INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Tfsrol: Severe Human Rights Abuses in Bosnia-

Published: Mon 28 Mar 1994 07:16 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLASSIFIED LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 01 OF 03 ZAGREB 001222
SIPDIS
STATE FOR EUR/EE, L, HA, IO
VIENNA ALSO FOR BOSNIA
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS:
SUBJECT: TFSROL: SEVERE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA-
HERZEGOVINA: VICTIM'S REPORT OF BEATINGS AND
RAPE AT NOVI IZVOR PRISON.
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 01222 01 OF 03 280721Z
REF: ZAGREB 0945 AND PREVIOUS
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INTRODUCTION
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1. (U) THIS IS ONE IN A SERIES OF REPORTS OF INTERVIEWS
WITH WAR CRIMES VICTIMS CONDUCTED IN LATE 1993 IN MAOCA,
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BY AN OFDA (DART/ZAGREB) FIELD
REPRESENTATIVE AND AN AMCIT IRC REPRESENTATIVE WHILE THEY
WERE IN THE AREA ASSESSING HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE NEEDS.
THIS REPORT, LIKE THE OTHERS, NAMES VICTIMS AND, IN SOME
CASES, PERPETRATORS AND THE DETAILS OF SPECIFIC CRIMES.
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WITNESS INFORMATION
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2. (LOU) THE WITNESS, AJKUNA MUMINOVIC (STRICTLY
PROTECT), WAS BORN SEPTEMBER 26, 1952. SHE WAS A RESIDENT
OF VLASENICA, A SMALL TOWN ABOUT 60 MILES BY ROAD
NORTHEAST OF SARAJEVO, FROM 1964 TO JUNE, 1992. SHE WAS
EMPLOYED IN A BANK AS AN OFFICE CLEANER AND MESSENGER.
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THE WITNESS'S ACCOUNT
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3. (U) ON JUNE 11, 1992 THE WITNESS AND HER HUSBAND
ESCAPED FROM VLASENICA AND WENT TO CERSKA. THERE SHE
WORKED AS A COOK FOR THE BOSNIAN ARMY UNTIL AUGUST 21,
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 01222 01 OF 03 280721Z
1992. ON THAT DAY SHE CONVINCED HER HUSBAND TO COME WITH
HER AND WALK TO THE VILLAGE OF SUCESKA, NEAR SREBRENICA,
WHERE, SHE HAD HEARD, HER SON, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND
GRANDCHILD WERE LIVING. SHE AND HER HUSBAND LEFT ON FOOT,
ACCOMPANIED BY THREE OTHERS. ON THE WAY, THEY CAME UPON A
"CHETNIK" (SERBIAN ARMY) BARRICADE AND WERE FIRED ON. THE
WITNESS WAS SHOT IN BOTH LEGS. HER HUSBAND AND THE THREE
OTHERS RAN AWAY. SHE COULD HEAR THE FIRING CONTINUING FOR
SOME TIME. AFTER IT STOPPED, SHE ATTEMPTED TO MOVE BUT
COULD NOT, AND NOTICED SHE WAS LYING IN A POOL OF BLOOD.
NIGHT WAS FALLING AND SHE WAS AFRAID DOGS MIGHT COME AND
ATTACK HER. SHE CALLED FOR HELP THREE OR FOUR TIMES, BUT
THEN PASSED OUT.
4. (U) WHEN THE WITNESS REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, SHE
COULD HEAR THE "CHETNIKS" TALKING ABOUT HER. THEY THOUGHT
SHE WAS A MAN. SHE TOLD THEM SHE WAS A WOMAN; THEY ASKED
HER WHY SHE HAD NOT SURRENDERED, SINCE THEY WOULD NOT HAVE
SHOT AT A WOMAN. THEY SAID THEY HAD MISTAKEN HER FOR A
SCOUT, OR SPY. SHE INFORMED THEM SHE WAS ONLY TRYING TO
FIND HER SON. AFTER SOME DISCUSSION THEY TOOK HER TO THE
ROAD, WHERE HER WOUNDS WERE BANDAGED. SOME TIME LATER SHE
WAS TAKEN BY CAR TO THE LOCAL CLINIC IN KRAVICA, NEAR
BRATUNAC. SHE WAS GIVEN INJECTIONS AND REBANDAGED AND
TAKEN ONWARD TO A HOSPITAL IN BRATUNAC, WHERE SHE WAS
ADMITTED AND GIVEN A BLOOD TRANSFUSION.
