Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Human Rights Archives on the Genocide in Bosnia
(and the attempted genocide in Kosovo)

Supplementary Documentation for Michael A. Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996)
New Ed. with Preface on Kosovo (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1998)

1996. ISBN 0-520-20690-8 (Cloth) $19.95.
ISBN 0-520-21662-8 (Paper, New 1998 Edition) $14.95
Order Info: 609-883-1759 or
WEB order
1997 American Academy Religion Award, Excellence in Historical Studies Table of Contents and Books Reviews for The Bridge Betrayed

Contents of this page:
Immediately Below is a Special:
Followed by:

Andras Riedlmayer on the Destruction of Kosovos Cultural and Religious Heritage
Left : Close-up of the Hadum Mosque in Gjakova (Djakovica), built in 1594. The surrounding old bazzar historic district was burned and the mosque suffered extensive damage after being set on fire by Serbian police and paramilitaries at the end of March 1999. The photo shows the fire-scarred base of the minaret, the destroyed wooden portico, and (on the right) the burned-out manuscript library of Hadum Suleiman Efendi. (The top of the minaret wa shot off by Serb soldiers using a shoulder-launched missle on May 8, 1999). Photo taken October 1999 by Andras Riedlmayer for the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Survey (Harvard University).

These images are among those featured in Burned Books and Blasted Shrines: Cultural Heritage Under Fire in Kosovo Exhibition, April 15, 2000 through August 15, 2000, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University. The exhibit featured photographs and other materials documenting the systematic destruction of cultural heritage during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo. The photographs, by Andras Riedlmayer, Aga Khan Program bibliographer at Harvards Fine Arts Library, and Andrew Herscher, a practicing architect and Ph.D. candidate at Harvards Graduate School of Design, were taken as part of a post-war survey of the state of cultural heritage in Kosovo in October 1999. The survey was supported by a grant from the Packard Humanities Institute. See the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Survey,sample images

Kosovo: The Destruction of Cultural and Religious Heritage,
introduction by Andras Riedlmayer, 20 September 2000.
In October 1999, the architect Andrew Herscher and I traveled to the Balkans to conduct a post-war survey of damage to Kosovos cultural and religious heritage---historical architecture, houses of worship, museums, libraries and archives. Our survey was funded by the Packard Humanities Institute and sponsored by Harvards Center for Middle Eastern Studies.Below is our latest report, summing up our findings on architecture. An edited version of the report appears in the July-August 2000 issue of US/ICOMOS Newsletterand in the October-December 2000 issue of Bosnia Report (London), which also published our two previous survey reports:
Libraries and Archives in Kosovo: A Postwar Report
Museums in Kosovo: A First Postwar Assessment
We found that architecture, manuscript collections, and archives of the period of Ottoman rule in Kosovo (mid-1400s to 1912) had been singled out for destruction during the ethnic cleansing campaigns of 1998-99. Among the most serious losses of manuscript materials was the burning of the Central Archive of the Islamic Community of Kosovo (KBI), which included the records of the religious endowments (evkaf), of the Islamic law courts, and of other Islamic religious and educational institutions in Kosovo going back to the 17th century. The archive was set ablaze by Serbian policemen on June 13, 1999, and was completely destroyed. Several regional archives of the KBI, and manuscript libraries in Peja (ipek, Pec), Gjakova (Yakova, Djakovica) and other towns in Kosovo, were also burned. An estimated half of the holdings of Kosovos public and academic libraries---nearly a million books---were also destroyed.
Major architectural losses include 219 mosques (1/3 of all mosques in Kosovo), three of Kosovos four well-preserved historic urban centers, as well as hundreds of other monuments. There was widespread and systematic destruction during the war of traditional residential architecture in Kosovos towns and villages, especially the mansions (konak, kulla) of the old Albanian families.
Although Kosovos famous medieval Orthodox churches and monasteries remain intact and are well-guarded by UN peacekeeping forces (KFOR), following the end of the war in June 1999 scores of less well-known Serb churches in rural areas were damaged or destroyed in revenge attacks by returning Albanian villagers.
Subsequent to our survey, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the International Council on Archives (ICA) sent their own expert missions to Kosovo which confirmed and expanded on our findings. Their reports are available on the web:
Libraries in Kosova/Kosovo by Carsten Frederiksen and Frode Bakken
General Assessment of the Situation of Archives in Kosovo by Bruce Jackson and Wladyslav Stepniak
Sample images from our survey of damage to architectural heritage in Kosovo can be retrieved here.
A satellite photo taken at the end of March 1999, showing the historic urban center of Gjakova being set ablaze by Serb police, can be seen here.
Andras J. Riedlmayer,
Fine Arts Library, Harvard University

