Female Fighter ‘Beat and Tortured’ Prisoners in Derventa

17. February 2017.16:44
A former prisoner told the trial of Croatian Defence Council ex-fighter Azra Basic that a woman assaulted and humiliated him while he was in captivity in Derventa in 1992. Prosecution witness Cedo Prodic told the state court in Sarajevo on Friday that he and other prisoners were beaten up by a woman called Azra while they were being held at a military building in Derventa in April 1992.

Prodic said he was captured along with his neighbours from the village of Cardak in the Derventa municipality on April 26, 1992, and taken to the Yugoslav People’s Army Centre in the town.

“Then they began hitting and torturing us. We had to eat old Yugoslav banknotes. Azra told me to eat them.I did not know her,” he said.

“One of the soldiers said: ‘Now you will see how Azra hits [people].’ She entered the room with a group of soldiers. She brought a Croatian flag with a checkerboard coat of arms and ordered me to kiss it. She hit me in my genitals,” he added.

He testified that she used to ‘walk’ him and another prisoner “like dogs on a leash made of laundry rope and hit us”.

He said his jaw was broken in the process.

The witness also said that the women called Azra hit a prisoner called Blagoje Djuras “over and over again”, and that she used to bring other soldiers to hit him. He said he heard that Azra killed Djuras.

Azra Basic, a former member of the Croatian Defence Council, is charged with having participated in killing, torturing and causing severe suffering and injuries to people held at the Yugoslav People’s Army Centre in Derventa and in the village of Polje from April 26 to the beginning of May 1992.

She has pleaded not guilty.

In another hearing at the state court on Friday, a witness at the trial of former Sanski Most policeman Mirko Vrucinic said the Bosnian Serb Army attacked the village of Hrustovo in 1992 and deported the majority of the local population.

Witness Semir Keranovic said Hrustovo was attacked at the beginning of June1992, and after the Bosnian Serb Army entered the village, more than 100 local residents were killed.

“Around 30 people were killed in Husko’s garage alone. Women and children were in it,” the witness said.

“I did not personally see those murders being committed, but I entered the garage on the following day.

I carried the bodies out and helped others bury them. A baby was among the victims who were killed,” he added.

Vrucinic, the former chief of the Public Security Station in Sanski Most and a member of the town’s Crisis Committee, is charged with having participated in a joint criminal enterprise involving murders, forcible resettlement, unlawful detention and forcible disappearances from April to December 1992.

Marija Taušan