5. (U) AN HOUR OR SO AFTER SHE ARRIVED AT THE BRATUNAC
HOSPITAL A SOLDIER CAME TO INTERROGATE HER. HE ASKED
WERE SHE WAS GOING AND WHAT SHE WAS DOING. HE TOLD HER
THAT IF SHE DID NOT TELL THE TRUTH HE WOULD TAKE OUT THE
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 01222 01 OF 03 280721Z
TRANSFUSION AND SHE WOULD DIE. SHE TOLD HIM WHAT SHE
KNEW. LATER, SHE WAS TAKEN BY AMBULANCE TO ZVORNIK
HOSPITAL, WHERE SHE WAS TREATED BY DR. ZORAN LAZAREVIC, A
PHYSICIAN SHE KNEW FROM VLASENICA. HE TREATED HER VERY
KINDLY. SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR SEVEN MONTHS, FROM
AUGUST 21, 1992 TO MARCH 23, 1993.
6. (U) ON MARCH 23 SHE WAS TAKEN FROM THE HOSPITAL BY
SERBIAN POLICE, WHO TOLD HER SHE WAS BEING TAKEN TO GIVE A
STATEMENT REGARDING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HER INJURY.
HOWEVER, NO STATEMENT WAS TAKEN. INSTEAD SHE WAS TAKEN TO
A PRISON AT NOVI IZVOR. FIVE MEN AND FOUR OTHER WOMEN
WERE HELD WITH HER ON THE GROUND FLOOR IN SEPARATE ROOMS.
THEY WERE GUARDED BUT WERE ALLOWED TO USE THE TOILET, WERE
FED, AND HAD BLANKETS AND FOAM BLOCKS FOR BEDS. FROM TIME
TO
TIME OTHER "CHETNIKS" WOULD COME AND ASK TO SEE THE
MUSLIMS. THEY WOULD BEAT THE MEN; THE WOMEN COULD HEAR
SCREAMS IN THE NEXT ROOM.
7. (U) THE OTHER WOMEN IN THE ROOM WITH THE WITNESS WERE
A 73-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, FATA (NFI), 65-YEAR-OLD HATA KARIC
AND HER 11-YEAR-OLD HALF-SERBIAN GRANDDAUGHTER, ALMA. A
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ACTION SS-00
INFO LOG-00 AID-01 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 OASY-00 DODE-00
EB-01 EUR-01 OIGO-01 HA-09 H-01 IMMC-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-16 L-01 ADS-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02
PA-01 PM-01 PRS-01 P-01 RP-10 RPCS-01 SCT-03
SP-00 SR-00 SSO-00 STR-01 TRSE-00 USIE-00 RPE-01
SNIS-00 NISC-02 PMB-00 /058W
------------------34FCAA 280723Z /38
R 280716Z MAR 94
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1351
INFO USMISSION GENEVA
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
AMCONSUL MUNICH
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 02 OF 03 ZAGREB 001222
STATE FOR EUR/EE, L, HA, IO
VIENNA ALSO FOR BOSNIA
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS:
SUBJECT: TFSROL: SEVERE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA-
HERZEGOVINA: VICTIM'S REPORT OF BEATINGS AND
RAPE AT NOVI IZVOR PRISON.
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 01222 02 OF 03 280722Z
16-YEAR-OLD, SUADA, WAS EXCHANGED AFTER FIVE DAYS. HATA
AND ALMA WERE ALLOWED VISITORS AND WERE GIVEN FAVORABLE
TREATMENT. THEY OFTEN DRANK COFFEE WITH THE GUARDS AND
USED THEIR INFLUENCE TO HAVE THE WITNESS TREATED MORE
SEVERELY.
8. (U) THE WITNESS SAID SHE BECAME FRIENDS WITH ONE MAN,
HASSAN (NFI), BEING DETAINED ON THE SAME FLOOR. HATA DID
NOT APPROVE, AND TOLD THE GUARDS HE WAS AN EXTREMIST. AS
A RESULT, THE WITNESS SAID, HASSAN WAS VERY BADLY BEATEN.
HE HAD FOOTPRINTS ON HIS BODY FROM BEING STOMPED ON AND
WAS VERY SWOLLEN AFTER THE BEATING HASSAN WAS
TRANSFERRED TO THE FLOOR ABOVE.