An earlier version of this article appeared in US/ICOMOS Newsletter 4 (July-August 2000)
Andrew Herscher is an architect, PhD candidate in architectural history and theory at Harvard University, and co-director of the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project. Andras J. Riedlmayer directs the Aga Khan Programs Documentation Center for Islamic Art and Architecture at Harvards Fine Arts Library and is co-director of the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project. 

Captives from Srebrenica being held by Serb soldiers in the view of UN protection force soldiers. Almost all of them were murdered a few hours later. The vast majority of male captives between 15 and 60 years of age, shown in photos or video, have either never been seen again or have been indicated only by forensic identification of remains from mass graves.
Critics of the NATO Kosovo campaign have stated that the UN should have been in charge of the situation in Kosovo. These claims ignore the tragic UN role in the Balkans. The UNs own self-condemnation of November 1999, the key elements of which have been carved into the conscience of the world, refutes such a contention. Click on the link below for a discussion of the UN report and for a link to the full Srebrenica report. Posted December 15, 1999. For further documentation, photos, and essays on Srebrenica see the Srebrenica link toward the bottom of this reports page.

2) Burned Books in My Luggage
Inside the village mosque in Stanoc i Poshtem (Serbian: Donje Stanovce),
near Vucitrn, Kosovo:
Sacred scriptures torn from their bindings and burned by Serb forces during the ethnic cleansing of the village in April 1999.
In November, 1999, Andras Riedlmayer, an expert on the cultural heritage of the Balkans and on the systematic destruction of cultural heritage as an element in genocide, returned from Kosovo with hundreds of pictures of destroyed monuments, houses of worships, and libraries. Although the Serb nationalist forces in Kosovo were not able to destroy all traces of Muslim civilization as they did in Serb-army controlled parts of Bosnia (where they had had three years to operate), their activity was impressive. The ethnic cleansers, pressed for time because of the NATO action, knew exactly which monuments, private libraries, and mosques to target; always the most historic works. Over 200 mosques were destroyed or seriously damaged. In the ancient city of Vucitrn, the militias and police operated with expertise, knowing exactly where to go with their dynamite.
Ironically, while UNESCO, the NGOs, and the UN and NATO adminstrators in Kosovo seem largely unaware of this aspect of the attempted genocide. and in many cases unaware that Kosovo had a five hundred year old, sophisticated Islamic tradition, the ethnic cleansers knew all about it. This systematic annihilation of cultural heritage had been planned well in advance of the NATO operation, and, as in Bosnia, was organized with the help of nationalist art historians and academics. Reconstruction officials knew of the Serb churches that had been attacked, but had little understanding of the wider and more organized annihilation of Kosovar Muslim heritage. In addition, in preparation for the annihilation of Kosovo, the Serbian authorities looted Kosovo of its archeological treasures in a multi-year operation, taking everything they could to Belgrade. For this, the finest account written on the organized cultural annihilation in Kosovo, see Andras Riedlmayer, Burned Books in My Luggage.

