30th anniversary of the crime on Koricani cliffs: Roses thrown into the abyss

Source: Haris Badzic/Anadolija

Two hundred roses were thrown from the cliff at the site of Koricani cliffs (Koricanske stijene) in Vlasic, where at least 200 Bosniak and Croat men were shot on this day in 1992.

On the 30th anniversary of the crime, a large number of family members of those killed, survivors and members of the Association of War Time Prisoners in BiH, and representatives of veterans’ organizations and political and religious life paid tribute to those killed and held a prayer.

Munevera Avdic, the head of the Organization of Families of Martyrs and Fallen Fighters and Missing Persons of the Municipality of Kotor-Varos, said that a crime was committed on Koricani cliffs.

“Over 200 people from Prijedor were shot at this location 30 years ago, but during the exhumation and identification, five people from Kotor-Varosan were also found here. This means that it is a crime on top of a crime, that they (perpetrators) dug and hid their bodies so that they would never be found. A total of 7,628 citizens are still sought after in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically 275 from Kotor-Varos. We appeal to the institutions that are involved in the process of searching for missing persons to speed up that process, especially to the Prosecutor's Office of BiH, which issues the exhumation order,” said Avdic.

Seid Omerovic, the president of the Association of Concentration Camp Prisoners in BiH, said that it is important to cherish the memory of this place. He also explained the concept of the triple execution that was carried out on the inmates of Prijedor.

“The triple execution involves shooting the inmates at this place, the second execution is the fall, as some survived and some deliberately jumped to try to survive, and the third execution is what came after, the throwing of bombs and shooting in the bodies of the inmates,” Omerovic added.

Eleven convicts were sentenced to a total of 200 years for the crime at Koricani cliffs. The search for 80 percent of the skeletal remains is still ongoing because the bodies of the murdered inmates were transferred and buried in other locations.

Darko Mrdja was sentenced to 17 years in prison, Damir Ivankovic to 14, Gordan Djuric to 8, Ljubisa Cetic to 13, Zoran Babic to 22, Milorad Skrbic to 21, Dusan Jankovic to 21, Zeljko Stojnic to 15, Sasa Zecevic to 23, Marinko Lepoja to 23 and Radoslav Knezevic to 23 years in prison.

The men, previously imprisoned in Prijedor camps, under the pretext of exchange, were lined up on Koricani cliffs by members of the intervention squad of the then Republika Srpska police from Prijedor.

Ordering them to kneel, they shot them in the back, after which their bodies fell into an abyss more than 300 meters deep.

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