BiH Victims’ associations concerned about works at site of wartime killings

NEWS 29.04.2022 13:29
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Source: N1

Victims' associations in Bosnia are worried about a project by local authorities in Bratunac to reconstruct the halls of the Kravica Agricultural Cooperative which were used for the detention and execution of 1,300 Bosniaks as part of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide.

N1 visited the site where the works have already started and a sign that says “Rehabilitation and reconstruction of four halls in MZ Kravica, municipality of Bratunac” was erected. The investor in the project is the company Mark-Milex from Srebrenica and the deadline for the execution of works is 90 days, starting in April.

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According to the director of the Srebrenica Memorial Centre, Emir Suljagic, the site should still be considered a crime scene.

“On an order of the mayor of Bratunac, Srdjan Rankic, the rehabilitation of the Agricultural Warehouse in Kravica began, where 1,300 civilians, men and boys from the Srebrenica enclave were killed on July 13, 1995. This is still a crime scene until the Prosecutor's Office of BiH says otherwise,” he wrote on social media.

The head of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves Movement, Munira Subasic, told N1 that the plan of the Bratunac municipality represents “a direct intervention in a crime scene”, adding that her youngest son was among the 1,313 Bosniaks who were killed there.

She pointed out that the remains of those killed in this area were never found in their entirety because the remains were moved from one mass grave to another.

“One mass grave was found on Budak where a bone belonging to my son was found, and another one of his bones was found 25 km away,” she said, arguing that disturbing the crime scene represents a new crime.

“This was not just an ordinary crime. To end so many lives, those of young people, older people, middle-aged people in one day and in one moment. This was a collection centre. They took people from Potocari. My son was taken from Potocari. Then, on July 13, 1995, the shooting took place,” she said.

Source : N1

She said that now, instead of repenting after 27 years and realising what took place, “they are trying to hide their crime.”

However, she pointed out that there is no way to hide those crimes.

“Not all Serbs are guilty of the genocide in Srebrenica, but they must feel shame for what their representatives did. What they are doing now, I think, is being done out of spite,” she said.

“It is not easy for them to pass by those halls either. How could that government allow something to be built and worked on there? Who would be willing to feed their children in those halls?” she asked.

She reminded that authorities rejected a request by victims’ associations to officially declare Kravica a site of an atrocity.

Meanwhile, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office told N1 that several investigations have been conducted at the site, both in the cases investigated International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the BiH Prosecutor's Office, in order to provide the evidence needed for the cases that have been brought to court and that process was completed.

“The Prosecutor's Office of BiH is an institution of criminal prosecution and has no authority regarding property and legal relations related to facilities and locations where war crimes were committed, both in the area of Srebrenica and its surroundings and in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the Prosecutor's Office said.

The institution noted that it does not have the authority to decide on granting a certain location the status of a memorial site or similar forms of protection.

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