9. (U) WHILE IMPRISONED AT NOVI IZVOR, THE WITNESS WAS
ORDERED TO CLEAN ROOMS AND MAKE COFFEE. WHEN SHE PLEADED
WITH HER CAPTORS NOT TO FORCE SUCH WORK UPON HER BECAUSE
OF PAINS IN HER WOUNDED LEGS, SHE WAS BEATEN. SHE WAS
INSULTED AND TOLD SHE WAS BEING TREATED WELL IN COMPARISON
TO THE TREATMENT A SERB WOULD RECEIVE AT THE HANDS OF
MUSLIMS.
10. (U) AFTER ABOUT THREE MONTHS THE WITNESS WAS PLACED
IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. SHE BLAMED THIS ON HATA'S
CONTINUAL COMPLAINTS ABOUT HER. SHE WAS HELD IN SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT FOR ONE WEEK; DURING THAT TIME SHE WAS GIVEN
ONLY ONE MEAL. SHE WAS TRANSFERRED BACK TO THE COMMON
ROOM FOR A SHORT TIME, THEN SENT BACK TO SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT AGAIN. AT THE TIME OF HER ARRIVAL AT THE
PRISON, THE PRINCIPAL GUARD WAS ONE "DUSAN" (NFI). WHEN
HE LEFT, HE WAS REPLACED BY "MIRKO" AND "RATKO."
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 01222 02 OF 03 280722Z
11. (U) THE WITNESS RECOUNTED HOW SHE HAD BEEN BEATEN ON
SEVERAL OCCASIONS. ON ONE OF THESE, SHE SAID, "WHEN I HAD
MADE COFFEE FOR MIRKO I MOVED HIS GUN SLIGHTLY TO PUT THE
COFFEE DOWN. HE YELLED AT ME AND PUNCHED ME TWICE, HARD.
THEN HE ORDERED HASSAN BROUGHT DOWN FROM UPSTAIRS. HE
GAVE HASSAN A RUBBER STICK AND ORDERED HIM TO BEAT ME ON
THE BACK. I WAS FORCED TO STAND AGAINST A WALL. HASSAN
DID NOT BEAT ME HARD. THEN MIRKO TOOK THE STICK AND HIT
HASSAN IN THE NECK HARD, TO SHOW HIM HOW HE SHOULD BEAT
ME." AS A RESULT OF THE BLOW, SHE SAID, HASSAN COULD NOT
SPEAK FOR 3 DAYS AFTERWARDS. UNDER THIS DURESS, HASSAN
STRUCK HER VIOLENTLY 12 TIMES IN THE KIDNEY REGION. AS
HASSAN WAS ADMINISTERING THE BEATING, MIRKO SAID
SARCASTICALLY THAT HE WOULD NOT WISH TO SEE HER HARMED,
AND THAT IT WAS HER OWN PEOPLE WHO WERE BEATING HER.
12. (U) AFTER THIS INCIDENT THE WITNESS WAS RETURNED TO
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. THREE DAYS LATER, DUSAN REAPPEARED
AND SPOKE TO MIRKO AND RATKO. HE CAME TO THE WITNESS'S
ROOM BRINGING TWO YOUNG BOSNIANS, 17 AND 18 YEARS OLD, WHO
HAD BEEN CAPTURED FLEEING FROM CERSKA TO TUZLA. THE TWO
BOYS WERE VERY FRIGHTENED, THE WITNESS SAID.
13. (U) THE WITNESS SAID DUSAN ORDERED HER AND THE TWO
BOYS TO REMOVE ALL THEIR CLOTHES. HE FORCED HER TO BEND
OVER AND ORDERED ONE OF THE BOYS TO SODOMIZE HER WHILE
FORCING HER TO PERFORM ORAL SEX ON THE OTHER. WHEN SHE
COMPLAINED OF INTENSE PAIN IN HER INJURED LEGS, DUSAN
ALLOWED HER TO LIE DOWN BUT CONTINUED TO FORCE THE TWO
YOUNG BOSNIANS TO VIOLATE HER, BOTH ORALLY AND VAGINALLY.
AFTER SOME TIME, SHE SAID, DUSAN ASKED THE TWO BOYS IF
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 01222 02 OF 03 280722Z
THEY WERE SATISFIED, AND SAID HE WOULD COME BACK THE NEXT
DAY WITH TWO OTHER MEN.
14. (U) AT ABOUT 1:00 A.M. THAT MORNING MIRKO CAME INTO
HER ROOM. HE SAT IN A CHAIR AND ORDERED HER TO PERFORM
ORAL SEX ON HIM. WHEN SHE RESISTED HE RAPED HER ANALLY.
HE TOLD HER NOT TO TELL ANYONE. SHE BLED A GREAT DEAL AS
A RESULT OF THIS ASSAULT, THE WITNESS SAID.
