Decapitation among brutalities of the Bosnian Genocide
Lawrence Journal – World
23 October 1992.
WASHINGTON — The ethnic hatreds of disintegrated Yugoslavia are producing levels of savagery uncommon even in war, with aggressors decapitating and dismembering prisoners, shooting women in the back, raping children and torturing clerics.
Thousands more are being expelled from their homes, confined to camps with little heat or food, and terrorized by fears of systematic execution.
Such are the conclusions of two reports, one by the State Department and the other by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International, issued Thursday on atrocities in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia.
The State Department list, citing “credible reports” from U.S. Foreign Service personnel, journalists and relief workers, was the second it has turned over to the United Nations, which is setting up a commission to investigate war crimes in Yugoslavia.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the “abhorrent incidents” include “willful killings, torture of prisoners, abuse of civilians in detention camps, wanton devastation and destruction of property, and the mass forcible expulsion and deportation of civilians.”
“I was reading it this morning, and, frankly, a lot of the things in there make your blood boil and your stomach turn,” he said.
AMONG THE incidents with the most victims:
- Serb irregulars near the Bosnian town of Brcko were said to have executed 2,000 to 3,000 Muslims last spring at a brick factory and pig farm.
– An additional 200 men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb police on Aug. 21 on a mountain road north of Travnik.
– On July 20, about 100 Muslim women in the town of Biscani were shot in the back. Their bodies lay in the road for four days until Serb trucks collected them.
The Amnesty International report detailed an alleged massacre of Muslim villages in Zaklopaca, 45 miles northwest of Sarajevo, on May 16, when as many as 105 people were killed.
Witnesses said Serbs wearing uniforms of the Yugoslav Peoples Army carried out the executions.
“Probably no one will ever know the full extent of the human rights violations which have taken place, but it is clear that they have been horrific,” Amnesty International said.
THE STATE Department report detailed more than 30 incidents, almost all perpetrated by Serbs against Muslims in Bosnia. Among the other incidents:
- A Muslim locksmith reported that on July 24, Serb guards with automatic weapons systematically killed as many as 160 men at the Keraterm concentration camp in northwestern Bosnia.
– A Muslim refugee woman said that the last June she saw a Serbian soldier use an ax to hack off the arms and legs of two prisoners.
– Another refugee told of seeing a soldier drag a man out of the Luka concentration camp outside Brcko and return with a blood-soaked knife in one hand and the man’s head in the other.
– Serb guards slit the throat of a Muslim cleric [Mustafa Mujkanovic] who refused to cross himself [at Bratunac, Vuk Karadzic camp].