• Main page


 Press clipping:

B92 web site October 24
Blic
Danas
Politika
NIN
Viewers' reactions on the film "Otmca" (''Abduction'')

 

B92 web site October 24

 

Sjeverin suspect arrested | 15:07 -> 22:18 | B92

BELGRADE -- Thursday -- Radio B92 learns that Djordje Sefic, indicted for the adduction of 16 Muslims from Sjeverin in 1992, has been arrested in Rome.

Sefic is the second Sjeverin case suspect who has been placed in custody.

Dragutin Dragicevic, also charged with the same crime, was arrested on June 4 this year.

Arrest warrants have been issued for other suspects.

Abducted Muslims were taken off a bus and transferred from Sjeverin to the territory of Republic of Srpska to the Vilina vlas motel in Visegrad, where they were brutally tortured, says in the indictment. Then they were taken to the Drina river bank where some of them were murdered with automatic weapons, and others with knives.

Their bodies were thrown into Drina.


Visitors’ comments in the B92 web forum:


DJORDJE SEVIC, A SUSPECT IN THE ABDUCTION IN SJEVERIN, ARRESTED | 24. 10. 2002. 14:14 -> 15:06 | Source: B92

There are plenty of criminals in the territory of former Yugoslavia, and everybody, regardless of their nationality, should be called to account for that they have done. All three sides perpetrated crimes against the innocent. In the same way that the then policy of Serbs who were then the “heavenly people” was bad, the present policy of the Serbs who are proclaimed “genocidal people” is not good, too.

(Uncle Jo, October 24, 2002, 18:14)

Is it possible that this is happening only after ten years have passed? I am really feeling uneasy when I know that the murderers and maniacs are walking around freely, as if nothing had happened.

(Aleksandra, October 24, 2002, 15:39)

Is it possible that some can play with fire without getting burned????

(Dada, October 24, 2002, 14:50)


ĆOSIĆ HASN'T THE FAINTEST IDEA ABOUT SJEVERIN CASE | 17:54 | Source: B92

Belgrade – Immediately after the abduction of the Muslims from Sjeverin, Dobrica Ćosić, in the capacity of the then president of FRY, established a state commission that should have investigated this crime. Cosic spoke on Thursday in the meeting entitled «Great Serbia – Truths, Delusions, and Abuses», which was held in the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. When we asked him to comment on the conclusion of investigation about the abduction of sixteen FRY citizens from Sjeverin, Dobrica Ćosić replied the following:

B92: Mr. Ćosić, could I ask you just one question? Ćosić: "Not a single one." B92: The Sjeverin Case has been concluded. You established the commission that should have investigated this event. What is your comment on this? Ćosić: "What was that?" B92: The Sjeverin Case has been concluded, the abduction… Ćosić: "I don't have the faintest idea. I don't have anything to comm... I don't know anything. This is the first time I have heard of it. "


Visitors' comments in the B92 web forum:

ĆOSIĆ DOESN'T HAVE THE FAINTEST IDEA ABOUT SJEVERIN | October 24, 2002 17:54 | Source: B92

The comments like "I don't have the faintest idea" or "I am not informed" are chronic for most of the politicians in Serbia. Maybe it is so because the voters demand so little of them...

(Dragan, October 24, 2002, 21:44)

Luckily for Mr. Former President, he knows so much about Albanian, Croatian, Slovenian, etc, nationalism and chauvinism... and about the alleged Serbian reaction to all those things... Of course, he doesn't have the faintest idea about the memorandum and about its results. It is sad that such (selectively senile) persons are the members of an institution like SANU (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts).

(Bane, October 24, 2002, 19:42)

It is to a certain degree all right that he doesn't have the faintest idea about Sjeverin now, but it is sad that he did not have the faintest idea about anything at the time when he was president.  

(Aca, October 24, 2002, 18:20)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blic, 25. October
Sević Arrested on the Grounds of the Abduction in Sjeverin


BELGRADE (Tanjug - Beta) - Radio 92 broadcast yesterday the news by the Tanjug news agency that Djordje Sevic, one of the suspects in the case of abduction of seventeen Muslims on October 22, 1992 in Sjeverin near the town of Priboj, was arrested. Sevic is the second person who was put in the pre-trial confinement, besides Dragutin Dragicevic, who was arrested on June 4.

