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Bratunac: Yet another site of the crimes committed in our name

In solidarity with the victims’ families, we demand justice

Thursday 19 June 2008, by Stasa Zajovic

Bratunac, May 12, 2008

Delic´ Tama returned to Bratunac. She now lives alone. From the window of her house, on the hillside above the Veljaci cemetery, she looks down at the graves of her loved ones. Yesterday she buried the remains of her son, Mehmedalija. Last year she buried her other son and her husband. Her sister and brother were also killed during the crimes committed in April and May of 1992 in Bratunac. The remains of her sister were found in Sremski Mitrovica, Serbia, in the country that still maintains ’it was never at war.’

Yesterday Nedz ad was buried; he was two years old when he was killed. His sister was only 9 months old when she was killed. Her remains were buried last year on the same day, May 12, 2007.

Zulfa Alic´, was buried yesterday. She was born in 1906. She was the oldest among the victims of the crimes in Bratunac.

At yet another place where crimes were committed in our name, at another mass funeral and commemoration of the victims of the aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina, forty-one innocent Bosniaks were honored. The first funeral and commemoration for 96 innocent victims took place on May 12, 2007. In April and May 1992, 603 Bosniaks were killed in Bratunac. On May 12, 1992, in the meadow heavy machine fire killed around eighty civilians in only one hour: children, women, and men of all ages — from 9 months to 86 years. They all died at the hand of state-organized war machinery during the aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the cooperation of the armed forces Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Serbian regime.

“Those who committed the crimes in Bratunac in ’92 still walk freely,” said Ahmet. Still no charges have been brought against the war criminals!

Lina, Senka, Snez ana, Stas a, and Jovan laid down a wreath with the following message printed on it: ’So that we will never forget the crimes in Bratunac ’92 - Women in Black, Belgrade.’ As always, we offered our support to the families of the victims by surrounding them with care and kind words. They were thankful for our one small, modest gesture. Senka said that their gratefulness was the hardest for her. She said, “It’s about time that buses full of students start coming to learn a different history from the one they are learning they are being offered. Ljusic´’s Institute for Textbooks (the official source of textbooks for Serbian schools) only offers them a fabricated history. We hope that the future Government, in accordance with Tadic´’s promise to the women of Srebrenica, will fix that and the children will no longer be poisoned with denials, fabrications, and lies.”

Then along with Nura, Hajfra, Advija, and Habiba, our friends from the Women’s Association of Srebrenica, we visited the Memorial Center and cemetery in Potocari. We saw a recently erected plaque, on which the number of victims of the Srebrenica genocide is inscribed: 8372. It is not the total number of victims of the genocide, it is only the number reported by the International Red Cross. Nura reminded us that the actual number of victims is around ten thousand. Previously, when we were in the Veljaci cemetery, Suhra reminded us that 2081 Bosniaks disappeared from Bratunac alone in July 1995 during the genocide in Srebrenica. They were subsequently killed after their disappearance.

We were joined in our trip to Bratunac and Potorcari by the following Women in Black - Italy activists: Danina from Verona and Patricia, Vera, and Neda from Bolonga. The previous day they participated in the march for the disappeared. Likewise, last month around twenty Women in Black Network - Serbia activists marched in Tuzla on April 11. In compassion and solidarity with the victims’ families, we demand justice and punishment for the crimes committed in our name.

Written by: Stasa Zajovic´