When they
took us out they forced us to pluck and eat grass. We were constantly
subjected to insults and various forms of humiliation. Around July 21, 1992
they transferred us to another camp.
25. The witness 445/94- 41 stated:
On May 9, 1992 HVO Military Police took me from my house in Mostar to a room
at the Faculty of Economics, where I was interrogated by Zeljko Dzidic,
Chief of the HVO MIlitary Police for the entire west Herzegovina. He swore
at me and hit me several times as he interrogated me. They immediately
transferred me to Celovina prison and put me in a cell.
We prisoners would be taken to Podvelezje where fighting went on where we
had to make and fortify bunkers for them.
As we worked the locals threw stones at us, spat on us and humiliated us in
One day I saw in the prison an elderly man who was a retired policeman. He
was disfigured and there were cigarette burns on his chest. One of his ears
was nicked. He told me how they had led him through the town wearing a sign
on his chest that he was a Chetnik and that the citizens threw objects at
him, spat on him and insulted him.
Every day I could hear the prisoners on the floor above us singing Ustashi
songs, and if they did not sing properly they would hit them and I could
hear that too.
The food was extremely poor until we were registered by the Red Cross. Each
prisoner lost about 30 kilograms, and when I left this prison I was skin and
26. The witness 532/94- 3, inter alia, stated:
- The witness was arrested on October 12, 1992 by the HVO police and taken
to the Military Police HQ where Josip Marcinko, a neighbour of his and
formerly a police officer in Mostar, interrogated him. The police beat him,
spat on him and pulled his hair;
- He was transferred to the Central camp for Serbs at Rodoc within the
compound of the Military High School and placed in a room with 44 Serbs.
Among them were a former public prosecutor from Mostar, the administrator of
a students' hostel, an inspector of the Secretariat of the Interior, a house
painter from Mostar, a professor at the Teacher Training College, a worker
from Jablanica, a retired Secretariat of the Interior officer, a retired
lt.colonel from Mostar, a retired colonel from Mostar, a dairy worker from
Mostar, an engineer who had worked for the Mostar Mines, a major, a worker
All of them told him they they were being subjected to appalling torture and
that the guards beat them.
27. The witness 295/94- 12, stated, inter alia, the following, on September
She lived in Mostar on Matije Gupca street. One day in August 1992, a women
neighbour came and told her that their neighbour Slobodan Ivanisevic had
been taken away for interrogation by Huso Begovic, Ferid Belja and another
unknown man. Half an hour later she saw Huso Begovic in front of her flat
holding a large kitchen knife in his hand. He said that they had taken Slobo
away and that he had admitted having a radio station. That same evening
Radio Mostar broadcast the news that an unknown man who was still showing
signs of life had been found on Bijeli Brijeg, that he had been transferred
to hospital and died there. Avdo Avdic and Dusan Bonca went to identify him
the next day. Bonca said that it was Slobo Ivanisevic and that his skull had
been smashed in.
28. The witness 295/94- 5 stated:
- Before the war the witness worked at the department store in Mostar;
- On August 8, 1992 two HOS members came to his flat and demanded gold and
money, and when he told them that he had none, they searched the flat. They
took him away and locked him up in the cellar of the Military Hospital
building where there were 12 Serb civilians. Later that number rose to
around 30. The prison warden was Ivan Zelenika. The prisoners were beaten
and maltreated in various ways. Zelenika ordered him to strip naked and then
kicked him in various parts of the body. After that they put a winter
Yugoslav army uniform on him and a Serbian cap on his head.
- One night they took him out into the yard where some 20 HOS members
encircled him and kicked him and punched him. After that they forced him to
wash the toilet and to push his arm to the elbow into the toilet bowl and
then to lick off the faeces from it.
From this place he was transferred to Dretelj prison.
29. The witness 496/94- 159, inter alia, stated:
- He, a retired military, lived in Mostar on 37th Street, he declared
himself as a Yugoslav of the Catholic faith.