The District Attorney Office brought criminal charges against Milan Lukic, Oliver Krsmanovic, Dragutin Dragicevic and Djordje Sevic, Beta news agency learned in the District Attorney's Office, and Radio B92 broadcast two day ago that the criminal charges had been brought against five more persons. Dragicevic and Sevic are held in custody, while a wanted circular has been sent for Lukic and Krsmanovic.

A group of seventeen Muslims was abducted from a bus that was commuting from Sjeverin to Priboj, on October 22, 1992. They were transported on the territory of Republika Srpska, to "Vilina vlas" motel near the town of Visegrad, where they were brutally tortured. After that they were taken to a bank of the Drina River, where some of them were killed from the automatic firearms, and some with knives. Their bodies were thrown in Drina.

One of the indictees for the abduction and murder is Milan Lukic from "Visegrad, born in 1967, who was publicly mentioned as the organizer of the abduction of people from the train on the Belgrade-Bar line, which was committed near Strpce, in 1993". In some media, Lukic was mentioned as the leader of various paramilitary formations in Republika Srpska, the best known of which had been "Osvetnici" ("Avengers").

The Hague Tribunal also seeks Milan Lukic, on the grounds of the indictment against him for the crimes against humanity and the violation of the customs of war. The indictment was brought in August 1998. The Tribunal accuses Lukic of having committed "tens, if not even hundreds of crimes in the territory of the Municipality of Visegrad, including murders, torture, beatings, and the destruction of private property" together with the members of his paramilitary formation, from April 1992 till October 1994. In the Tribunal's indictment, the name of that paramilitary formation was recorded as "Beli Orlovi" ("The White Eagles"), and they added that it had been "connected with the Visegrad police forces and with the Serbian military units". Among other things, the Tribunal indictment against Lukic reads that "in the spring of 1992, Lukic joined a paramilitary formation, which, together with the units of Serbian police and military forces, worked on the ethnical cleansing of the region of Visegrad from all the residents who were not of Serbian nationality". According to the indictment, the "Vilina vlas" motel served them as "an object for imprisonment, in which the prisoners were beaten, tortured, and raped."

Lukic was previously arrested on the grounds of the abduction near Strpce, but the authorities in Republika Srpska released him from custody due to the lack of evidence.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Danas, 23. October
Ten Years Have Passed Since the Abduction of 16 Bosniaks from Sjeverin
Crime that Could Have Been Prevented


Belgrade - "Even today, whenever I am in the bus that passes by the incinerated restaurant "Amfora" I think of my father and of those who were kidnapped together with him. Not a single day passes by that I don't think of that." "I often dream of my brother. In my dreams there is him and a few other people who are all brought for prisoners' exchange. Then I start, and I realize that it was only a dream. I wake up and cry." These are the excerpts from the accounts of the families of sixteen kidnapped Bosniaks from Sjeverin, a village near Priboj, who were abducted ten years ago from the bus of the Uzice based company "Raketa", in Mionica settlement in the territory of Republika Srpska, which were recorded in the B92 documentary film "Otmica" ("Abduction").

The abducted, fifteen men and one woman, were mainly commuting to work to the town of Priboj (before the abduction, they did not work for several months, and on that very day they were called from the company in which they worked to collect their salaries, according to what the mother of one of the abducted said). They were taken away by the members of a paramilitary formation of Milan Lukic from Republika Srpska, called "Osvetnici" ("Avengers"). Soon after the abduction, the kidnapped Bosniaks, who were the citizens of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were murdered near the town of Visegrad. Before they were murdered, they were tortured in the motel "Vilina vlas". Admir Djikic, the only person who had survived the abduction, also spoke about the crime that was perpetrated against the Bosniaks from Sjeverin:

- "That morning, I went out together with my uncle. He went to work, and I went to school. About half past six, in front of the restaurant "Amfora" that was burnt down on the previous day, the bus that was commuting from Rudo to Priboj was stopped by nine members of the paramilitary formation "Avengers". They asked the passengers to show them their identity cards, and they ordered the Bosniaks to get off the bus. I stood near Ilija and Desa Kitic. When the armed men that got on the bus asked me to tell my name, Ilija said that I was their son," recounts Admir, who was thirteen at the time. The Avengers believed Ilija, and Admir became the only Bosniak who witnessed the abduction.

