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BLIC, November 29, 2002 Page 36

THE TRUTH, PAIN, TEARS AND A FEW HARD WORDS

Night before last, the families of kidnapped Bosnians from Sjeverin attended the premier of the documentary film “Abduction” in Priboj. The truth, pain, tears and hard words The end of the film was followed by atrocious pictures of torture of kidnapped Bosnians…. Many were sobering, and some went outside…

When troubled times come, the  scum floats to the top….”

Only response to these words spoken by Zoran Cirkovic, once parliament representative of SPO, in the documentary film story about Abduction, torture and execution of 16 Bosnians from Sjeverin village near Priboj in October of 1992 – was “thank you” and “well said” from overcrowded hall in the cultural center “Pivo Karamatijevic” in Priboj.  All other comments during film projection were full of bitterness, pain and accusations.

Prior to commencement of one hour long remembrance of war crime for which nine members of Serbian paramilitary formation “Osvetnici” were accused and indicted the authors of the film “Abduction”, Jasna Jankovic and Ivan Markov, together with representative of film production RTV B92, appeared  before the audience in the theatre comprising mainly of relatives and families of victims.

-We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have really helped us  to make this film which will, I hope, function in accordance with formula: truth, responsibility and reconciliation, and will contribute to improvement of relationship between people and nations in Priboj and return them to the level they were prior to the horrific wars which happened – were the words of Jasna Jankovic awarded with big applause from the audience.

And them Rasim Pecikoza, the father of kidnapped Sead, coughed strongly. His daughter opened a packed of paper handkerchiefs, offered them to her father and whispered something into his ear. A moment later, all the lights were turned off in the hall and, on the big screen, appeared pictures from the period “brotherhood and unity”.

Oh, somebody whispered, never shall we see the return of a man like Tito was. And voices of approval.

Film went on….. from the screen it was possible to hear:

Tito's rule

Ramiz Catovic from Sjeverin, the father of kidnapped Ramahudin Catovic, watched this film on TV as well, and prior and after the projection, praised RTV B92 and accused certain people in Priboj  who were, according to him, most responsible for Abduction.

- I would like to than those good people who had courage to make and show this film…. I want to say, to be known, that, after all, I do not hate Serbian nationality. I grew up among Serbs and was brought up among Serbs. I went to weddings and funerals of the Serbs. Serbs came to my mother s and father s funerals….Today again I live in Sjeverin. My neighbor, Serbian Ratomir Perovic, helps me with everything. If I call him at midnight to help me with wood, Pero would come… As I said, I have good relationship with Serbs, however, those Serbs who have kidnapped my son as well as those who had prior knowledge but did nothing to prevent Abduction, should be prosecuted.

In conclusion, I want to say that I continue to follow same path I always followed during Tito, because Tito was only god to Serbs, Muslims and Croats – said Ramiz.

…”People of Sjeverin, working in Priboj, are entering the bus of “Raketa” from Prioboj which was operating between Rudo and Priboj. Some of them did not go to work last three months. On that day, October 22, 1992, they were called to receive their slaries.

- There, everything was prearranged…. Everything was known in advance…. That means they were summoned to be knifed – were the comments in the audience.

- “ Under the threat of arms, soldiers take off the bus 15 men and one woman”…

- Why some of the Serbs on the bus did not come out and say something

If they knew where they are being taken surely they would not surrender. There were more and more sighs in the hall and a few whimpers.

“… Two days after Abduction, Minister for human rights of national minorities, Momcilo Grubac and members of State Commission formed by Dobrica Cosic, arrived in Priboj.

One can see it in their eyes that they are lying… And he is now some kind of  President of the court? He was afraid to do anything because of Milosevic … Only Zoran Cirkovic Was a real man. He should be the President of the country.

A lot of bitterness was felt when Milic Popovic, the Mayor of Priboj, accused by many family members of the kidnapped that he had prior knowledge of everything but did not act to prevent, appeared on the screen…. However, most emotional reaction followed after announcement by RTS that  “Abduction in Sjeverin was fabricated”.

- Shame on you! Lying scum! People were killed like dogs and they are saying…!

The end of projection was followed by horrible pictures of torturing the kidnapped Bosnians… Many whimpered in the hall, and some went outside….

- I cannot look at this. I cannot, because I think that those criminals are still free, and some are possibly in this hall tonight. –  said while crying one of the older women.

Aleksandar Timofejev stated to “Blic” that he expected highest emotional reaction to the scenes of torture of kidnapped. Asked if decision by RTV B92 to show “Kidnapped” in Priboj was to certain extent risky, Timofejev replied:

- There was much risk and many happenings during last ten to twelve years. Personally, I had no doubt at any time to come to Priboj.

Without any doubt, one of the successes of film shown was silence in front of  the cultural center.

Text : Zoran Tmusic

 

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