- He was arrested on May 9, 1992 by two uniformed persons with lily
insignias on their sleeves who took him to their HQ where a certain Stipe
interrogated him. From there he was taken to Celovina prison. The reason for
it was that he had a Serb son- in- law. He shared a cell with a Serb from
Mostar whom he knew.
- Younger prisoners were taken to forced labour and when they returned they
were beaten up;
- For a time he shared a cell in Celovina with a man who had been a
policeman before the war, who was tortured and beaten, once they beat him up
so hard that he was unable to talk;
- They brought Serbs whom they rounded up in the near- by villages to the
prison and beat them and forced them to sing Ustashi songs. The warden was a
certain Nikolic, a Croat and his deputy a certain Ante. The commander beat
one Mucibabic during forced labour.
30. The witness 31/94 stated:
... In Mostar I lived on Mustafe Golubica street and I worked in "Hepok".
On July 21, 1992 three men wearing black HOS uniforms came into my flat. The
leader of the group was Mario Milicevic, a Croat by nationality. The second
member of the group was Haris Fazlagic, a Moslem. I do not know the name of
the third man, only that he was a Croat. They entered the flat without a
written warrant, searched it and took a heavy gold chain which I had on my
neck, a wedding ring, and two other gold rings and a gold- plated Seiko
watch from my hands. They took all my gold jewelry from the jewel box. There
were golden rings, pendants, chains. There were about 10 gold rings, 5 or 6
pendants and 1 chain. They also found and seized DM 3,000 in cash. They gave
me no receipt whatsoever for the things seized.
Then they took me to the military infirmary, which was near my flat, and
placed me in a room in the cellar of the building.
There were five or six other women in the room.
Around 2 a.m. the door opened and a man ordered me to come with him and he
took me to a room on the upper floor. In the room were sitting Mario
Milicevic and another man whose name as I later found out was Sead
Kapetanovic. Kapetanovic, who had a pistol and a knife at the waist walked
up to me with a furious expression on his face and swore at me cursing my
Chetnik mother. He took out the knife and waved it in front of my throat. He
said that an exchange operation on a spot called "Grebak" had fallen through
that day because my son Jovo demanded exclusively me to be returned for the
exchange to be carried out. I told him that my son was in Uzice. Kapetanovic
came up to me again, took out the knife and waved it near my right cheek
saying that he would slice off a portion of my cheek with a mole on it and
that he would show that to my son for the exchange. As I found out later,
Sead Kapetanovic was the commander of the HOS police at the time.
The following night, at the same time, I was taken to Sead Kapetanovic's
room. He was alone in the room. The tone of the conversation was different.
He asked whether anyone was maltreating me. He told me that I would be set
free on the condition that I became his mistress. When I refused he said
that I had decided my fate myself and that I would remain in prison.
On the third day I was transferred by a van driven by Sergije Belovic to the
camp at Dretelj.
The commander of the HOS in Mostar was Vinko Martinovic called "Stela", a
taxi driver in Mostar before the war, a Moslem.
The commander of the HOS Police was Sead Kapetanovic, also a taxi driver in
Mostar before the war, a Moslem.
Ivan Zelenika, a Croat, was the warden of the HOS prison in Mostar. Mario
Milicevic was the leader of the subversive operations group called "the
silent liquidation squad". They liquidated Serbs at night and later
continued this practice only the victims were Moslems. He was born in Cim
near Mostar. His mother is a Serb from Slovenia. He is a Croat by
nationality. He is currently living in Mostar with his mistress Mirjana. He
moved into my flat immediately after my arrest.
Dugalic, called "Luster", born in Mostar.
Serdarevic, called "Borke", a trucker from Rodosce.
Sergije Belovic, from Mostar, the son of a Serb father and Moslem mother. He
was killed by Rihar Dumport, a HOS member from Rastani, when they were
splitting some spoils of war.
Goran Vlajinic, a Serb from Mostar.
The HOS members Boris Borovina, a civil engineer, Lulic called "Sesta",
Haris Fazlagic from Fazlagica Kula near Gacko, were also torturers of Serbs.
In my opinion and in the opinion of other prisoners, all the mentioned were
the worst torturers of Serbs in Mostar. They liquidated a number of Serbs
and beat up and raped an even larger number of them.