The abducted were put in a truck that was covered with a tarpaulin sheet, and on their way to Visegrad, they passed two checking points, one of the Yugoslav Army, and the other of the Serbian police forces. The relatives of the abducted are convinced that their dearest would still be alive to this day, had the authorities acted in time. The news about the abduction spread in Priboj immediately, but Radio Television of Serbia covered it only after four days had passed, and only apropos the report on the visit by the then federal Minister for human rights, Momcilo Grubac and the members of the state Commission that was established by the then FRY President, Dobrica Cosic to Priboj and Sjeverin. The media mainly covered the abduction in a confused way, citing also the statements issued by certain Serbian political parties, which maintained that the whole thing had only been staged. Ratko Mladic, too, spoke with Momcilo Grubac on that occasion in Priboj, and he asserted that the Army of Republika Srpska was not responsible for the abduction, and that they would do their best in order that the kidnapped persons were freed.

The abduction in Sjeverin was preceded by a murder of a Bosniak and an abduction of another Bosniak. The authorities did not react in either of the cases. The first Bosniak was murdered by two members of paramilitary formations from Republika Srpska in a place that is about a hundred meters away from the checking point of the Serbian police forces. The suspect for this murder was arrested, and released afterwards, due to the "lack of evidence". The inhabitants of Sjeverin also spoke for Radio Television B92 about the constant harassments that they endured during those months. The armed members of the Serbian paramilitary formations from Republika Srpska went to their daily rounds to this village, fired their arms, and threatened. The inhabitants of Sjeverin, both the Serbians and Muslims, tried to live their lives normally. After the abduction, that was not possible any more, and the Bosniaks left the village. Some of them passed about twenty kilometers on foot, all the way to Priboj, and there the then president of the Municipal Assembly, Milic Popovic, told them not to come to see him, because he could not help them. The family of Admir Djikic left Sjeverin, too. Admir first went to Novi Pazar, and then to Turkey. They presently live in Sarajevo.

As Veran Matic, the producer of the film and the director of Radio Television B92 announced after the projection of the film for journalists, this was one of the first documentary films from the series "Nezavisni za istinu" ("The Independent for Truth"), which should contribute to the process of facing the tragic past. RTV B92 works on the films about other crimes that were perpetrated in various parts of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against the members of different nationalities. He added that almost everything was known about the "Sjeverin case", and that it was the turn of the state organs to bring the criminal charges against the perpetrators. Ivan Markov, the director of the film, pointed out to the fact that the state had not done anything, and that they could have prevented the crime. Jasna Jankovic, journalist of RTV B92, and an associate on this project said that the general public in Serbia got a chance with the film for the first time to learn what had happened in the "Sjeverin case".

"If the crime that was perpetrated in Sjeverin had been prevented, other crimes would not have happened either," Jasna Jankovic said, and warned of the fact that the general public in Serbia was not aware that many perpetrators walk freely past them.

S. Bisevac

"Heroes" and Antiheroes "
Due to the reasonable doubt that he took part in the abduction and murder of the Bosniaks from Sjeverin, only Dragutin Dragicevic, a member of the "Osvetnici" ("Avengers") paramilitary formation, has been arrested so far. Milan Lukic, the commander of that formation, was arrested three times since 1992 by the Serbian police on various charges (possession of arms, forging of documents, murder of a Serbian from Visegrad who aided the Bosniaks to flee from Visegrad…), but they have always released him from custody. The Hague Tribunal also brought a criminal charge against Lukic on the ground of the war crimes that he had perpetrated in the territory of Eastern Bosnia. He is still at large and lives in Visegrad. He owns an apartment and is officially registered to reside in the central part of Belgrade. In the photographs that were showed in the end of the documentary "Abduction", which had been taken by the members of the Lukic's "Avengers" in the "Vilina Vlas" motel, the way in which those "warriors" had tortured the abducted Bosniaks could be seen. In some of them, they were photographed while they were beating the abducted with bars and bats, while their bloody faces were still recognizable. In some other photographs, the Bosniaks were lying down and Lukic's "soldiers" were kicking them with their boots. According to what Ivan Markov said, in the photographs that B92 obtained from the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the faces of the abductors were clearly recognizable.
"Some people are trying to depict them as heroes, but it is obvious that they are not heroes," Markov said.

