Beaten, Hidden Away for Three Months at Batkovic

28. December 2015.00:00
Testifying at the trial for crimes committed in Bijeljina, a prosecution witness said he was physically mistreated and hidden from official institutions for three months while being detained at the Batkovic detention camp.

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Mehmed Becic told the District Court in Bijeljina that he was arrested at the Raca border crossing in August 1992, when traveling back home from Serbia, where he was temporarily working at the time.

He said he was taken to Batkovic detention camp and beaten up the first evening just like three other detainees. The physical mistreatment continued over the next three months, he said.

“I was in a group of people, whom they called 13 special officers. I really do not know why they called us like that,” Becic said.

He said they were removed and hidden whenever somebody came to check the situation in the detention camp, adding the physical mistreatment continued until the Red Cross registered him.

Becic said his spine and kidneys were still damaged from the attacks, which also affected his eyesight.

Becic said Sead Habibovic was brought to the detention camp on the same day as him and died from injuries sustained during the bearting.

The district prosecution in Bijeljina has charged Djoko Pajic, Petar Dmitrovic, Djordje Krstic and Ljubomir Misic with having abused detainees in Batkovic concentration camp in 1992 and 1993.

Prosecution witness Zaim Kicim identified defendant Petar Dmitrovic in the courtroom, saying he was the commander of the detention camp when he was brought to it.

Kicim said he met Dmitrovic two or three times. When asked by the defense whether Dmitrovic abused him or if somebody did it according to his order, the witness said no.

Becic, however, said he did not see the mistreatment of detainees and that he did not know any of the defendants.

The prosecution reminded Becic in a 2009 statement he gave a detailed description of events in which guards hit detainees and also said he knew Pajic. Becic said he did not know who wrote that, adding he may have heard about Pajic from somebody else.

The trial will continue on February 1.

Boris Sekulić

This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)