RATKO MLADIC - COME OUT, WE WON'T HARM YOU NEIGHBORS (TOLIMIR TRIAL)
PHOTO: Former Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir (aka: Chemical Tolimir) crosses himself after arriving in the courtroom for the start of his trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
I understand that journalists are busy covering other important stories, but is there anything more important than a landmark genocide trial occurring hours from London, Paris, Berlin... in the heart of Europe? Does a story of an earthquake in Chile deserve more coverage than a story about the attempted extinction of my people in eastern Bosnia?
According to B92, prosecution’s protected witness PW-1007 "described how he survived shootings of hundreds of Muslims from Srebrenica in July 1995... The witness said that he surrendered to Serbs on July 13, 1995 near the village of Sandići after hiding in the woods for two days with thousands of others, trying to escape the VRS encirclement."
Then, General Ratko Mladic personally promised prisoners he would not harm them, calling them "neighbors". There was no media or U.N. personell around, so murdering prisoners carried 'zero risk' of attracting international censure. What happened next will chill you to the bone:
According to this testimony, the prisoners were then transported to Bratunac, where several of them were killed during the night, while the rest were taken to Orahovac in the morning, July 14. At the local school’s gym the Muslim prisoners were blindfolded before being taken by truck to be executed, PW-1007 said.
“At the exit of the gym stood two soldiers and a woman who gave every prisoner a glass of water, I don’t know why they did that… When they started to take people away we asked the soldiers where they were taking them, and they said 'To Bijeljina, to a camp'. In the evening it was my turn: they blindfolded me, I drank the water and they led me into the truck where there were about 30 of us,” the witness told the judges.
According to him, “a soldier with a red beret” accompanied the prisoners to the truck. After a short ride the truck stopped and the prisoners were ordered to get out.
“I immediately I saw a dead body under the blindfold, I thought of my children and said goodbye to them… Shots came from the left, people fell, I fell too… When the shots stopped one of the soldiers came and shot from his pistol,” PW-1007, who was not injured, said.
According to the witness, some of the men who were shooting then said “let’s take off their watches”, but others opposed this.
“Then I heard the next truck come and the shooting again… And it went on every 15 minutes.”
The witness explained that he had been lying among the bodies for several hours and that he heard that a group of prisoners had been taken to be shot at another meadow nearby.
“An excavator came which started to dig and a loader then too… One of survivors who was near the excavator got up and started to run, and three soldiers who had stayed started to shoot after him. The one with the excavator turned that way… I jumped and run up the levy, crossed the railway, I heard shots, but I don’t know if he was shooting at me, I crossed the meadow and hid in a corn field,” he said.
According to the witness, the Serbian soldiers then searched the corn and fired shots randomly, and then returned to the meadow from which the shots came again.
After wondering two days through villages he said he "knew were Bosniak (Muslim) because they were burned”, PW-1007 told the court he managed to cross over to the territory controlled by Muslim troops. (source: B92.net)