 

Danas, 24. October
Have the Criminal Charges Against the Perpetrators Been Finally Brought?

Belgrade - The District Attorney's Office in Belgrade yesterday delivered the criminal charge against several persons, who were suspected of having taken part in the abduction of sixteen Muslims from Sjeverin in October 1992, to the District Court in Belgrade. The charges were brought against Milan Lukic, Oliver Krsmanovic, Dragutin Dragicevic, and six more persons for the criminal act of perpetrating a war crime against the civilian population.

However, the sources of "Danas" in the Belgrade District Attorney's Office were not able to confirm nor to deny this piece of information. According to what they said, nothing unusual happened in the District Attorney's Office, and according to what several District Attorneys told us, they should have been informed of such a thing if it happened, as it was their job. Vladan Batic, Minister of Justice, could say nothing about that indictment, either. "Much has been said about the process of collecting the evidence, but I am not informed about the stage of the investigation that has been reached so far," Batic told "Danas". He concluded that it was sad that it had took ten years for the charges to be brought, but he also added that it was uncertain whether the charges could have been brought earlier, due to the course of the procedure of collecting the evidence.

Natasa Kandic, director of the Fund for Humanitarian Law, asked why the charges had not been brought up to the present time. "Milan Lukic is the main actor who directly executed the orders that were issued by the top levels of government of Serbia and Republika Srpska, and he is the central figure that can serve the purpose of casting the light on those lines of command," Kandic told "Danas". However, Kandic reminded that the Hague Tribunal had also issued the indictment against Lukic, and that in case he was arrested, the state organs would have to give him over to the Tribunal.

Veran Matic, the producer of the film that was shown two days ago on the occasion of the sad anniversary of ten years that have passed from the crime that was perpetrated in Sjeverin, and the director of B 92 told "Danas" that the criminal charges should have been brought earlier. "There were plenty of materials available for creating this film. I do not think that the film had any direct influence on bringing the criminal charges, because I know that the investigation for this case was concluded several months ago. It is evident from "The Abduction" that there is sufficient evidence for bringing this criminal charge," Matic assessed.

To remind you, the abducted Muslims from Sjeverin were transferred to Republika Srpska to the "Vilina vlas" motel near the town of Visegrad, where they were brutally physically abused. After that the abducted were taken to the bank of the Drina river, where they were killed, some from the automatic arms, and some with knives. Their bodies were thrown in Drina. According to what B92 said, the suspects were put in jail, although so far only Dragutin Dragicevic, who had been arrested on June 4, 2002, was presently kept in custody in the Investigative Prison in Belgrade. A wanted circular was sent out for the rest of the perpetrators.

Authors: A.Nosov - M. Jevtovic

Natasa Kandic: It was stated in the film "Otmica" ("The Abduction") that the accused Milan Lukic resided and had an apartment in Belgrade, and that he was still at large and living in Visegrad. However, Natasa Kandic, director of the Fund for Humanitarian Law, said that it was widely known that he was in Srbinja (near Foca) and in the surrounding area". Kandic added that the court had to bear in mind that Lukic had not been a member of the paramilitary formations that had not been controlled by the state organs, but that according to what could have been heard in the court proceedings against Nebojsa Ranisavljevic, that he had been a member of the regular formations of the Army of Republika Srpska. She also reminded of the fact that Lukic had been put to jail three times so far, and that he had always been released from custody.


