Trnopolje: Bosniak Boy Forced to Have Sex with Dead Mother

Witness tells U.N. war crimes trial how Serb soldier killed boy after ordering him to have sex with his dead mother.

Witness Provides Gory Testimony on Bosnian Camp
Reading Eagle, p.B8
22 June 1996.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (Reuters) — A Muslim survivor of a Bosnian Serb prison camp said Friday a drunken Serb soldier shot and killed a young man after ordering him to have sex with his dead mother, killed by the same soldier moments before.

Sulejman Besic, 46, a former lumberjack, told the U.N. war crimes trial of Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic how the woman, in her mid-30s, had come to the Trnopolje camp in northwest Bosnia to bring food to her son who was held there.

He described how the soldier shouted at the woman that he would kill her if she did not tell him where her husband was. He then ordered her to strip off her upper clothes.

“She was crying terribly, but she took them off,” Besic said. “Then I heard firing and saw her lying on her back. He shot her in the head.”

“The son was screaming so much you had to close your ears. The soldier told the son to get naked so everyone could see and then said these words to him: ‘Now I will make you rape your dead mother.’”

Besic said prisoners standing nearby tried to retreat inside buildings but were ordered by Serbs to watch or be killed.

“I heard firing and saw the boy fall next to his mother,” he said.

The soldier was then led away in handcuffs by other guards but was back on duty as normal the following day, Besic said.

He also described how the stench from a fellow inmate’s gaping wounds — crosses gouged on his front and back — prevented other prisoners from treating him

“When we looked on his back where they had cut him there were worms, live worms wriggling around and we tried to take them out … but the stench was so horrible you could not get near him,” he said.

Besic was testifying toward the end of the seventh week of Tadic’s trial, the first before an international war crimes tribunal since those in Nuremberg and Tokyo after World War II.

Tadic, 40, is accused of visiting three prison camps in the Prijedor region of northwest Bosnia in 1992, killing and maiming non-Serbs at will.

He claims he is the victim of mistaken identity.

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