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SECURITY COUNCIL

Distribution: GENERAL
A/47/813
S/24991
18 December 1992
ORIGINAL: English

Depositions of Serbian women given to the State Commission for War Crimes


Page #16, 17 and 18 of the above document...

Deposition made by M.R. of her own accord

I was born on 16 March 1954, in the village of Visori on Mount Majevica [Bosnia] and lived in the village of Brezje, also on Majevica. I am a peasant farmer.

At that time, my brother-in-law Drago was on the battlefront, and my husband too. We took our children to Sremska Mitrovica [Serbia] along with other children from our village.

It happened early in June, one afternoon. They simply raided the village of Brezje. It is a small village. They surrounded it. Three men stood outside each house so it was not possible to escape or step out for a single moment. They singled out 36 youngsters and took them away. Women and girls were divided into groups.

Some were raped outside their homes. Ljubomir of Gornje Brezje, I cannot remember his surname, killed himself because they raped his wife and daughter in front of his home. They classified men as well and left the elderly people, so that nothing is presently known of their fates, whether they are sill alive or dead, and no one can reach them. My father and mother stayed behind. I do not know anything about them.

They took things out of houses, they even tore our doors and windows and transported them to Srebrnik. Later on, they set fire to the houses. I know that they first slaughtered Stokan Djukic [a Serbian name] and his wife Kata, who was Croatian. They were the first victims. The attackers were armed and wore greenish, patterned disguise uniforms. They also killed Stojan Djukic. They forced Ilija Mihajlovic to dig up a hole for himself and then to cover it with earth again. Later on, they made a big wooden cross for him, fixed him alive onto it and left him like that.

Our village is a small one, so that no one could run away and the entire population was killed. We received no news that people escaped or at least saved their lives and property of any significance. They looted everything and burned whatever was left.

They separated women from men, put us into covered trucks, similar to vans, where there was no air, and took us to a camp. It was in the afternoon, I was wearing the blouse and skirt that I had on at home. They took us to Tuzla [large, Muslim controlled city]; they put us into a tunnel, women only. It was dark inside, no light from anywhere. There were guards watching us and we were not even allowed to talk for fear of mistreatment.

I spent more than five months in the camp. We were exchanged some 10 days ago. There were two other elderly women form our village, Danica and Petra, who were also exchanged.

During all that time, five months, they never took us outside. They gave us food and a plastic bowl with water to drink. I still wore the same clothes in which I left the house. We could neither wash ourselves nor our clothes. We were 10 women. There was a partition in the tunnel, but somewhere there was not. They separated girls from women. It is unimaginable what they did. I cannot even talk about it. When they came to rape us, they first blindfolded us, so that we could not recognize them. You could neither see who approached you nor what he was doing to you, to prevent you from perhaps recognizing your neighbour.

They changed one after the other, doing whatever they pleased. They came whenever they wanted; sometimes there were three on one woman. For this to happen it was enough to utter a word during mealtime. They asked me what caused me most pain and where my husband was. I could not say he was on the front, so I said I did not know. Then they said: "You do not know where he is? You are hiding him". Then they asked me where my children were. They knew I had a brother-in-law, Drago, and a husband saying that they knew they were on the opposite side. They joined the Army, they said, adding that they won't be able to do anything on that side. They will just die like the rest of the Serbs until they were so few that they can all sit at one dining-table. They wore camouflage uniforms and were disguised so as not to be recognized.

They said that Serbian women should no longer give birth to Serbian children, but to Moslem and Croatian. They did not allow me to be exchanged before my pregnancy was well advanced.

I thought a lot about everything, I even thought of suicide. Some people went insane and lost self-control, for not everyone can endure all those tortures. I wanted to kill myself, but the thought of my two children, whom I have to support because my husband is on the front, made me stop. They told me: "Milosevic will not be with you, we will put you on trial".

They did not want to take their own people who surrendered. There were dozens of them waiting to be exchanged, but they did not want them; they said - since they surrendered, you may do with them whatever you want, we do not need them.

All information about us, camp inmates, was obtained from our neighbours, inhabitants of the neighbouring Muslim village of Hunci. I never did any harm to anyone from that village. When the exchange was to be effected among myself, two other women and one man, they were asked who should be exchanged. There was a separate part of the camp for men. The man who was released with us was Nenad Kojo. His brother, Sima Kojo, remained in the camp. He told us that red-hot wire was pushed through his nose while he was forced to walk down the corridor and wherever there was a drop of blood, his brother had to lick it. That was the first exchange of prisoners from our camp. There were 17 Muslims to be exchanged for four of us. They blindfolded us again, put us in a van and took us to Sibosnica, where they left us. From Sibosnica to Piper we were driven in a car; there we were taken over by our crisis team. My village of Brezje is on the slopes of Mt. Majevica and belongs to the Municipality of Lopare. I have two children. My son was born in 1978 and my daughter in 1982. I suffer very much because I haven't seen them for six months, nor have I fed them or given them anything to wear; I don't know how they are. My husband is on the front. I lost everything, but my relatives will take me here, and I will do any work anywhere in order to support my children.

Belgrade, 16 November 1992

Deposition made by: (Signed) M.R.

Stenographer: Roza Mitrovic Stenographer at the Federal Assembly


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Last revised: March 05, 1997