Danas,
Criminals Are Still Among Us

Belgrade - About seven o'clock in the morning on October 22, 1992, in the village of Mioca, near Rudo, in front of the incinerated restaurant "Amfora", owned by Adem Djuza, nine members of the Serbian paramilitary formation from Republika Srpska "Osvetnici" ("Avengers"), commanded by Milan Lukic, stopped the bus of the "Raketa" transportation company from Uzice which carried the passengers, mostly workers and pupils, to the town of Priboj. They checked the identification cards of the passengers, kidnapped sixteen Bosniaks, local residents of the village Sjeverin near Priboj who were the citizens of FRY, they transported them to the region of Visegrad, and after they had tortured them, they murdered them. Before that, they had passed two checking points, one of the Yugoslav Army, and the other of the police forces of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The then President of FRY, Dobrica Cosic, established the State Commission, which should have cast the light on this case. Momcilo Grubac, the then federal Minister for Human Rights, also visited Sjeverin. This was, essentially, all that the state has done. The state organs present excuses for their own tardiness in this case by citing the fact that the abduction was perpetrated in the territory of another state. After the "Sjeverin case", in February 1993, the "Strpci case" took place. Again, in the territory of Republika Srpska, from the train that went from Belgrade to Bar, twenty-one passengers were abducted and murdered. It is suspected that Milan Lukic was responsible for this abduction, too, and the only person who was sentenced in court for this crime was Nebojsa Ranisavljevic. Jasna Jankovic, a journalist in B92 who also worked on the film "Abduction", warned that many had forgotten the crime that was perpetrated against the Bosniaks from Sjeverin. "If the crime that was perpetrated in Sjeverin had been prevented, the other crimes that were committed would not have happened," Jankovic said, and warned that the general public in Serbia was not aware of the fact that many criminals were walking freely past them.

"Even today, whenever I am in the bus that passes by the incinerated restaurant "Amfora" I think of my father and of those who were kidnapped together with him. Not a single day passes by that I don't think of that." "I often dream of my brother. In my dreams there is him and a few other people who are all brought for prisoners' exchange. Then I start, and I realize that it was only a dream. I wake up and cry." These are the excerpts from the accounts of the families of sixteen kidnapped Bosniaks from Sjeverin, which were recorded in the documentary film "Otmica" ("Abduction"). Admir Djikic, the only person who had survived the abduction, also spoke in the film about the crime that was perpetrated against the Bosniaks from Sjeverin: "That morning, I went together with my uncle. He went to work, and I went to school", recounts Admir, who was thirteen at the time. "I was standing near Ilija and Desa Kitic. When the armed men that got on the bus asked me to tell my name, Ilija said that I was their son," Admir said.

The news about the abduction spread in Priboj immediately, but Radio Television of Serbia covered it only after four days had passed, when the town was visited by the members of the Cosic's Commission and the then Minister Grubac, and even by Ratko Mladic. He asserted that the Army of Republika Srpska was not responsible for the abduction, and that they would do their best in order that the kidnapped persons were freed. The family members of the abducted are convinced that their dearest would still be alive to this day, had the authorities reacted to the news of the abduction. The media mainly covered the abduction in a confused way, citing also the statements issued by certain Serbian political parties, which maintained that the whole thing had only been staged. The general public was also informed that the Bosniaks from Sjeverin were kidnapped so that they could be exchanged. The Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had allegedly captured twenty-eight Serbian fighters, and the paramilitary formation under the command of Milan Lukic kidnapped the residents of Sjeverin to exchange them for those fighters. Most are still convinced that this crime was perpetrated in order that the Bosniaks were forced to leave this region near the border.

After the "Sjeverin case" the local Bosniaks did so. They left not only the village of Sjeverin, but also the other villages near the town of Priboj, which made that region ethnically cleansed. Most of them lives in Priboj, and some left the county. Admir Djikic lives with his family in Sarajevo. He has never returned to Sjeverin.

