US embassy cable - 92ZAGREB2532

CYGOOL: HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA- - HERCEGOVINA - CASE OF S.M., MUSLIM MALE

Identifier: 92ZAGREB2532
Wikileaks: View 92ZAGREB2532 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Zagreb
Created: 1992-11-30 15:31:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREF PHUM HR PHUM HR PHUM HR PHUM HR BK War Crimes
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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 04 ZAGREB  02532 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DIA WASHDC 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-5/J-2// 
 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 01 OF 04 ZAGREB 02532 
 
 
DEPT FOR EUR, L, IO, HA/MLA/POMETTO; USVIENNA FOR USDEL CSCE 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS: PREF, PHUM, HR, PHUM, HR, PHUM, HR, PHUM, HR, BK, War Crimes 
SUBJECT:  CYGOOL:  HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA- 
-         HERCEGOVINA - CASE OF S.M., MUSLIM MALE 
 
------------------------ 
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY 
------------------------ 
 
1.  (LOU)  THIS IS ONE IN A SERIES OF REPORTS ON 
SPECIFIC AND GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA AND 
HERCEGOVINA (B-H).  ON OCTOBER 27, THE EMBASSY 
RECEIVED AN EIGHT-PAGE LETTER IN CROATIAN, ADDRESSED 
TO PRESIDENT BUSH, FROM SAID MUMINOVIC, A MUSLIM 
REFUGEE FROM BRCKO, BOSNIA.  IN THE LETTER, MUMINOVIC 
DESCRIBED IN DETAIL HIS INTERNMENT IN THE BRCKO CAMP 
IN NORTHERN BOSNIA.  HE WROTE THAT HE HAD BEEN 
INTERNED FOR SEVERAL DAYS BEGINNING MAY 5.  BELOW IS 
AN INFORMAL TRANSLATION OF THE SIGNIFICANT PARTS OF 
MUMINOVIC'S LETTER.  HE DESCRIBES HIS DETENTION AND 
HOW HE WITNESSED FOUR EXECUTIONS.  HE APPEALS FOR THE 
U.S. TO "DO SOMETHING."  END INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY. 
 
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PAGE 03        ZAGREB  02532  01 OF 04  301525Z 
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DETAILS OF THE CASE 
------------------- 
 
2.  (U)  BEGIN TRANSLATION: 
 
MR. PRESIDENT OF THE USA: 
 
SINCE I AM AN EYEWITNESS, I WANT TO GIVE MY STATEMENT 
ABOUT THE MASSACRE IN BRCKO... 
 
THE YUGOSLAV ARMY OCCUPIED THE GREATER PART OF BRCKO 
ON MAY 1, 1992.  THE CITIZENS WERE UNPREPARED FOR THE 
SERBIAN OCCUPATION BECAUSE YUGO ARMY REPRESENTATIVES 
HAD PROMISED OVER THE RADIO SECURITY AND PEACE JUST 
THREE DAYS BEFORE THE OCCUPATION.  I WAS AT HOME WITH 
MY WIFE AND TWO UNDERAGE DAUGHTERS. 
 
FOR FIVE DAYS WE WERE CLOSED INSIDE OUR HOME, 
LISTENING TO THE SHOOTINGS AND THE GRENADES WITH 
WHICH THE CITY WAS BEING SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYED. 
HIDDEN BEHIND OUR WINDOWS, WE WATCHED THE ARRIVAL OF 
TANKS AND BUSES FULL OF BLOOD-THIRSTY CHETNIKS FROM 
NEIGHBORING BIJELJINA, WHICH WAS ALREADY OCCUPIED, 
AND WHERE 1,000 MUSLIMS HAD BEEN KILLED. 
 