3) Seven Misconceptions about the Organized Atrocities in Kosovo
1. The UN should be in charge of response to such situations.
This position was argued by former presidential candidate Bill Bradley at Tufts University, November 29, 1999. For the UNs record in the Balkans, see above. As the Washington Post noted (p. A42, 1 December 1999):
Mr. Bradley wants the United States to intervene less around the world and let the United Nations do more. But to a large extent, the United Nations works only if the U.S. leads. In Bosnia, for example, Mr. Bradley says the key would have been to get multilateral efforts to intervene earlier before things reach the point where there is only a military option. But that is exactly what Mr. Clinton did, and exactly why he failed; while the U.S refused to bring military pressure to bear, while it deferred to the United Nations for four years, 300,000 people were killed. Was the United States right not to play policeman in Rwanda and to allow the genocide to take place? Should it not have intervened in Kosovo or in Haiti--and if not, what would Mr. Bradley have done about the atrocities in one and the boat people in the other?
A similar point could be made about almost all of the critics of the NATO campaign. With the UN, by its own admission, complicit in genocide in Bosnia, we are left with a dilemma. It is inhuman to propose that the UN of Yasushi Akashi and friends should have been entrusted with protecting Kosovars from ethnoreligious extermination. Yet, if NATO acts in Kosovo without UN authorization, what can prevent others from acting on their own elsewhere? This is a valid issue, the major of our time. To raise the issue and offer constructions suggestions is wise. To criticize those who acted to prevent a planned genocide in Kosovo by stating that the UN could and should have been in charge is vacuous. (For the precise plan of the attempted genocide, advertised and detailed in Serbia for years, see below).
2. The NATO action caused the horror.
Response: The savage expulsion of Kosovar Albanians had been planned since Milosevic revoked Kosovos autonomy in 1989. It was taking place before the NATO operation. See
Expulsion and/or annihilation of the Kosovar Albanian community was the official policy of Milosevics then governing partner Vojislav Seseljs Radical Party, and has been advocated across the political spectrum in Serbia, including among allegedly pro-democracy politicians such as Vuk Draskovic. For the ideology and plan of the attempted genocide, that had begun before the NATO operation, see the specific program by the Radical Party and the resolutions of the Serbian Unity Congress. I urge concerned with NATO actions in Kosovo to read the first two documents below, and to compare them to, item by item, to Ustashe leader Artukovics program for treatment of Jews in the WWII Ustashe state. For those who claim comparisons to WW2 are an exaggeration, please read the programs below carefully and then read the accounts of Srebrenica where such ideas were put into actions.
(Danielle Sremac who has been featured on NBC and CNN as representing the Institute for Balkan Studies was a member of the Serbian Unity Congress (SUC) and was an official representative in the U.S. for the government of indicted war-criminal Radovan Karadzic. Neither NBC nor CNN has properly identified her connections. The SUC which supports ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo has given large campaign contributions to key present and former members of Congress, including Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham who echoes Slobodan Milosevic in equalizing the perpetrators with the victims. The recipient of the most SUC contributions by far is Rep. Dan Burton. Former Rep. Lee Hamilton,who opposed U.S. action to stop the killing in Bosnia, accepted numerous contributions from extreme Serb militants, including key members of the SUC. See Serbian Unity Congress PAC contribution list.
Yossef Bodansky of the House Republican Task Force was a featured speaker at a 1996 SUC fund raiser in Detroit (SUC quarterly report, 1/1/97). Bodansky, whose pro-Belgrade articles are now notorious, is cited as an authority by the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee in a 1/16/97 article which proudly proclaims Bodanskys connection to the House Republican Task Force.) For a full exposé of these and other connections by Senators James Inhofe and Larry Craig, Representative Helen Chenoweth, The Rockford Institute and its journal Chronicles, Pat Buchanan, The League of the South, The John Birch Society and its newsletter The New American, Srjda Trifkovic, Radovan Karadzic, Danielle Sremac, The Serbian Unity Congress and other members of the GOP right-wing, see my essay:
For a sequel to the above article, tracing further connections between the movement for a White Christian America and the Belgrade Lobby, see my article: Mutt America, The Religio-Racist Right and the Balkan Genocide.
A significant portion of the U.S. left also refused to support action to resist the attempted genocide in Kosovo. From Noam Chomsky to Edward Said, leaders of the left showed an almost total ignorance or indifference to ten years of Serb nationalist atrocities in the Balkans and to the longstanding, openly publicized plan to annihilate the Kosovo Albanian community and expel the survivors, where they would live for the indefinite future in refugee camps along the borders of unstable countries like Macedonia. For a refutation of the ignorance and distortion of one leftist critic (Christian Parenti) regarding Kosovo, see Kosovo: The Devil and the Details, by Roger Lippman, Peter Lippman, and Dave Lippman. For the Balkan Witness site maintained by Roger Lippman, see the link at the bottom of this page.
3. NATO shows a double standard by not intervening in Burma, Chechnya, Rwanda, Sudan, and other places.
Reponse: NATO is a European alliance. In 1994 its mandate was changed from defense against Soviet aggression to protecting the peace and security of Europe. NATO has no mandate to operate in Africa or Asia. Africans and Asians would not take kindly to the forces of their former colonizers, even when those forces were sent to help them in humanitarian ways. The world should respond better to genocide and atrocities wherever they occur. African peacekeeping forces, such as the Nigerian peacekeepers in Sierra Leone, do not have adequate resources and need the support of industrial nations. But that does not mean NATO should turn a blind eye to genocide in Europe. Should the NATO nations have done more to stop the Rwanda and should they do more to stop other atrocities in Africa and Asia--yes, but not as a NATO operation.