Safeta Bisevac

"Abduction" on RTV B92
On the occasion of the sad anniversary of this tragic event, RTV B92 made a documentary film "Otmica" ("Abduction"), which will be broadcast on Monday night, on October 28, as a part of the programme "Odgovornost, istina, pomirenje" ("Responsibility, Truth, Reconciliation"). The photographs that were taken by the abductors themselves while they were torturing the abducted residents of Sjeverin in the motel "Vilina vlas" near the town of Visegrad will be showed for the first time in the film directed by Ivan Markov. The Belgrade District Attorney Office brought criminal charges against Milan Lukic and his accomplices in this crime only a few days ago. On the account of the war crimes that he committed in Visegrad and the wider region of this town, Lukic was put on the list of the indicted persons of the Hague Tribunal.

Abducted and Murdered
The abducted and murdered persons in the "Sjeverin case" were: Ramiz Begovic (1933), father of three children, an employee of the Municipal Assembly of the town of Priboj; Hajrudin Sajtarevic (1955), father of two, an electrician in the Elektrodistribuciji; Mithad Softic (1951), father of two children, an electrician in Elektrodistribuciji; Dervis Softic (1953), unmarried, salesman; Mustafa Bajramovic (1948), father of two children, a driver with "Poliester" company; Sead Pecikoza (1962), father of one child, a worker in FAP; Idriz Gibovic (1942), father of two children, a worker in bakery; Medo Hodzic (1955), father of three children, a worker in "Poliester" company; Mevlida Hodzic (1962), mother of one child, a cleaning lady in "Rudoplast" company; Medredin Hodzic (1962), unmarried, q worker in "Poliester" company; Ramaludin Catovic (1968), father of two children, a worker in "Poliester" company; Zafer Hodzic (1956), father of two children, a butcher in the supermarket in Priboj; Mehmed Sebo (1962) unmarried, a worker in "Poliester" company; Mujo Alihodzic (1950), father of two children, a locksmith with FAP company; Alija Mandal (1954), father of two children, a worker with FAP company; and Esad Dzihic (1968), unmarried, a fireman in "Poliester" company. Most of them commuted to work. "They hadn't worked for months, and on that day they were called to come and take their salaries," the mother of one of the abducted tells in the documentary "Abduction". The family members of the abducted said that the state had not given them any financial aid, in spite of the fact that the abducted in most cases had been their only sustainers. However, the lawful state had done its function in one case. Due to his absence from work, they sent the decision that the abducted and murdered Alija Mandal had been dismissed at his home address.

Danas,
Who is Djordje Sevic who was arrested for perpetrating a war crime in Ruma?

The Man Who Loved Paramilitary Formations Sremska Mitrovica - The news published by a news agency that Djordje Sevic, one of the people charged with the abduction of seventeen Muslims in Sjeverin near Priboj in 1992, was arrested two days ago in Ruma attracted considerable attention of the general public in Srem.

There is not many available data on Djordje Sevic. A source of the daily "Danas" in Ruma said that he was born in 1972 in Sremska Mitrovica and that he presently lived in the "Tivol" development in Ruma. He worked with a private company "Tomos". He was arrested on the grounds of a wanted circular that had been issued for him. Another thing that is known about him is that he was a member of paramilitary formations that were active in several places and that were fighting around Okucani. It is supposed that he also smuggled and illegally sold arms in Serbia together with the same persons from the paramilitary group, and it is even asserted that he sold an automatic rifle and a sniper in Ruma.

It is said that the same paramilitary group were active in the regions of Milici and Srebrenica, too. According to the available data, he has a criminal record, but the crime and the sentence are not known. It is also known that he was absent for a long time, which he spent in the war regions as a member of paramilitary formations. He never had any serious conflict with the police in Ruma.

The District Attorney Office brought a criminal charge on the basis of the Sjeverin case against Milan Lukic, Oliver Krsmanovic, Dragutin Dragicevic and Djordje Sevic, and a wanted circular was issued for Lukic and Krsmanovic, according to the Beta news agency. The Hague Tribunal wants to arrest Milan Lukic, too, charging him with the crimes against humanity and with the violation of the customs of war. The criminal charge against him was brought by the Tribunal in 1998. The abovementioned Milan Lukic was previously arrested on the account of the criminal charge for the abduction in Strpci, but he was released from custody in Republika Srpska due to the lack of evidence.