ON MAY 5 A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YUGO ARMY IN A RADIO 
BROADCAST INSTRUCTED THE CITIZENS IN MY PART OF THE 
TOWN TO GO TO THE ARMY BARRACKS, FROM WHERE THE YUGO 
ARMY WOULD ORGANIZE AN EVACUATION TO A SAFER PLACE. 
FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF BIJELJINA, ZVORNIK, FOCA, 
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PAGE 04        ZAGREB  02532  01 OF 04  301525Z 
VISEGRAD, SREBRENICE, AND OTHER BOSNIAN CITIES, WE 
 
 
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PAGE 01        ZAGREB  02532  02 OF 04  301526Z 
ACTION EUR-01 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-01   AMAD-01  CA-02    CIAE-00  HA-09    INRE-00 
      INR-01   IO-19    ADS-00   NSAE-00  OIC-02   RP-10    SR-00 
        /046W 
                  ------------------8011F4  301527Z /38 
P 301531Z NOV 92 
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2875 
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 
AMEMBASSY ANKARA 
AMEMBASSY ATHENS 
AMEMBASSY BONN 
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY MADRID 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 
AMEMBASSY VIENNA 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USNATO 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USMISSION USVIENNA 
USIA WASHDC 2514 
USEC BRUSSELS 
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 1127 
                   LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
 
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PAGE 02        ZAGREB  02532  02 OF 04  301526Z 
DIA WASHDC 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-5/J-2// 
 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 02 OF 04 ZAGREB 02532 
 
 
DEPT FOR EUR, L, IO, HA/MLA/POMETTO; USVIENNA FOR USDEL CSCE 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS:  PREF, PHUM, HR, BK 
SUBJECT:  CYGOOL:  HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA- 
-         HERCEGOVINA - CASE OF S.M., MUSLIM MALE 
 
KNEW THAT THE SERBS HAD SPECIAL GROUPS USED TO 
MASSACRE CIVILIANS.  THESE GROUPS OF LUNATICS AND 
PSYCHOPATHS GO FROM APARTMENT TO APARTMENT, CELLAR TO 
CELLAR, AND, HIDDEN BEHIND THICK WALLS, COMMIT CRIMES 
AGAINST THE POWERLESS CIVILIANS.  UNDER THESE 
CIRCUMSTANCES, GOING TO THE YUGO ARMY BARRACKS SEEMED 
LIKE A BETTER CHANCE TO LEAVE THIS TOWN IN WHICH ONE 
COULD ALREADY SMELL DEATH. 
 
UPON OUR ARRIVAL AT THE BARRACKS, WE REALIZED WE WERE 
ALL IN A TRAP BECAUSE THERE, TOGETHER WITH THE 
REGULAR ARMY, WERE CHETNIKS AND OTHER SERBIAN REFUSE. 
THEY OFFERED TO GIVE US RIFLES IF WE WOULD FIGHT 
AGAINST OUR OWN PEOPLE FOR THE SERBIAN CAUSE.  THE 
MUSLIMS AND CROATS SILENTLY REFUSED.  OUR WIVES AND 
CHILDREN WERE PUT ON A BUS AND WERE TAKEN TO AN 
UNKNOWN DESTINATION. 
 
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PAGE 03        ZAGREB  02532  02 OF 04  301526Z 
AT GUNPOINT, WE MEN WERE ALSO PUT ON A BUS.  WE WERE 
TAKEN TO ONE OF BRCKO'S PLACES OF EXECUTION, A 
PHYSICAL EDUCATION HALL IN THE CENTER OF THE TOWN. 
WE NOTICED, FROM THE PUDDLES OF BLOOD ON THE FLOOR, 
THAT THE EXECUTIONS HAD ALREADY BEGUN.  FOR THE 
COUPLE HUNDRED OF US WHO WERE LOCKED UP, THE LONG 
HOURS OF TORTURE BEGAN.  DURING THIS TIME, VARIOUS 
PEOPLE IN UNIFORM LOOKED US OVER, EXPECTING TO FIND 
CERTAIN IMPORTANT PEOPLE AMONG US.  ALONG WITH THE 
USUAL WEAPONS IN THEIR BELTS, THESE UNIFORMED PEOPLE 
ALSO CARRIED BIG KITCHEN KNIVES.  WE KNEW THEIR 
PURPOSE AND EXPECTED THE WORST. 
 
