Memories: Omarska Concentration Camp in Bosnia near Prijedor (Photos)

Victims of the Omarska concentration camp. Image by deconcrete (Memorial in Exile)

Victims of the Omarska concentration camp. Image by deconcrete (Memorial in Exile)

The Omarska was another Serb-run concentration camp near Prijedor, one of seven municipalities where genocide had taken place between 1992-1995 Bosnian war, according to the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague. Thousands of Bosniak civilians were detained, tortured, raped, and or killed or went missing (many were later found in dozens of mass graves scattered around Prijedor.

Fact Check: Bosnian Genocide has legal backing: In Prosecutor v Slobodan Milosevic, the International Criminal Tribunal rejected “motion for judgment of acquittal” and concluded that Genocide occurred in seven Bosnian municipalities, including Prijedor where Keraterm concentration camp was located. On 16 June 2004, the Court ruled:

“On the basis of the inference that may be drawn from this evidence, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that there existed a joint criminal enterprise, which included members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, whose aim and intention was to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslim population, and that genocide was in fact committed in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi….”

PHOTO #1: Here we see a screenshot from the video material used by the International Criminal Tribunal which shows an emaciated dying Bosniak prisoner in the Omarska concentration camp near Prijedor (August 1992). Bosnian Genocide was marked by systematic torture in concentration camps, mass rape of women and girls, widespread ethnic cleansing and genocidal execution of a Bosniak majority on a territory claimed by Serbs.

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PHOTO #2: Bosniak civilians in the Omarska concentration cam, August of 1992. Here we see prisoners arriving on a “staged lunch” in front of western cameras. Serb leadership wanted to fool the world into believing that prisoners are fine and safe from abuses. Survivors of this camp would later testify about the horrifying conditions in this camp. “The men pointed at a passing dog and ordered Ranko to shoot it, which he did. As the dog lay dying, they screamed at Ranko, asking him if he was a good Serb and telling him that if he could shoot a dog, then he could shoot a Muslim. Yes, yes, he was a good Serb. He closed his eyes and pulled the trigger,” – described former Serb soldier. Photo courtesy: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). 


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PHOTO #3: Armed guards oversee staged lunch in the Omarska concentration camp. Ian Williams, ITN screenshot, 6 August 1992.

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PHOTO #4: Emaciated and starving Bosniak civilian prisoners during a “staged lunch” in the Omarska Concentration Camp in August of 1992 lunch. Photo courtesy: The Hague Tribunal.


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PHOTO #5: Emaciated skin-and-bones Bosniak prisoner in the Omarska concentration camp in August of 1992. Source: Penny Marshall, ITN screenshot, 6 August 1992.


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PHOTO #6: Bosniak civilians in the Omarska concentration camp during a staged lunch in August of 1992. Armed guard with a weapon is seen in the background. Photo courtesy: The Hague Tribunal.

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PHOTO #7. Aerial view of the Omarska concentration camp. Thousands of Bosniak  civilians were interned, tortured, raped, and killed in this camp during the Bosnian Genocide (1992-95). Source: The International Criminal Tribunal.

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PHOTO #8: Another aerial view of the notorious Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia. Thousands of Bosniak civilians were interned, tortured, raped, and killed in this camp during the 1992-95 Bosnian Genocide. Source: The Hague Tribunal.

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PHOTO #9: Entrance to the Omarska concentration camp. Many did not come out alive or were executed in front of the camp. Thousands of Bosniak civilians were interned, tortured, raped, and killed in this camp during the Bosnian Genocide. Source: The International Criminal Tribunal.

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PHOTO #10: On the left is Zina (77 years old), survivor of the Omarska concentration camp. She is comforted by an unknown visitor to the site of the camp. Credit: Borut Peterlin, 2008.

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