SIEGE OF SREBRENICA: WITNESS PHILIPP VON RECKLINGHAUSEN
|Bosniak father carries his killed baby daughter during the siege of Srebrenica, 1993. |
Photographer: Philipp von Recklinghausen.
|Philipp von Recklinghausen|
STATEMENT by Mr. Philipp von Recklinghausen about the situation in Srebrenica during the brutal Serbian siege of this ethnic Bosniak municipality in eastern Bosnia (Case: Naser Oric).
International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia
Rule 92 bis statement of Philipp von Recklinehausen
I, Philipp von Recklinghausen, of Berlin, Germany, MAKE OATH AND SAY (or AFFIRM)
1. My name is Philipp Johann Thomas von Recklinghausen. I was bom on the 8th of May 1968 and I am a German national. I am a photographer by training and I currently work as a freelance photographer in a studio in Berlin which I share with other ficelance photographers.
2. In 1992, I decided to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to see and document with photographs the war which had broken out there. I hitch-hiked from Germany to Bosnia. I reached Tuzla and then heard about the plight of Srebrenica in the first days of 1993. In Tuzla, people were saying that nothing was known about what was happening in Srebrenica. It was completely cut off from the rest of the world. It was said that cannibalism had broken out there.
3. I made my way into Srebrenica with a group of people who were originally from that area and who wanted to return there to help to defend their homes. Among this group of people was a young man whose name was Senad Alid. He spoke German and in the following weeks he interpreted for me. I have identified him on the photograph at Annex A, which I am informed is Defence Exhibit D872, as the person on the far right of the photograph who appears to be speaking.
4. It was a very hazardous journey by foot into Srebrenica which took several days. I arrived in the area of Srebrenica on 8 or 9 February 1993 and remained until 4 April 1993. I was wounded twice while in Srebrenica, once very seriously in the right arm by a mine when I was in Sase. Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic performed surgery on my arm and saved it. Another time I was wounded by shrapnel while in the Potocari area. Again Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic performed surgery, now much better, because of the airdrops which included medical equipment. After Tony Birtley, a reporter with ABC who was present in the enclave for some of the same time as me, was seriously wounded in the leg (Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic saved his leg by very skilful surgery), we were evacuated from the enclave by helicopter.
5. I experienced a great deal in Srebrenica. It was so traumatic that I remember, towards the end of my stay, seeing the corpse of a young Bosnian who had been killed by shelling after a broken peace-fire. His head had been blown completely open. At that time, seeing him, I literally envied him his release from all the suffering in Srebrenica. Srebrenica at that time was a hell and it is impossible for anyone who was not there at the time to imagine what the people there endured.
6. I took many photographs during my stay in Srebrenica. Unfortunately, a soldier from UNPROFOR accidentally took my bag with 18 rolls of undeveloped film out of the enclave and the film was confiscated by the Serbs. Although, through various channels, I subsequently managed to buy back some of the pictures that I took, a great deal of photographic evidence of conditions of life in Srebrenica in early 1993 was lost, due to the Serbian Military's confiscation of my work.
7. Attached at Annex B is a photograph that I took in Kravica either in late February or early March 1993. I am informed that this is Prosecution Exhibit P460. I remember that the photograph was taken then, as I was on my way somewhere with the people in the picture when the photograph was taken, and I am aware that that was in late February or early March 1993. Kravica, I understand, fell on 7 January 1993 and I did not even arrive in Srebrenica until a month after then.
8. I have signed this statement below. This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Berlin, 30th January 2006
Philipp von Recklinehausen