THE TORTURE STARTED WITH ORAL THREATS.  THE SERBS 
WOULD SING SONGS DEDICATED TO DRAZA MIHAJLOVIC, THE 
CHETNIK LEADER IN WORLD WAR TWO.  SOME OF US, 
THREATENED BY EXECUTION, HAD TO LEARN THE SONGS BY 
HEART.  THE SERBS ENJOYED OUR FEAR AND MADE FUN OF 
US.  THEN THEIR BEARDED LEADER STARTED TO RECITE THE 
ORTHODOX LORD'S PRAYER.  WE HAD TO LISTEN TO IT WHILE 
STANDING AND THEN END HIS CLOSING WORDS WITH AMIN 
(THE ORTHODOX AMEN). 
 
NEXT THE SERBS STARTED SLAPPING US, HITTING US WITH 
BOXES AND FEET.  WHEN THIS ENDED, THEY TOOK FOUR OF 
US OUT FOR EXECUTION.  WE WERE SELECTED BY RANKO 
CESIC, KNOWN PREVIOUSLY AS A CRIMINAL AND A VIOLENT 
PERSON.  I TRIED TALKING TO THE SERBS, EXPLAINING 
THAT I HAD COME TO THE BARRACKS WITH MY WIFE AND 
CHILDREN AFTER HEARING THE APPEAL OVER THE RADIO, BUT 
THEY DID NOT CARE.  THEY PUT ONE OF US (KIBE - A 
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PAGE 04        ZAGREB  02532  02 OF 04  301526Z 
SOCCER JUDGE) AGAINST THE WALL AND RANKO CESIC SHOT 
 
 
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PAGE 01        ZAGREB  02532  03 OF 04  301527Z 
ACTION EUR-01 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-01   AMAD-01  CA-02    CIAE-00  HA-09    INRE-00 
      INR-01   IO-19    ADS-00   NSAE-00  OIC-02   RP-10    SR-00 
        /046W 
                  ------------------801218  301528Z /38 
P 301531Z NOV 92 
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2876 
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 
AMEMBASSY ANKARA 
AMEMBASSY ATHENS 
AMEMBASSY BONN 
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY MADRID 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 
AMEMBASSY VIENNA 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USNATO 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USMISSION USVIENNA 
USIA WASHDC 2515 
USEC BRUSSELS 
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 1128 
                   LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
 
                   LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
PAGE 02        ZAGREB  02532  03 OF 04  301527Z 
DIA WASHDC 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-5/J-2// 
 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 03 OF 04 ZAGREB 02532 
 
 
DEPT FOR EUR, L, IO, HA/MLA/POMETTO; USVIENNA FOR USDEL CSCE 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS:  PREF, PHUM, HR, BK 
SUBJECT:  CYGOOL:  HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA- 
-         HERCEGOVINA - CASE OF S.M., MUSLIM MALE 
 
HIM IN THE BACK WITH A MACHINE GUN. 
 
LOOKING AT THE HOLES IN HIS BACK, MY WHOLE LIFE 
PASSED IN FRONT OF MY EYES.  I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER 
SEE EITHER MY CHILDREN OR MY FAMILY AGAIN AND THAT 
ALL THAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME WAS DEFINITELY NOT A 
DREAM BUT A HORRID REALITY.  MY EYES CLOSED, I LOST 
CONSCIOUSNESS, AND MY BODY CRUMBLED ONTO PIECES OF 
GLASS.  MY FAINTING AWAKENED A BIT OF HUMANITY IN THE 
SERBS' LEADER.  HE ORDERED THEM TO BRING ME BACK TO 
THE HALL, WHERE I COULD REST A LITTLE.  ONE OF THE 
SERBS TOOK SATISFACTION IN REMOVING MY GLASSES AND 
BREAKING THEM. 
 
