Batković camp

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Batković concentration camp
Concentration camp
Location Batković, Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Operated by Army of Republika Srpska
Bosnian Serb police
Operational 1 April 1992 – late January 1996[1]
Inmates predominately Bosniaks, but also Croats
Number of inmates up to 4,000
Killed at least 6 (ICTY)
c. 80 (Bosniak claim)
Notable inmates Sulejman Tihić, Fikret Malovčić

The Batković camp (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Latin: Logor Batković) was a concentration camp operated between 1992 and 1996 by Bosnian Serb authorities in Batković, a village in the municipality of Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. It is believed to have been the first concentration camp of the Bosnian war, set up for Bosniak (Muslim) and Croat men, women and children, in an effort to ethnically cleanse the areas under Bosnian Serb control. Detainees were held in two large barns and tortured, deprived of food and water, forced to dig trenches, carry ammunition to the front lines, work in fields and factories and bury the dead.[2] Prisoners were subject to daily beatings,[3] sexual assault and forced to beat one another.

Although the camp is believed to have been established between 1 April and June 1992, its existence was only confirmed by foreign press in August 1992.[4] The Human Rights Watch Group Helsinki Watch visited the camp twice in August 1992 and were allowed to interview detainees, most of whom were too scared to share any information about goings-on.

Trials[edit]

In the indictment against former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladić, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prosecutors claimed that at least 6 prisoners were murdered during the camp's operation, and that many others were raped or otherwise physically and psychologically abused.[5] Bosniak sources maintain that as many as 80 inmates perished in the camp between 1992 and early 1996.[6]

On 2 March 2012, the trial for four former Serb camp guards (Đoko Pajić, Petar Dmitrović, Đorđe Krstić, Ljubomir Mišić) began in a Bijeljina court. The four defendants were accused of abusing and beating Bosniak prisoners.[7] Dmitrović was identified by witnesses as the camp commander, Pajić was identified as his successor, Krstić was identified as Pajić's replacement and Mišić was identified as commander of the guard.[8][9] The trial was still ongoing two years later.[10]

Another Serb, Gligor Begović, was arrested in Rogatica for war crimes on 28 April 2014.[11][12] His trial began 26 November 2014. Begović was indicted for crimes committed against Bosniaks in Batković concentration camp in 1992.[13] Begović is further accused of participating in beatings, together with other guards, which caused the deaths of several detainees.[14] He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on 9 December 2015.[15]

Notable inmates[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Preživjeli logoraš iz Batkovića: I danas sanjam da mi neko ulazi u kuću i stavlja pušku na čelo". Oslobođenje. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "FRIENDSHIPS FLOURISHED IN BATKOVIC PRISON CAMP". Sense Agency. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Serbian Project and Its Adversaries: A Strategy of War Crimes". Google Books. 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume 2". Google Books. 1993. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "ICTY: Ratko Mladić Indictment" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 27 October 2011. p. 33. 
  6. ^ "Torture logora Batković prošlo 4.000 osoba" [4,000 People Were Detained in the Batković Camp]. Oslobođenje. Archived from the original on 2015-04-18. 
  7. ^ "Svjedok izjavio da je u logoru Sabirni centar konstantno bio tučen i maltretiran". Nezavisne. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Bosniak Prisoner 'Assaulted' at Bijeljina's Batkovic Camp". Balkan Insight. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Počelo suđenje za zločine u logoru Batković". DW.DE. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Šamaran bez razloga". Balkan Insight. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "U Rogatici uhapšen Gligor Begović osumnjičen za ratne zločine u Bijeljini". Oslobođenje. 28 April 2014. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Gligor Begović uhapšen zbog zločina u Batkoviću". Klix. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Gligor Begovic". Trial. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Bosnia Opens Batkovic Prisoner Abuse Trial". Balkan Insight. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Witness Describes Assault at the Batkovic Detention Camp at Begovic Trial". Justice Report. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.