J. Zurkovic

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NIN,
The Last Salary

The authentic photographs of the beaten people who lie helplessly covered with blood on the floor of one of the rooms in the "Vilina vlas" motel, while a person, whose face was carefully left out of the picture frame, and who was dressed in a camouflage uniform stood over them, were taken exactly ten years ago. In them, the way in which sixteen Muslims from Sjeverin lived the last moments of their lives can be seen. The only the people who perpetrated that crime on October 22, 1992, and who have not been punished for it a whole decade afterwards cannot be seen in those photographs. That is the end. In fact, those are only the final frames of the film "Otmica" ("Abduction"), which should remind those who survived that on that same day sixteen Muslims, local residents of Sjeverin in Yugoslavia, were abducted from a bus of the Uzice based company "Raketa", and that even to this very day it has not been revealed what really happened to them, nor who were the perpetrators of this crime. The real end is still at a distance.

The confrontation begins. For some, only with this documentary story about one of the first crimes against the civilians that was perpetrated during the warring conflicts in the territory of the former SFRY, about the abduction of sixteen Muslims from Sjeverin near Priboj, with which the director Ivan Markov started a series entitled "Nezavisni za istinu" ("The Independent for Truth"), produced by RTV B92, in the REX Cinema.

Besides the perpetrators, the only Muslim who survived the abduction was left faceless in this film, too. Admir Djikic was then a boy of thirteen, and he spent the last decade of his life hiding in Novi Pazar and in Turkey, only to settle down in Sarajevo a year or so ago. Living in fear from the revenge by the abductors, who are still at large, this twenty-three years old young man, who was screened by darkness, explained that he had escaped the fate of his neighbors and cousins only because the people in the camouflage uniforms believed that he was a child of Desa and Ilija Kitic, a married couple near whom he was sitting, and who took that same bus to Priboj across the Bosnian territory. The nine armed men with their smirched faces took all the others who did not have Serbian name and surname in their identity cards out of the bus near the little place of Mioca in Bosnia, put them in a truck, and after having passed two checking points of the Yugoslav Army and of the Serbian police forces, took them to an unknown direction. There were fifteen men, among whom the uncle of this boy, and one woman.

The family members of the abducted maintain in the film that an ambush had been prepared for all of them on that day on the way to Priboj. The family members of the abducted find the confirmation for their suspicions in the fact that the abductors were waiting ready to meet their victims, as well as in the fact that most of them set out on that trip to Priboj after they had been called from their factories to come and collect their salaries. For months before that event they did not go to work. They did not go out of their homes after a murder that had been committed in their village, the perpetrator of which was released from custody due to the alleged "lack of evidence". The family members of the abducted maintan that he abductors had known that the Muslims from Sjeverin were going to Priboj on the account of all this. They had also known that the fear would drive all the other passengers from the bus to the disquieting silence.

The author of the film, as well as the family members of the missing, seem to have been able to find the excuse for that silence, but there were no excuses in this story for the silence of the state authorities. Through the reconstruction of the events, which was done latter on by the authors of the film on the basis of all the available documents, the Yugoslav authorities and certain media organizations were called to account for their inexplicable silence, which was, according to the witnesses in the film, essential for the missing not to be found ever again. One of the main suspects for this crime, the commander of the paramilitary formation "Osvetnici" ("Avengers") from Republika Srpska, Milan Lukic, against whom even the Hague Tribunal brought the indictment, is by this very day at large, although he has been arrested several times in the meantime, on the grounds of some other offences. Even the family members of the killed people cannot give any comment on what happened after the abduction, at the time when the sixteen abducted people still had a chance to live. Ten years afterwards, as it can be seen from the film by Ivan Markov, they have been left without words and without hope. And there is hardy any chance for hope, concluded the author of the film "Abduction" himself, by the silent show of photographs at the end of this film, which were taken by the perpetrators of this crime themselves, in which one can see the tortured people and the boots of the people in the camouflage uniforms that kick in the bodies covered with blood. According to one possible version of the events, the sixteen abducted people were killed after they had been tortured near Visegrad.

Those last moments of the abducted that were captured in the photographs, which are also the last frames of this film, were shocking for the audience who came to see the first night of this film, too. Not so much for the morbid scenes that were showed in them, but for the fact that giving up hope presents the cruel confrontation with the consequences of this, as well as of other crimes.