THE OTHER THREE MEN WERE KILLED IN THE MOST CRUEL 
MANNER.  FIRST THEY WERE BEATEN IN AN ANOTHER ROOM 
AND LEFT TO RECOVER A LITTLE.  THEN THEY WERE TAKEN 
TO A COURTYARD WHERE WE HEARD THE WORST SOUNDS THAT A 
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PAGE 03        ZAGREB  02532  03 OF 04  301527Z 
HUMAN THROAT CAN PRODUCE.  WE HEARD THE DULL SLASHES 
OF KNIVES CUTTING INTO HUMAN FLESH.  THEN THE THREE 
MEN WERE HELD BY THEIR LEGS AND BEATEN WHILE AGAINST 
THE WALL OF THE BUILDING WHERE WE WERE IMPRISONED. 
WITH ABOUT TWENTY MORE SHOTS, THE SERBS ASSURED THE 
THREE MEN'S DEATH. 
 
THE NEXT AFTERNOON, FOUR OF US MANAGED TO GET SOME 
SYMPATHY FROM ONE OF THE SERBIAN POLICEMEN.  HE LET 
US GET ON A BUS GOING TO BIJELJINA, ON WHICH THERE 
WAS A GROUP OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN.  FROM THERE I 
LUCKILY MANAGED TO ESCAPE, EVEN FROM BIJELJINA, WHERE 
THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES STILL TAKE PEOPLE FROM THEIR 
HOMES, USUALLY DURING THE NIGHT, WHO NEVER RETURN.  I 
MANAGED TO GET TO THE FREE PART OF CROATIA THROUGH 
HUNGARY AND SLOVENIA. 
 
ALL THAT I HAVE WRITTEN HERE CAN BE CONFIRMED BY 
THREE OTHER WITNESSES WHO ALSO MANAGED TO ESCAPE FROM 
THAT HELL.  I THINK WE WERE LUCKY THAT WE WENT 
THROUGH ALL THIS IN THE FIRST DAYS OF THE SERBIAN 
OCCUPATION, WHILE THE SERBIAN KILLING MACHINERY WAS 
NOT SO WELL DEVELOPED YET.  I DO NOT KNOW THE DESTINY 
OF THE OTHERS WHO REMAINED THERE.  A FEW GYPSIES 
ACCEPTED THE SERBIAN OFFER TO JOIN THEIR ARMED FORCES 
AND THUS SAVED THEIR NECKS FROM THE CHETNIKS... 
 
I AM NOT SUCH A GREAT WITNESS SINCE I WITNESSED ONLY 
FOUR KILLINGS, OF WHICH THREE INDIVIDUALS I KNEW 
PERSONALLY.  THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR ME TO 
DISCOVER EVIL AND HELL. 
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PAGE 04        ZAGREB  02532  03 OF 04  301527Z 
 
 
 
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PAGE 01        ZAGREB  02532  04 OF 04  301528Z 
ACTION EUR-01 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-01   AMAD-01  CA-02    CIAE-00  HA-09    INRE-00 
      INR-01   IO-19    ADS-00   NSAE-00  OIC-02   RP-10    SR-00 
        /046W 
                  ------------------801225  301528Z /38 
P 301531Z NOV 92 
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2877 
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 
AMEMBASSY ANKARA 
AMEMBASSY ATHENS 
AMEMBASSY BONN 
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY MADRID 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 
AMEMBASSY VIENNA 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USNATO 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USMISSION USVIENNA 
USIA WASHDC 2516 
USEC BRUSSELS 
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC 1129 
                   LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
 
                   LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 
 
PAGE 02        ZAGREB  02532  04 OF 04  301528Z 
DIA WASHDC 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-5/J-2// 
 
 
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE SECTION 04 OF 04 ZAGREB 02532 
 
 
DEPT FOR EUR, L, IO, HA/MLA/POMETTO; USVIENNA FOR USDEL CSCE 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS:  PREF, PHUM, HR, BK 
SUBJECT:  CYGOOL:  HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BOSNIA- 
-         HERCEGOVINA - CASE OF S.M., MUSLIM MALE 
 
FOR GOD'S SAKE, DO SOMETHING. 
 
3.  (LOU)  (SIGNED) 
SAID MUMINOVICH 
MUSALES BB, 
53000 POREC, CROATIA. 
 
END TRANSLATION. 
 
NEITZKE 
 
 
 
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