The Truth Spreads In Bosnia

The significance of the photo opposite can only be appreciated once one really undestands the background of ethnic tension there over the past 15 years. This photo is a modern miracle - as Paul says, the boundaries between nations have been pulled down in Christ, and our unity together is the greatest witness to the Truth. For this reason the Truth is spreading wonderfully in Bosnia.

Many readers will be unaware of the awful nature of the attrocities which have led to such bitterness between the national groups which are now united by the true Gospel. Almost every family in the former Yugoslavia suffered from the civil war. The following is a formal, signed and testated statement by R.C., not a Christadelphian, which gives insight into what many suffered and which has prepared them now, some years later, to accept the Truth.

“In the ethnically cleansed village of Celebici, where Moslems had already begun to move into the former Serbian homes, a large concentration camp for Serbs was set up at the beginning of May 1992. The camp was located in the former oil storage depot of the JNA, and was encircled with barbed wire and mine fields. The first camp inmates were taken to this camp after Croatian-Moslem formations attacked the majority Serbian villages in the Konjic district. The Croatian-Moslem armed forces, which were loyal to the government of Alija Izetbegovic, entered first the undefended Serbian village of Blace.

The men who were captured were taken from Bradina to the camps at Tarcin and Celebici but the women and children were either imprisoned in the primary school building or dispatched to the camp in the Sports Hall - Musala in Konjic. Later, most of the women and children were deported to Donje Selo which had now been made into a kind of village prison camp. Before they were deported from Bradina, many of the younger women were raped. As the Croatian and Moslem armed formations entered Bradina, some Serbs attempted to escape from the village through the woods and reach Serbian territory. A few groups of them did indeed succeed in doing so but many were captured as they attempted to escape and were either imprisoned in camps or murdered .

From its founding on the 4th May 1992 until its closure at the end of December 1992,several hundred people were imprisoned in the camp at Celebici where they were subjected to the most horrific tortures. The number of inmates constantly changed but they were imprisoned in the concrete tunnel called "No. 9", in the sheet metal hangar called "No. 6", in a depot called "No. 22" and occasionally in concrete manholes sunk into the earth. The female camp inmates, who were kept hidden from the International Red Cross missions, were imprisoned in the so-called administrative building, located at the camp entrance, or in a shaft excavated in the ground next to the tunnel "No. 9"

Some of them, as can be seen from statements enclosed in the dossier, were severely abused and raped. The camp guards also raped the wives of camp inmates who attempted to visit their imprisoned husbands.The hygienic conditions in the camp were virtually non-existent and the camp inmates had to perform their bodily functions in the same place where they slept and ate. They did not receive regular meals and what they did get was not sufficient. Nevertheless, the camp inmates suffered the severest forms of torture and beatings every day. …Croatians and Moslems murdered, in the most horrifying way, 13 of the camp inmates. They murdered them on the 15th June 1992 in a part of the camp which they blasted with artillery shells from the immediate vicinity of the camp. 

At the camp, I was sent to Azem Delic, a Muslim of Konjic, who was deputy camp commander. He started questioning me where my husband was and since I didn't know he started to beat me, threatening to send me to Grude, to a Croatian detention camp for Serbs. He took me then to another room with 5 beds. We were accompanied by another Muslim from Dzajic and by a Cosic of the village of Ibar near Celebici. Azem Delic told Cosic to stand at the door; Dzajic was lying in bed, while Azem started to take my clothes off. I thought he was going to beat me with the rod, but he raped me, he was the first to do it, and then they left. I was alone there, but soon an Albanian called "Sok" arrived; he was doing his military service in the JNA there and when the JNA withdrew he decided to stay. He also wanted to rape me. I resisted and cried, so he finally apologized and left. That night they left me alone .