It is a malicious argument to demand that because one has failed in the past or cannot help in every area and achieve utopia, one should do nothing where one has the resources to stop genocide.
4. Only a few thousand Kosovars were killed and thus the NATO operation was unncessary.
It will be years before we know how many were killed. Fewer were killed than the Milosevic (and the paramilitary forces supported by Milosevic) wanted and as we had feared when, as in Bosnia, communication with the victim civilian captives was cut off. The point of the NATO operation was to PREVENT the planned genocide from succeeding, instead of sitting back, as the UN did in Bosnia and watching, a three- year slow-motion mass-slaughter. The NATO operation succeeded to the extent that the killing did not reach the level of mass extermination envisioned by Serbian leaders of all major parties in Serbia since 1989. The point of intervention is to prevent genocide and, if it successful, we should respond positively, rather than feeling bitter and somehow cheated that the fatalities were fewer than feared.
5. The NATO action destroyed a strong anti-Milosevic opposition in Serbia.
This claim ignores the nature of the anti-Milosevic opposition. The vast majority of those demonstrating against Milosevic in 1996-1997 were demonstrating not against the policy of ethnoreligious extermination, but in protest of the fact that Milosevic did not pursue that policy successfully. There virtually no criticism of the three years of genocide in Bosnia or of the plans and rhetoric for expulsion and or destruction of Kosovar Albanians. The major opposition parties favored the destruction of Kosovar Albanians (see Seseljs Radical Party program link above under. no. 2. The general summary of the full report of the Helsinki Commission for Human Rights in Serbia shows how whatever opposition did exist had been crushed by 1998:
In the course of 1998 the thorough groundwork was laid for the war in Kosovo. It enjoyed both public and tacit backing of almost entire political scene in Serbia. Adoption of the Public Information Law demonstrated that Serbia was devoid of political alternative or of genuine pluralism, in the true sense of the word. Hence a small number of the mass media, by mounting resistance to the regime, morphed into its sole opponents. Simultaneously, by pursuing an independent editorial policy they remained beyond the regimes reach and became its harshest critics. This provoked a brutal crackdown on the media, resulting in closure of several newspapers, notably of the most prominent independent, political daily in Serbia Naša Borba.
The University Act, which made part of the general campaign of establishing state control over all the institutions, had two short-term goals: elimination of inadequate professors and other educational professionals from university, and forcing the students to renounce any political activities and engagement. Indicative of the regimes intentions was the statement of Vojislav Šešelj, president of the Serbian Radical Party and spokesman for all the authorities moves in Glas Javnosti (1 March 1999): We put things into order at universities, we did the same thing with the media, and we intend to do the same thing with the judiciary. With this step by step approach everything in Serbia will be put into order.
6. The NATO operation shows how the Serb people are demonized in the West.
The media do use misleading generic terms (The Croats, the Serbs) to depict those foreces that commit atrocities in the name of their nation. But the sad fact is that much of the Serbian population is radicalized and supports policies of ethnoreligious extermination. The radicalization stems in part from the successful effort of war-criminals like Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic (indicted for genocide by the Hague Tribunal) to portray any criticism of their actions as a criticism of all Serbs. Their success is reflected in the widespread acceptance by Serbs that criticism of particular Serb leaders and the atrocities they committed in the name of Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church are an attack against all Serbs. The major obstactle to finding individual responsibility for atrocities, rather than generic guilt for all Serbs, is the tendency among a large majority Serbs now to react to any criticism of the atrocities of a Karadzic or Mladic as if Karadzic and Mladic did indeed stand for the true aspirations and essence of the Serb nation, and the ability of Karadzic or Mladic supporters to portray any Serb who opposes atrocities as a traitor or not a true Serb. Pretending Serbian society has not been rotted by 15 years of virulent nationalism and extreme violence will do nothing to help that small but valiant group of Serb dissidents, from political activist Vesna Pesic to persecuted journalists, who are working for a decent and just Serbia.
7. These are age old antagonisms; it is the nature of Balkan peoples to exterminate one another.
This ugly stereotype was used for three years to allow ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. There have been tensions in the Balkans (if one wished to lump a group of disparate countries and cultures together arbitrarily under this name) for centuries as in every region of the world. But the tragedy in Yugoslavia and in Kosovo was caused in large part by Serbian religious nationalist militarization of the Kosovo story and symbols in 1989, the revocation of Kosovos autonomy, and the stirring up of a mass psychology of fear and hatred. There is nothing inevitable about such acts of destruction carried out by particular political, religious, military, and intellectual leaders. The Bridge Betrayed (summary below) examines how the Kosovo issue and heritage were abused and manipulated to create a cycle of fear, hate and atrocity.
For further discussion of the issues above, see the Human Rights Watch World Report for 1999. For an eloquent plea for engagement in Kosovo and an antidote to the Chomskyite arguments for passivity and indifference, see Wole Soyinka on Kosovo.

