View Full Version : Bosnian Execution Video Shakes Families

06-03-2005, 08:20 PM

Bosnian Execution Video Shakes Families

Jun 3, 6:53 PM (ET)


BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - The Serb paramilitaries prodded the six skinny young Bosnian Muslims - their hands tied behind their backs - through the tall green grass, and then shot them one by one. The bodies slumped to the ground.

Gruesome video of the July 1995 killings near Srebrenica was shown this week in Serbia, forcing Serb leaders to finally acknowledge their country's role in the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

The pictures mark the first time most Serbs have seen such images and could change the way the nation thinks of the slaughter in Bosnia, where Serb troops overran the enclave and killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys after separating them from women. Dutch troops witnessed the Serbs taking the Srebrenican men away, but didn't see the men being shot.

It could also help authorities in extraditing the alleged masterminds of the Srebrenica massacre - wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic - to the U.N. war crimes tribunal, which has indicted them for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The shocking TV images prompted Serbian officials to acknowledge publicly that war crimes were committed by Serbs during the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.

"Everything burst - the whole bubble of hiding evidence and denying crimes - within the 10 minutes it took to broadcast the video," said Natasa Kandic, a human rights activist from the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund.

The video first was shown Wednesday by prosecutors at the U.N. war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands, at the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, indicted for his alleged role in atrocities during the Balkan wars, including genocide for the massacre at Srebrenica.

Prosecutors contend the killings shown in the video were carried out by Serb paramilitaries known as Scorpions, allegedly under orders from Serbian police in Belgrade directly tied to Milosevic.

Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the U.N. war crimes tribunal, said Friday her court has more video of Srebrenica killings.

"I have other video material but as you know, it is public only when we can provide it in the court during the trials. At the next trial, we will be able to show such material," she said after meeting in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, with a group representing mothers of Srebrenica victims.

Serbian President Boris Tadic somberly told the nation the images were "proof of a monstrous crime committed against persons of a different religion. And the guilty had walked as free men until now, walked among us."

Police arrested 10 suspects after the images were shown on Belgrade TV. Four remained in custody Friday.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica - who for years stood silent about war crimes committed by Serbs - said Thursday a "swift police response to the harrowing video was crucial for our country."

"It's difficult to say what is more defeating - the horrific images of the killings or this country's 10-year refusal to face the bloody quagmire of past crimes," said Belgrade professor and women's rights activist Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic.

The video, apparently made by Serb troops, shows men in camouflage uniforms wearing red berets emblazoned with the Serbian flag taking the six prisoners - some still in their teens - from a truck, hands tied behind their backs. The troops shouted "Yalla, yalla" - or "Go, go" in Arabic - mocking the victims' Muslim religion.

Four were then shot one by one in the back. They slumped into the tall grass, and the two others were ordered to carry the bodies into a barn where they, too, were killed. At times, the paramilitary troops cursed and sneered at the prisoners.

The video, also shown by Bosnian TV stations, triggered outrage.

Nura Alispahic said she turned on the TV in Bosnia to watch the news - and was shocked to see the killing of her son, Azmir.

"I saw with my own eyes when these animals killed my son. He was only 16 1/2. No one can understand how I feel," she told The Associated Press, in shock and in tears.

"I saw him. He was second in the row. They were pushing him," his mother said. "He turns, and I see him and it was my Azmir.

"Seconds later, they shoot him. He falls," said Alispahic, 60, sitting beside her daughter, Magbula, at a refugee camp near the northern Bosnian town of Tuzla.

Squeezing her shaking hands, Nura Alispahic remembered the last time she saw Azmir.

"Serbs were entering Srebrenica, and Azmir came back to give me a kiss before he fled," she said, sobbing. "I had a feeling then that I would never see him again."

Many in Serbia still consider Karadzic and Mladc heroes for their fight against Muslims in Bosnia. Recent polls show that support for the men, believed to be in hiding in eastern Bosnia or Serbia, has grown.

But Justice Minister Zoran Stojkovic said the video and domestic war crimes trials may help change attitudes. "When you face the facts, the truth can no longer be manipulated," he said.

Some in Belgrade said they believed the video was fake and would not speak about it. Others expressed shock and disgust.

"I was profoundly shaken," businessman Slobodan Krivokuca said, adding. "To have Mladic extradited, you need to constantly face these things he and the others are accused of."

I think something like this is going to come out about our military.

06-03-2005, 08:21 PM
Please don't post the actual video... if someone wants to see it, they can find it I'm sure...