I spent another night there, alone, and they didn't touch me. The third night, however, they took me to the guardhouse, in the reception room. I don't remember what time it was, but I know that many of them came in. They ordered me to undress and raped me. It was dark so I couldn't recognize any of the young men. Three of them raped me, the fourth one didn't. The fourth night they brought young Serb women from Bradina and began to take them around and rape them. While they were there, they didn't touch me . After 22 days in the camp, they brought in I.N, a Serb girl from Ibar, and another older woman called A.L. That very night Azem Delic raped I.N. who was a virgin.  She didn't stop crying for 24 hours. After two months in the camp they came over again and told me to get out. So I had to get out; a car turned towards a military hangar 200 metres in front of me and he told "Sok", the Albanian, to take me up the hill. I cried bitterly, begging him to turn back or to stop, but he feared they would kill us. We approached the hangar with the lights on three Muslim soldiers were  there. The light went off and a civilian, Nurko, who was repairing arms, came to me, led me to the hangar and raped me .  Then he drove me back to the room and they didn't rape me any more. 

During my stay in the camp I watched the Serbs who were tortured by the Muslims. I watched the "No 9" tunnel at Bradina, I watched the Muslims take the Serbs out, line them against the wall where they had to stand for hours with their hands up, they sat for hours in cold rain, soaking wet, and they were forced to sing and learn the Koran.  Those who didn't know the Koran were beaten. I watched them beat and kill Slavko Susic (aged 40), a teacher. Delic was beating him on the back with a stick until he was almost dead and fell on the road, while Delic continued to kick him. They accused him of having a radio station which he didn't have, but he was guilty of being a prominent Serb. After the visits by the ICRC representatives, men were beaten to death because they spoke of their torture by the Muslims. They strewed Nedeljko Draganic's legs with gunpowder, a Serb (aged 17), set him on fire and pressed a hot knife against his body, so that it was full of scars, but he was eventually released. They put a red-hot knife on the body of Spasa Miljevic, a Serb of Konjic, and scorched him; Dusan, a Serb taxi driver from Bjelovcina, was also scorched with a knife; some like Branko Gotovac (1937 year of birth), of Viniste, for example, got hernia of hard labour. I saw all this because I was near the camp. Srdja, a Serb of Bradina, had his arm broken; Sava Djordjic had his left ear cut off; Nedjo Kuijanin had his little finger cut off, etc. I watched Serbs walking on crutches, with bandaged arms and heads, exhausted and massacred. Whenever a car came over to pick up a killed Serb, Muslims would say that he died of diabetes, from hunger-strike, of heart attack.

My husband was hiding at Donje Selo, but during my stay in the Muslim camp, I knew nothing about him. When I returned to the village on 31 August 1992, I was told that my son had left for the Serb territory on 30 August  1992. I was surprised to see my brother-in-law there, but he told me that my husband had left a week before and that our son went along with him. My brother-in-law's children were hiding around the house and on 29 September 1992 they set for the Serb territory along the Neretva river, towards the village of Bijela. On 22/23 August 1992, my husband was killed as he stepped on a land mine. Our son managed to reach the Serb territory. My brother-in-law's children were killed on 2/3 September 1992. We heard of their death only on 5 September 1992. A Muslim, Jasna Dzumur, president of the State Commission for Prisoners at Konjic came to me accompanied by four Muslim soldiers, asking me to join them and identify the corpses. I didn't want to, but they forced me. My brother-in-law's children were recognizable; but my husband's corpse was disfigured. It was black, but they had taken out everything they could from the head: the eyes, the ears, the brains, everything. I hardly recognized him. On Monday, 7 September 1992, they allowed us to bury the brother-in-law's children. My husband's corpse was given to me only on 10 September 1992, thanks to a Croat, Zdenko Sagolj "Pisak", who said they had to release the body for the sake of humanity. We buried him near the brother-in-law's house . Somehow, I managed to flee the Muslim territory, so the children and I are now in the Serb-held territory. We lost everything, but we have to live on. My only hope are the children” .

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