4) Short Summary of The Bridge Betrayed
Followed by Full War-Crimes Documentation:
Michael Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996, new printing with a preface on Kosovo, 1998).

The Bridge Betrayed portrays from a human perspective assault on Bosnia and the resistance by Bosnians. It shows how the genocide was motivated and justified through the manipulation of the mythology of Kosovo which culminated at the 600th anniversary passion play of Kosovo, the remembrance of the death of Prince Lazar--portrayed as a Christ-figure, fighting the Turks at the battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Serbian Golgotha. Slobodan Milosevic and Serbian religious nationalists, including the leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church, worked to militarize the Kosovo story. Through exploiting the powerful symbols of Kosovo, Milosevic came to power, overthrew the governments of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Vojvodina, broke apart Yugoslavia, and carried out genocide in Bosnia, and then Kosovo.
The Bridge Betrayed also demonstrates the activities of Croat religious nationalists in destroying non-Catholic culture and communities throughout Herzegovina and especially in the Mostar Region, culminating in the deliberate destruction of the ancient bridge that symbolized the bridge of cultures, religions, and peoples in Bosnia throughout the centuries.
At the Kosovo commemoration of 1989, Serbian religious nationalists combined four symbols into a lethal mythology: (1) a militarized portrayal of the sacred time of 1389, (2) the sacred space of Kosovo or the Serb Jerusalem, (3) the historical memory of WW2 atrocities against Serbs, and (4) false accusations that Albanians were carrying out WW2 style genocide against Serbs. Through media control they generated a mass psychology of fear and hate. The militarized mythology of Kosovo was instrumentalized by the militias, religious leaders, and secret police of Serbia throughout the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Kosovo story had become ideology of Christoslavism, the view that Slavs are Christian by essence and that conversion from Christianity entails a race transformation and a race betrayal. Most ominously, the militarized mythology maintains that those who converted to Islam became Turks and are responsible, along with their descendants, for the killing of Prince Lazar, the Christ-prince of the Serbian Golgotha of 1389.
To understand the genocidal intentions of militant Serb nationalists we must understand Kosovo. But the cliché that the conflict is age old and inevitable is false; and indeed, it reflects the distorted history of the ethnic cleansers rather than historical reality. The abuse of the Kosovo legend to motivate genocide has been carried out by Serbian religious, intellectual and political leaders, and there was nothing inevitable about such manipulation. Serbia will retrieve its greatness when it finds a vision of Serbian heritage, including the Kosovo story, focused upon building community rather than destruction. New leaders such as Father Sava Janjic, quoted at the beginning of the new edition of The Bridge Betrayed, offer a more inclusive and humane vision of Serbian religious heritage.

5) Selected War Crimes and Human Rights Reports
on Organized, Mass Atrocities in Kosovo
Peja (Serbian: Pec). Mosque of Sultan Muhammed the Conqueror (Xhamia e Carshise, Bajrakli Xhamia). Built 1471, it is one of the oldest mosques in Kosovo. On June 11, 1999, just two days before the arrival of the first NATO peacekeeping troops, eyewitnesses saw Serbian policemen set the interior ablaze using canisters of gasoline. The mosques prayer carpets, the womens balcony and other interior woodwork, and scores of Quran manuscripts were consumed by the flames. The carved surface of the 15th-century marble minbar (pulpit) was partly calcinated (turned into powdery burned lime) by the heat.

