Quarter-century after the crime that killed dozens of young people in Tuzla, Bosnian northern town has opened a memorial centre symbolically called Kapija (the Gate) in honour of all the victims killed on that site in May 1995.
Regardless of all relevant facts and evidence presented at the memorial, and despite the court decisions convicting those charged with this crime to 20 years in prison, some still deny it ever happened, said Tuzla Mayor Jasmin Imamovic.
“That's why we want to use the truth to defend from lies, to keep the eternal memory of the war crime victims and not allow the criminals to lie. Truth is stronger than lies provided that it is contained in a memorial and monumental culture. This centre is the keeper of the evidence about the crime at the gate. The evidence will be available not only to (on-site) visitors but also online. One can search for documents, take a look at them and read them. That's the way to preserve the truth,” said Imamovic.
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) made a significant contribution by providing the documents its journalists have collected over the years and which concern these events.
On May 25, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces fired a missile at the Kapija neighbourhood, killing 71 and wounding more than 200, mostly the young.
Bosnian state Court sentenced in 2010 a commander of Bosnian Serb Army Novak Djukic to 25 years in prison for ordering the shelling which, according to the indictment, killed 71 and injured more than 140 civilians.
The sentence was reduced in February 2014 to 20 years in prison after the Bosnia's Constitutional Court established a wrong application of the law in Djukic's case. Djukic then departed to Serbia for, as his attorney said, medical treatment and has been unavailable to Bosnia's judicial institutions since then.