Knin camp

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Memorial place in Knin where Croats were once detained and tortured by Serbian troops in 1991

Knin camp was a detention camp run by the rebel Serb army in Knin in the puppet state of Republika Srpska Krajina, that held Croatian detainees, soldiers and civilians, from 1991 until 1992, during the Croatian War of Independence.[1] It consisted out of at least two facilities. The ICTY stated that a prison in Knin, run by the Yugoslav People's Army, held approximately 150 detainees, while the old hospital in Knin, run by “Martic’s Militia”, held approximately 120 detainees.[2] At least two people have been killed there.[3]

Former prisoners testified that they were arrested by Serb paramilitary forces and then deported into Knin camp. The detainees were beaten, mistreated and humiliated.[3] Some were threatened to read a written testimony in front of TV cameras from Belgrade and confess crimes against Serbs which they did not commit.[3] One Croatian soldier testified that he was interrogated for 68 consecutive days and received food and water only once a day.[3] Two Catholic priests, Mirko Barbarić and Franjo Halužan, were arrested in Benkovac and then brought to the Knin prison. There one Serb soldier ordered Halužan to make the sign of the cross with three fingers. After that gesture, the soldier kicked his arm with a baton.[3] Other prisoners testified they were forced to eat two full spoons of salt and then drink 0,4 gallons of water at once.[3] Some were tortured with electro shocks, had to eat cigarette ash, wash the toilette floors with their tongues and perform oral sex under threat of murder.[4]

In July 1991, Ivica Knez succumbed to heavy beatings and became the first Croatian casualty in a Krajina camp.[5] Detainees were exchanged and released from the camp at the end of 1991 and beginning of 1992.

Trials[edit]

On July 3, 2008, the War Crimes Council of the Šibenik County Court found the defendant Saša Počuča guilty of a war crime against civilians and a war crime against war prisoners in Knin camp and sentenced him to 8 years in prison. He was found to have been a guard in the prison where he tortured and mistreated prisoners.[4]

The ICTY indicted Slobodan Milošević for abuses in Knin camp.[2] Milan Martić was sentenced to 35 years in prison, among others for abuses in the camp.[6]

Dragan Vasiljković was also indicted for crimes at Knin camp. He fled to Australia where he was arrested in 2010 and is expecting transfer to Croatian authorities.[7][8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yugoslavia – further reports of torture" (PDF). Amnesty International. March 1992. pp. 22–23. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b ICTY (2002-10-22). "Milošević Indictment (IT-02-54) - paragraph 64 h-i". Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Final report of the United Nations Commission of Experts, established pursuant to security council resolution 780 (1992), Annex VIII - Prison camps; Under the Direction of: M. Cherif Bassiouni; S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. IV), 27 May 1994 Annex VIII: Prison camps (part 9/10) - Knin.
  4. ^ a b "Crime in Knin". Centre for non-violence Osijek. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ Grad Glina, informacije i novosti o Glini: U Tepljuhu otkriven spomenik kninskim logorašima, 15 August 2009
  6. ^ SUMMARY OF JUDGEMENT FOR MILAN MARTIĆ, ICTY, The Hague, 12 June 2007
  7. ^ Dragan Vasiljkovic captured after 43 days on run
  8. ^ Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic left high and dry
  9. ^ High Court rejected key Dragan Vasiljkovic evidence

Coordinates: 44°02′N 16°11′E / 44.033°N 16.183°E / 44.033; 16.183