Since the end of the war, the Italian humanitarian aid organization Intersos ( ) has undertaken to restore this historic mosque. For details, see the home page of the Dept. of Culture of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo.
Selected Reports, from March-April, 1999

6) Reports on War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia
Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 771
Left: Milan Mico Kovacevic and Simo Drljaca, indicted for genocide in the Prijedor area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Numbered and Indexed by Michael Sells and Aida Premilovac 
War Crimes Index 1st report 2nd report 3rd report, part I
3rd report II 4th report I 4th report II 5th report
6th report I 6th report II 7th report part I 7th reportII
7th report III 8th reporI 8th report II 8th reportIII

7) Summary of Andras Riedlmayers Killing Memory
Bosnias National Library in Sarajevo, shelled and burned by Serb military forces on August 25-26, 1992 in the largest book burning in history. Andras Riedlmayer: Killing Memory: Bosnias Cultural Heritage and Its Destruction (Philadelphia: Community of Bosnia, 1994), vhs, 55 minutes.
Ethnic Cleansing genocide involves the systematic annihilation of sacral monuments, libraries, museums, and all other traces that the targeted people ever existed. In this gripping and lucid presentation of Bosnias history, heritage, and the systematic attack on it by religious nationalist militias, Andras Riedlmayer presents traces the deliberate burning of the Sarajevo National Library on August 22, 1992 by the Serb army (the largest book burning in modern history), the burning of the Oriental Institute on May 17, 1992 in which the largest collection of Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Aljamiado manuscripts in Southeast Europe went up in flames; the attack on the National Museum of Sarajevo; the dynamiting of the great mosques and churches of Bosnia, including the sixteenth century Ferhad Pasha mosque in Banja Luka and the Aladza (Colored) Mosque in Foca, masterworks of Balkan architecture; the destruction of entire ancient towns such as Pocitelj, Stolac, and Zitomoslici, the annihilation of the Mostar bridge and attempt to destroy all of Serbian and Islamic heritage in Mostar by Croat religious nationalists, and the campaign to rewrite history by claiming that there never were any mosques in Zvornik and Foca, after Serb religious nationalists destroyed dozens of mosques. Presented with a clear narrative and a brilliant summary of Bosnian history, with slides of the monuments before and after their destruction, this work is a key resource in the understanding of cultural genocide. It is also a compelling introduction to Bosnia for those who do not know its history and wish to understand the current situation, valuable for small groups, large groups, public education, and classroom use. For information on ordering this internationally praised video click above.

Ethnic Cleansing Operations
in the northeast-Bosnian City of Zvornik from April through June 1992
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights
Attached is a case-study on Ethnic Cleansing operations in the northeast-Bosnian city of Zvornik in 1992 established by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) within the framework of a project on War Crimes and Human Rights Violations in BiH.
In 1994 Cherif Bassiouni, head of the the Commission of experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), had encouraged BIM to prepare a report on the systematic of the Ethnic Cleansing operations in Zvornik.
In the Final Report of the Commission (UN Doc. S/1994/674) the report of BIM was cited as an exemplary study on Ethnic Cleansing and published as an annex (UN Doc. S/1994/674/add.2 (vol.I) December 1994). In July 1994 BIM published an extended and revised version of the report for the Commission of Experts in German language
The attached report (Tretter/ Müller/ Schwanke/ Angeli/ Richter, Ethnic Cleansing Operations in the north-east Bosnian City of Zvornik form April through June 1992, 1994) is the English edition of the revised version.

Stolac was one of the centers of genocidal crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a detailed report on victims, allegations against more than 150 suspected criminals against humanity, and the systematic annihilation of non-Catholic sacral sites by the Bosnian Croat militia (HVO), prepared by the presidency-in-exile of Stolac municipality.

