This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)
Family members and representatives of the Association of Detainees in Bosnia and Herzegovina will mark the 27th anniversary on Wednesday of the murder of some 200 unarmed Bosniak and Croat men by Bosnian Serb police at Mount Vlasic in the first few months of the country’s 1992-95 war.
Eleven Bosnian Serb police officers from the northwestern city of Prijedor have been convicted of involvement in the massacre at Koricanske Stijene (Koricani Cliffs) on August 21, 1992, part of a wave of killing and ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serb forces. Some of the victims have still to be exhumed from the pit they were tossed into.
“The Prijedor police took out, selected and transported around 200 detainees to Koricanske Stijene on Vlasic,” said Jasmin Meskovic, president of the Association of Detainees. “All of them were shot and thrown into a pit more than 200 metres deep.”
Twelve men survived.
Darko Mrdja confessed to the killings at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and was sentenced in 2004 to 17 years’ imprisonment. Ten other former Prijedor policemen have been convicted and sentenced by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to between eight and 23 years in prison.
“This year too is an opportunity for the victims, families of victims, friends and all those who have feelings and respect to pay tribute and remember all the victims, to serve the history of testimony and the culture of remembrance, fight against oblivion, both for the victims of Koricanske Stijene shooting and all victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period between 1992 and 1995,” Meskovic said.
Meskovic said that the circumstances of the Koricanske Stijene massacre demonstrated the systematic nature of such crimes and the criminal intent of the perpetrators.
“Each of the men shot at Koricanske Stijene or their families had given 100 Marks to be allowed to go to Travnik,” he said. “However, the taking of their money and the crime were premeditated, and they knew what was going to happen at Koricanske Stijene. It eventually came true.”