15. (U) LATER THAT MORNING MIRKO CAME INTO HER ROOM.
SEEING THE BLOOD ON THE FLOOR, HE ASKED WHAT IT WAS. WHEN
SHE TOLD HIM IT WAS THE RESULT OF HIS ASSAULT ON HER
EARLIER THAT MORNING, HE ORDERED HE
R TO CLEAN IT UP AND
NOT TO TELL ANYONE. AT THIS POINT THE WITNESS, STILL
BLOODY FROM MIRKO'S ASSAULT, BEGAN TO MENSTRUATE. THE
GUARD RATKO TOLD HER TO TAKE A BATH BUT SHE DEMURRED,
SAYING SHE COULD NOT BECAUSE OF HER PERIOD. EVERY DAY
THEY ORDERED HER TO TAKE A BATH AND EVERY DAY SHE REFUSED
CLAIMING SHE WAS MENSTRUATING. AT ONE POINT MIRKO ASKED
HER WHAT SHE WOULD THINK WHEN DUSAN STARTED SENDING
"CLIENTS" TO HER. SHE KNEW MIRKO OWNED A CAFE, SHE SAID,
AND SUSPECTED HE WOULD FORCE HER INTO PROSTITUTION IF SHE
WERE TO TAKE A BATH. THUS SHE CONTINUED TO CLAIM SHE HAD
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ACTION SS-00
INFO LOG-00 AID-01 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 C-01 OASY-00 DODE-00
EB-01 EUR-01 OIGO-01 HA-09 H-01 IMMC-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-16 L-01 ADS-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02
PA-01 PM-01 PRS-01 P-01 RP-10 RPCS-01 SCT-03
SP-00 SR-00 SSO-00 STR-01 TRSE-00 USIE-00 RPE-01
SNIS-00 NISC-02 PMB-00 /058W
------------------34FCA7 280723Z /38
R 280716Z MAR 94
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1352
INFO USMISSION GENEVA
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
AMCONSUL MUNICH
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 03 OF 03 ZAGREB 001222
STATE FOR EUR/EE, L, HA, IO
VIENNA ALSO FOR BOSNIA
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS:
SUBJECT: TFSROL: SEVERE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA-
HERZEGOVINA: VICTIM'S REPORT OF BEATINGS AND
RAPE AT NOVI IZVOR PRISON.
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 01222 03 OF 03 280722Z
HER PERIOD AND REFUSED TO BATHE FOR A LONG TIME. THIS WAS
IN JUNE 1993.
16. (U) THE WITNESS SAID SHE KNEW MIRKO AND RATKO HAD
BEEN WOUNDED AS SOLDIERS BEFORE THEY BECAME POLICE PRISON
GUARDS. RATKO WAS ON TRANQUILIZERS, FOR WHICH MIRKO
BLAMED THE MUSLIMS. ON ONE OCCASION MIRKO TRIED TO FORCE
THE WITNESS TO TAKE A DOSE OF THESE TRANQUILIZER PILLS;
WHEN SHE STEPPED BACKWARD TO AVOID THIS, HE PUNCHED HER IN
THE FACE. MIRKO STOPPED RATKO FROM CONTINUING TO BEAT
HER.
17. (U) BEFORE SHE WAS EXCHANGED, THE WITNESS WAS TAKEN
BACK TO THE HOSPITAL TO HAVE THE PLATES REMOVED FROM HER
WOUNDED LEGS. AT THAT TIME, HOWEVER, SHE WAS GREATLY
DISTRAUGHT, HAVING JUST LEARNED OF THE DEATH OF HER SON.
DR. LAZAREVIC WAS KIND TO HER AND AGREED NOT TO OPERATE.
WHEN SHE WAS TAKEN BACK TO THE PRISON, DUSAN WAS ANGRY
BECAUSE THE PLATES HAD NOT BEEN REMOVED FROM HER LEGS. HE
THREATENED NEVER TO EXCHANGE HER UNTIL THEY WERE REMOVED,
BECAUSE SUCH PLATES WERE BADLY NEEDED BY WOUNDED SERB
SOLDIERS. IF SHE WAS RELEASED THEY WOULD BE USED ON
MUSLIMS, HE SAID. NONETHELESS SHE WAS EXCHANGED, WITH THE
PLATES STILL IN HER LEGS, ON JULY 21, 1993. SHE BELIEVES
SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IF SHE HAD NOT BEEN RELEASED.
GALBRAITH
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