Dragana Matovic

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Politika,
Dvojica optuženih u pritvoru

The Beta News Agency learned yesterday from their source in the District Attorney Office in Belgrade that two persons charged with the abduction of seventeen Muslims from the place of Sjeverin, which took place exactly ten years ago, were put in pre-trial confinement.

Beta learned that the District Attorney Office brought criminal charges against Milan Lukic, Oliver Krsmanovic, Dragutin Dragicevic, and another person surnamed Stevic from their source in the District Attorney Office. Dragicevic and Stevic have been put in the pre-trial confinement, while a wanted circular was sent for Lukic and Krsmanovic, Beta was told in the District Attorney Office.

A group of seventeen Muslims was abducted from a bus that commuted from Sjeverin to Priboj on October 22, 1992. It was stated in the criminal charge that after they had been abducted, they were transported to the territory of the Republika Srpska, to the "Vilina Vlas" motel in the town of Visegrad, where they were brutally physically abused.

After that, the abducted were taken to the bank of the Drina River, where some of them were killed from the automatic weapons, and some with knives. Their bodies were thrown in the Drina River.

(Beta news agency)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 28, 2002
Viewers' reactions on the film "Otmca" (''Abduction'')

Viewer no. 1

Good evening. I am just watching this programme about the abducted Muslims on your television, and I would like to know why don't you show something about the abducted Serbs, and about the murdered Serbs, and about the things what were burned down, if you are so concerned about some twenty Turks? I think that it would be nice of you to publish...

Intake Secretary: That is you opinion, sir...

Well, this is not only my opinion, madam, do you happen to know how many Serbs were arrested and murdered?

Let's say that I do know, but the question is to what extent I know...

Well, it seems that I know a little bit more than you do, so I find this a little bit... repulsive. You talk about the abducted Turks, I agree that this shouldn't have happened, but brother, you should also write about Serbs, and not only defend them. Nobody defends us in Sarajevo, rest assured about that.

Well, maybe they will have to, we'll see about that...

Maybe, if Đinđić introduce something, or the Americans, but it is not very likely to happen...

Yes, yes, thank you, good buy.

Viewer no. 2

Good evening. I am calling from Užice. I have just seen that programme about Sjeverin. Well, I just want to praise what you have done, I was thrilled... by the truth that you bring out to light. That was all I wanted to say to you.

Thank you very muck, that's exactly what we want to do.

Yes, and well... I don't know now, a case of... I’ve forgotten exactly, just a moment... Bratunac, I don't know whether you have those stories about it, but I know about a journalist, Zoran Knusic from Sevojno, a correspondent of Blic... A long time ago I listened to his story that he was telling in his private capacity, in somebody's apartment, he did not publish it, but he spoke then about how he had watched the shooting of Muslim citizens... and about how he had taken photographs of that secretly somehow from a bus...

Well, that is an interesting piece of information, thank you anyway.

I was thinking, if you would like to write down his name, I mean, my name is not important... So, he is Zoran Knušić, a journalist from Sevojno, a correspondent for Blic. And my congratulations on your courage. Have a nice evening.

Viewer No. 3

Is that Television B92? Madam or miss, this is Stanislav Živkov speaking, I am an art historian from Pancevo. I would only like to congratulate you on what you broadcast at eight o'clock. You should have the guts to show what... what... what we were proud of then, and who is living among us today...

Thank you very much for your call. Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?

Well, I could wish that... that you show us films about many other things... so at least that we show what our people were doing, and let it rest on other peoples' souls if they will not show their own crimes, you know...

Yes, yes, I see, I see.

Please, tell me one more thing: Have they called you to express their criticisms, or not?

Well, to tell you the truth, not as much as we expected them to call, you know.

I mean, one might say that we are colleagues, maybe, I work with Television Pancevo, a part-time job, you know, but now I was at home, and I watched your programme, I, well, it's hard for me, what can I tell you...

I see, I see. I understand what you mean, sir. Thank you once again for your call.

www.b92.net