RTS "postpones" documentary to protect Croats who made it

The documentary "15 Minutes - The Massacre in Dvor" was not broadcast again on Serbia's state TV RTS due to pressure from Croatia.

Source: RTS

"Although tonight (Tuesday) we should have re-broadcast the Danish documentary film which deals with crimes committed during (Croatia's) Operation Storm, we are postponing the broadcast. RTS has been asked to do this by producers from Denmark, for the sake of the safety of Croatian team that participated in the making of the film," RTS said in a statement.

They added that the film has been shown at festivals and TV stations around the world, and will be screened next week at a festival in The Hague.

21 years have gone by without an answer about the crime in Dvor-na-Uni, and last night in Serbia went without another reminder of it. Nine disabled and elderly people were executed during the massacre, eight Serbs and a Croat.

"Due to the current situation in Croatia, it is not convenient to show the film, because it could lead to an escalation of the situation while we are trying to solve it," said the Serbian state TV, and added: "It would be very dangerous for a part of the Croatian team. The accusations against the film are unjustified, but until it reaches the Croatian audience, it is best to wait."

Croatians believe that the film is "directed against them" and "tendentious and superficial." They also dispute the participation of General Mile Novakovic, the consulting of Savo Strbac, as well as the fact one tenth of its financing came from the Croatian Audio-Visual Center.

"Some people emerged who have tried to find what's national in a film that is anational, so they declared it to be anti-Croatian propaganda made in Serbia. All that without checking, (without) a healthy basis," said RTS journalist Vladimir Banic.

Due to the bombing, on the first day of Croatia's Operation Storm, August 4, 1995, residents from a nursery home and patients from a psychiatric ward were evacuated from Petrinja to Dvor-na-Uni.

They were transferred to a school surrounded by UN peacekeepers, UNPROFOR. It was considered to be the safest place. The film primarily deals with the responsibility of a Danish battalion that could have prevented the crime. The Danes justified the fact they did not react by asserting they had no mandate to act.

The film also mentions that on the day of the killings, August 8, there was "another army" in this town except the Serb one - but does not state who killed the civilians.

"We do not know who they were, nor does the film show who they were, the film only shows footage of the Croatian army being in the vicinity that day. It could have been done by Serbs or by Croats because they both were there. Why would Serbs kill Serbs?," asked Savo Strbac from the Documentation and Information Center Veritas.

Croats deny that they were in Dvor and attribute the crime to Serbs. However, the recordings made by Danish soldiers and the official note of their commander show that Croatian soldiers were "only 50 meters away from the crime scene" during the massacre.


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