31. The witness 595/94 stated that in prison she had been repeatedly raped
by members of Paraga's armed formations - the blackshirts, and specifically
I lived in Mostar for 33 years and worked at the Factory... I had a one-
room flat on Splitska street. I never married.
After the outbreak of war the blackshirts paid me daily visits. Day after
day patrols came and searched my flat and inquired about my brother. I was
forbidden to keep contacts with anyone irrespective of nationality.
In the first half of July 1992 four blackshirts came to my flat. One of them
hit me in the face twice and swore at me cursing my Chetnik mother. Then the
four of them pinned me to the bed holding me by the arms and legs, one of
them tore my clothes and underwear and raped me. I tried to resist but I
could not as three of them held me by the arms and legs. Then the second one
... They took me to the former military infirmary where Ivo Zelenika, a
Croat whom I knew from before, was among those in charge. This hospital had
been turned into a camp. Ivo Zelenika searched me and took away from me DM
20,000 without giving me a receipt. He then put me in solitary confinement.
While in solitary confinement I was physically maltreated and interrogated
about my brother every day. At night Ivo Zelenika came and raped me. He came
armed and he forced me to sexual intercourse once or several times during
the night. First he would hit me some. I had to succumb to him for there was
the danger of his physically liquidating me, and he could have easily done
that being one of the top men in charge of the blackshirts, and answering to
no one for his conduct...
I spent about 20 days in this camp. My sister- in- law and another two women
from Nevesinje were with me. I personally know that my sister- in- law and
these two women were repeatedly raped by men from the blackshirts formation.
I could see it with my own eyes.
Mrmo Omer, a Moslem from Mostar, was also among the blackshirts. I knew him
from before. He had been convicted of the murder of his wife and daughter.
When he was on guard duty at night he came for me, took me out of the room
and raped me. Before intercourse he beat me up with a rifle butt. When I was
no longer able to offer any resistance he raped me.
During my stay in this prison I was repeatedly raped by members of the Croat
blackshirts whom I did not know. This happened at night when they were on
From this place I was transferred to Capljina.
32. The witness 460/94 also stated that she had been raped:
... On June 7,1994 I had the most harrowing experience in my life, one that
I will never be able to forget. That evening I went to the cistern to get
As I was returning I saw a yellow van parked near the building in which I
lived and several men standing around it. They were all in mufti. A group of
them walked up to us women. One of them, whom I later heard them call Sajo,
told us that an exchange was to be organized and asked whether we wished to
be exchanged. He demanded money for that.
When we agreed six of us joined four of their group. They took us to a house
on the way to Rastani near an optician's. They led us all into the house.
They separated me from the others and put me in a small room. The moment I
entered Sajo pounced on me, slapped me in the face a few times and then one
of them called Mirso tore all my clothes and pinned me to the floor. I
started to scream. Mirso gagged my mouth with one hand and held me to the
floor with the other.
When he subdued me Sajo undid his zipper and lay on top of me and managed to
have intercourse with me even though I resisted. When Sajo was through the
second guy, who had a tattoo on his arms, did the same, and then also the
During the raping they swore at me and insulted me in the most vituperative
language. Mirso, who held me said that he was disgusted of a Vlach (infidel
Serb) and that he would not have intercourse with me. All this lasted about
The man they called Sajo was about 30, slightly on the stocky side, with a
dark complexion and hair. Judging by his nickname he was a Moslem. I believe
that I would recognize him if I saw him.
The second one who raped me was tattooed on his arms all the way to his
shoulders, he was quite short and fat.
I did not see well the third one who raped me.
Mirso, who held me, was quite tall, his head was shaven and he was much
younger than the others. He held me and he slapped me in the face several
times for me to stop screaming and resisting the rapists.
I crossed over to Serb territory on September 26, 1994, and I came to
Belgrade on October 6 and was admitted to the Gynecology djamp; Obstetrics
Clinic where it was established that I was in the fifth month of pregnancy.
I applied for an abortion.
This experience has had a shattering effect on my mental state.
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