10) Final Report and Annexes of the Commission of Experts
established pursuant to Security Council resolution 780 (1992)
(Note, the CIJ version of the Com. of Experts Reports by J.L. Maillot is down)

Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights,
pursuant to paragraph 32 of Commission resolution 1993/7 of 23 February 1993,
appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Commision in September 1992.
General Ratko Mladic, Indicted for Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Still At Large

Zeljko Radznatovic (Arkan), indicted by the ICTY for crimes against humanity in Croatia and BiH, assassinated in Belgrade 19 January 2000

13) Selected Indictments
of the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY),
established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 827, 25 May, 1993 
Complete Indictments, Press Releases, and Decisions can be found at the ICTY Web site, along with some transcripts of the trials and other critical information. Go to the ICTY website and click on the box that says Tribunal Cases. This will take you to a listing of of all ICTY proceedings. I have downloaded some major documents below:
Indicted War Criminal Radovan Karadzic, former president of the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska, RS), architect of Ethnic Cleansing. At large the RS.
Indicted War Criminal Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, former commander of Serb forces in Croatia and Bosnia, at large in Serbia.

Indictments Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic For Genocide at Srebrenica and Vicinity
Indictments Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic For Genocide Throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina
Zeljko Meakic, former commander of the Omarksa camp, the site of daily, organized killings, torture, and rape. From May to early August 1992. An estimate 5,000 people were killed at Omarska.
Indictments Zeljko Meakic, Kvocka, Prcac,.et. al. For Genocide at Omarska
War Criminal Zoran Vukovic, Convicted of Rape as a Crime against Humanity for rape and participation in organized rape at Foca.

See also the articles documenting NATOs early refusal to arrest the indicted organizers of the Foca rape camps, including two particularly blatant examples in which NATO troops were caught with the rape-camp organizers, despite persistent denials by NATO commanders that NATO troops have encountered criminals indicted at The Hague. According to the Dayton Peace agreement, NATO troops are required to arrest and extradict to The Hague any indicted criminals they encounter. These articles appear under the title NATO fraternization with indicted rape-camp organizers: Radovan Stankovic and Gojko Jankovic. Since that time, French NATO forces had repeatedly been exposed refusing to arrest the Foca indictees for organized rape. The suspects have run businesses, control the town, and promenade in public. While these indictees for organized rape were free to walk the streets of Foca, Gordana Igric, a courageous Serb journalist who interviewed one of the indictees and exposed the French military nearby doing nothing, was forced into hiding because of death threats. This link includes Jordan Pausts brief legal definitions regarding complicity, dereliction of duty, and violation of legal obligations, as well as reports describing the NATOs lack of action in regards to arresting and extraditing the indicted war criminals.

For location of the above suspects and NATO encounters, see War Criminal Watch.

15) Genocide at Srebrenica and Zepa
In mid-July, 1995, the UN proclaimed safe havens Srebrenica and Zepa were handed over by UN commanders to the Serb nationalist army, after being besieged, shelled and starved for almost three years. After the fall of Srebenica and Zepa, approximately eight thousand men and boys disappeared, and are feared dead. The surviving Muslim population was expelled to Bosnian goverment-held territories, with atrocities and maltreatment throughout the expulsion process. For an archive of reports on Srebrenica, see the Community of Bosnia Foundation Srebrenica page. 
Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, Senior Bosnian Serb commander after General Ratko Mladic, currently on trial in the Hague for genocide for mass-killings carried out at Srebrenica

refuting the anti-Islamic stereotypes and distortions of Brooke Ungars article on Bosnia, A Ghost of a Chance 1/24/98, stereotypes disturbingly similar to those used by the government of John Major to justify its abandonment of Bosnia-Herzegovina to ethnic cleansing and aggression.

17) Foca

Early in the spring and summer of 1992, Serb religious nationalists captured the predominantely Muslim town of Foca on the banks of the Drina river in the eastern Bosnia. Only few days after entering the town, the religious nationalists started a systematic campaign of annihilating every trace of Bosnian Muslim civilization. The famous Aladza (Colored) mosque, built in 1551, was dynamited, and on its place, today, there is a bus parking lot. The state-run prison and the Partizan Sports Hall were transformed into rape camps where Muslim women and girls were held and rape for days, sometimes weeks.
Exterior Aladza mosque, constructed in 1551, Dynamited in 1993
For an illustrated history of Focas culture and its destruction, follow
this link. 

