The last concentration camp in BiH to close was the one Bosnian Muslims ran for Serbs, Silo – on January 27, nineteen years ago, two months after the Dayton accords were initialled. Tarcin Silo Camp was set up by the Bosnian Muslims at the wheat silo in Tarcin in the Hadzici municipality outside of Sarajevo.
The innocent victims , civilians who were trapped only because they were Serbs , were brutalized by 12 May 1992 when the camp was formed until 27 January 1996 , by members of the (Muslim) Army of BiH,the(Croatian) HVO, HOS, and dozens of other military and paramilitary groups of Muslims and Croats.
“One night some people, some army came. They were called the ‘axis’ or ‘gulls’ and they made a living hell in Silos . The walls were covered with Serbian blood . Horrible cries, screams and begging for help were comming out cells ,. That lasted all day , ” former Silo inmate, Dragan Mutabdžija reminds .
The youngest inmate in Silos was 16 years old , and the oldest Vaso Šarenac was killed at the age of 90. Among the inmates there were 12 women.
,, They used to say that I was Biljana Plavsic, therefore that I am the organizer of events since I was a committee member of the SDS in the Municipal Assembly Hadzici . They accused me of selling weapons …
They tortured me … They forced me to strip naked , and my neighbor Avdija Subasić gave orders to others what to do to me. After unimaginable torture, they have gone but they returned again in the evening: ” They told me, laughing, that they would bring to the camp my daughter to kill her; then they said they have already killed her , and torn her to shreds , ” recalls Silos inmate Rada Pandurevic, who spent there 339 days.
From the Silo camp, which had held about 1000 Serbian civilians, on 27. January only 44 inmates came out , testifies Slavko Jovicic, who spent 1,334 days – 44 months – in Muslim-run death camps.
“The camp started to ‘operate’ on May 11, 1992, and was shut on the same date as the notorious WWII Nazi camp Auschwitz. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I am sure there is something symbolic here,” said Jovicic.
He said that 24 Serbs died as a result of daily tortures.
“Some 50 Serbs were killed in the ‘tunnel of Serbian suffering,’ which the Muslims called the ‘tunnel of salvation’’ – Jovicic said.
He stressed that men aged 14 to 90, were imprisoned in Silos and 11 women, one of whom was six months pregnant.
“According to my information and evidence, almost 1000 Serbian civilians, mostly from Pazarici and Tarcin, have been imprisoned and held in Silos at one time or another,” says Jovicic, BiH parliamentary.
In addition to the daily physical abuse and beatings, these Serbs were submitted to starvation.
“At the beginning, I lost 34 kg in 63 days, falling from my initial weight of 77 to 43. Were it not for my skin, my bones would have fallen apart. We weighed ourselves on scales used for wheat,” adds Jovicic.
In 1993, the Muslims began taking the Silos inmates to Muslim front lines in Hrasnica, Mount Igman, the Jewish Cemetery, Ormanj, and so on, where they dug canals, built fortifications, bunkers, and the like, relates Jovicic.
“Silos was the most notorious of the concentration camps in BiH, not only because it lasted the longest but also because the internees were tortured by 167 methods, according the statements of witnesses,” stresses Jovicic.
He said that all the documentation on Silos was surrendered to ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, but that she never gave a thought to prosecuting any of the Muslim criminals, on whom there is incontrovertible evidence of their commission of the most horrific crimes against innocent Serbian civilians.
He says that the BiH Prosecution is behaving the same way. This institution has not even opened a single case where Serbs were the victims; in the meantime, 70 of the surviving inmates have died.
“The Silos camp remains a horrific reminder of the Serbs sufferings, that civilised world cannot even imagine,” SRNA was told by this survivor of the Silos concentration camp.
Slavko Jovicic Slavuj adds: “Silos” was a laboratory for testing human endurance”
Another Silos inmate was Risto Mijatovic , who was taken from their family home in late May 1992, by Mirsad Sabic and others.
“They brouht me to a shack in Pazaric, where I was beaten.”
“Mirsad Sabic, Mujo and Avdo Fatić Mujan took me to barracks and began to question. Then they began to hit me and I fainted.
They did beat me over my soles, after they laid me over the table; I remeber that It hurts so much that I was sure I will die.. I could’t take that anymore, “said Mijatović, showing scars over his head and hands he suffered from hits, cuts and cigarette stubs. The witness said that after three days in the shack, he was taken to the notorious death camp “Silo”, where he spent about a month. Mirsad Sabic, together with Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Mesanovic and Nermin Kalemberi, were all charged with crimes in the ” Silo” “Krupa”, and “9. May ” school.”
(On June 4, 1992, finally, John Burns reported in the New York Times in the story “Victims and Criminals on All Sides” that “…some groups of Muslims and Croats …are using the tactic of ethnic cleansing of Serbs…” )
Former Silos inmate Djordje Andric said that since mid-May 1992 it was impossible to move freely for Serbs in Tarcin (Hadzici Municipality), where he lived with his family, and that the police was coming daily to Serbian homes to search for weapons. Andric along with his father and brothers was taken first to Pazaric, where they were questioned about weapons, then to the “Silos”.
“When I came to a cell it was dark. In the middle of the night there were six police officers wondering who is yet to come. They took me and beat me up in front of the cell, ” the witness said.
“The next day I was transferred to another cell, where I met my brother and some other men who were beaten up and bloody.”
During his stay in “Silos”, all the detainees were beaten, and a certain “Kalember Buba” was the worst sadist. “If we were yelling inside the cell, the guards used to say: Shut up or we call Kalember,” the witness recalled.
The prosecutor Marjan Pogacnik asked if he knew who was the commander of the camp, Andric replied that it was Becir Hujic, and that he talked to him once.
“When we got the infectious disease dysentery, I asked him to give us some medicins, ” the witness said, adding that the guards then threw the tablets in the dust and that the inmates were beaten and forced to drink a cure from dust as if they were chicken.
The indictment charges Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazić, Bećir Hujić, Halid Covic, Serif Mešanović and Nermin Kalember for crimes against civilians and prisoners of war in the camp “Silos” and other facilities in Hadzici municipality.
From 1992 to 1996 they participated in a joint criminal enterprise, in which they committed crimes against civilians and prisoners of war of Serbian nationality. According to the indictment, Bećir Hujić was manager and deputy warden of the “Silo”, and performed the same functions and Halid Covic. Nermin Kalember was, as stated The indictment, a guard in “Silos”, while others also perform the functions of the civil, military and police structures of local government.
Describing the conditions in the camp, Andric said that they were catastrophic, that during five months no one ever bathed, and that all the toilet they had was the bucket placed in the cell.
He said that they were given a crust of bread weekly, and during dysentery, they would pour the soup into a bowl to share three or four tablespoons.