EYEWITNESS TO SERBIAN WAR CRIMES: SERBIAN PARAMILITARY TROOPS EXECUTED ROMA POPULATION IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
(editorial comment: Eyewitness, who was age seven at the time of these horrific crimes, testified how he witnessed the rape of his sister and then execution of Roma population)
The only survivor of 30 civillians executed in the Roma village Hamzić July 1992, Mr. Zijo Ribic testified in the trial of indicted for war crimes in the Zvornik municipality (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He testiefed witnessing the rape of his sister, who was subsequently murdered.
At the beginning of the war in Bosnia, a group of [Serb] soldiers had taken away about 30 Roma residents from their houses in the village of Skočić in Bosnia and Herzegovina where they Roma civillans were hiding. [Serb soldiers] beat the men, while his sister was raped by three [Serb] soldiers, said Mr. Ribic who was then seven years old, testifying before the Department for War Crimes in Belgrade at the trial of Simi Bogdanovic and four other defendants.
“After we were transported by two trucks to the Hamzić village, where the Serb soldiers first shot at us, and then threw the bodies into the previously excavated pit,” said Mr. Ribic who was hit by a bullet in his arm and stabbed in the neck.
“I pulled up from the pit, trampling over dead bodies,” he added and pointed out that he had not seen the murders, but that he heard the gunshots.
Mr. Ribic [also] said that next two soldiers took him to the village health center in Kozluk, where he first saw the accused, Simo Chetnik, whom he did not recognize at today’s trial.
“Sima said that he ‘would take care of me’, but the soldiers did not allow him to and they took me to hospital in Zvornik, where I remained until September 1994.” Mr. Ribic added.
Defendants Sima Bogdanovic, D. Bogdanovic, Zoran Stojanovic, Tomislav Gavrić, and Djordje Sevic, have denied that they, as members of paramilitary groups in the village of Skočić captured and tortured 27 civilians Roma among whom were women and children and then drove to the village Hamzić and then shot them all.
According to the indictment, the defendants [Serbian soldiers] have separated from the group planned for execution and held in captivity protected witnesses “Alpha” “Beta” and “Gama”, whome after they were captured were kept against their will where they were tortured, raped and abused.
Continuation of the trial is scheduled for 18 and 19 November, when it is scheduled for the hearing of witnesses.