18) On the Literary Culture of Bosnia-Herzegovina
One aspect of the ideology of ethnic cleansing is the claim that groups such as Bosnian Muslims had no culture, a claim made insistently by nationalists such as Ivo Andric, who asserted the point in his doctoral dissertation (see the discussion of Andric in The Bridge Betrayed). For an antidote for such stereotypes, see the the fine work by by Edin Hajdarpasic: Herceg-Bosnia and Eastern Scholarship, Translated by Edin Hajdarpasic from the appendix of Kratka Uputa u Proslost Bosne I Hercegovine (A Short Instruction in the Past of Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1463-1850); Sarajevo: Vlastita Naklada, 1900, Safvet beg Basagic Redzepasic.

19) Community and Its Destruction in Stolac
For a moving and illuminating essay on the history, significance, and deliberature destruction of the culture of Stolac, Herzegovina by the Croat Defense Council, see Stephen Schwartz, The Rabbi of Stolac.

20) Links to:
War Criminal Watch
War Criminal Watch includes biographies of war-criminals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunals at the Hague and in Rwanda, with dates of arrests, deaths, and convictions, and suspected whereabouts of criminals still at large.
Balkan Witness, with documentation and excellent links to other Balkan human rights and war-crimes documentation sites. EurasiaNews, with key material on the break-up of Yugoslavia, the conflict in Bosnia, and the implications for Kosovo. Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)
The above page features the past issues of Tribunal Update, written by Mirko Klarin, the authoritative and ongoing account of all the trials of the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, along with issues of War Report, one of the finest journals on human rights issues in the Balkans and other regions.
Office of the High Representative (OHR) Human Rights Reports on Bosnia
These OHCC reports include details of efforts at refugee resettlement and abuses of returning refugees in each area of Bosnia, along with any OSCE measures to counteract the terror. 
Human Rights Review
An important new journal for the exploration of major issues such as genocide and civil war, with links to human rights sites around the world and examples of the latest scholarship.
FreeSerbia, a pro-Democracy Serbian Group

21) How to Help

22) Articles by Michael Sells
on U.S. Right Wing Support for Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans

23) The Serbian Orthodox Church Attack on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
At a time when the tribunal on war-crimes in the former Yugoslavia was engaged in major prosecutions against Croats, Muslims, and Serbs--a time when most of the activity was in prosecuting Croat war-crimes--the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle issues a statement accusing the tribunal of foscusing almost exclusively on crimes by Serbs (a blatant falsehood). He then also authorized the relocation of a Serb monastery to the city of Foca, where Serb units had destroyed the Muslim community, set up rape-camps (see Foca above) and destroyed all mosques and Islamic monuments. To celebrate the extermination of Muslim presence in Foca, the Serb extremists renamed the town Srebinja (Serb-place). Patriarch Pavle in this document refers to the city not as Foca, but as Srbinje. Full Document at Serbian Orthodox Church Web Site.

24) Michael Sells
How Serbian Orthodox Church Leaders Used Monasteries to Entice Ethnic Hatred
From 1998 to the present, the Serbian Orthodox Church has claimed that NATO deliberately bombed Serbian Orthodox Monasteries and other sacred monuments. These accusations can still be found Serbian Orthodox Church WEB sites and in other forums. After thorough investigation, it turned out that these accusations were complete fabrications. For an op-ed piece refuting the accusations of the Serbian Orthodox Church, see the Kosovo Current Crisis Web page, Michael Sells, How Serbian Orthodox Church Leaders Used Monasteries to Entice Ethnic Hatred. The same article also appears on the web-page of the Kosova Crisis Center. In claiming that NATO was engaged in systematic annihilation of Serbian religious heritage in Kosovo, the Serbian Orthodox Church used the same fabrications it used in 1986 when it claimed that Kosovar Albanians were annihilating Serbian Monasteries, engaged in organized rape against Serbian women, and carrying out genocide against Serb. These accusations were shown Serbian journalists to be fabrications, but they were nevertheless taken up by Serbian intellectuals in the famous SANU Memorandum that is considered to have been the death knell of the former Yugoslavia.
See also, Michael Sells, Protecting Kosovos Treasures, reprinted in the Journal of Aerospace and Defense Industry News, July 19, 1999. 

Disclaimer: the claims and opinions on this page and all other pages linked to Sells represent the opinions of Michael A. Sells only, and do not reflect the position of Haverford College.
Back to Michael A. Sells main page
Back to Michael Sells Community of Bosnia Page (note: this is the Community of Bosnia page that is and will continue to be maintained by Michael Sells. The official page is under construction and will be found at
Offical Community of Bosnia Home Page

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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website