Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 12:05 GMT

The Continuing Influence of Bosnia's Warlords

Publisher Human Rights Watch
Publication Date 1 December 1996
Citation / Document Symbol D817
Cite as Human Rights Watch, The Continuing Influence of Bosnia's Warlords, 1 December 1996, D817, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a8364.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
Comments The human rights abuses that constitute "ethnic cleansing" are still being used to intimidate and harass ethnic minorities in Bosnia-Hercegovina in the post-Dayton period. This has been observed by and is well known to the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR), international monitoring organizations and the governments that have sponsored the Dayton Peace Agreement. By opting to remain silent about many of the abuses and the identity of the abusers, the international community has become complicit in the continuation of serious human rights abuses and the final stages of "ethnic cleansing." Many of those who incited ethnic and nationalist hatred and were responsible for the massive atrocities committed during the war remain in power today. This is particularly true in the Republika Srpska (RS), where the control and influence of persons responsible for massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the war, increase the chances that human rights abuses will continue to be carried out in a systematic fashion until Republika Srpska is ethnically "clean."
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

SUMMARY

The human rights abuses that constitute "ethnic cleansing" are still being used to intimidate and harass ethnic minorities in Bosnia-Hercegovina in the post-Dayton period. This has been observed by and is well known to the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR), international monitoring organizations and the governments that have sponsored the Dayton Peace Agreement. By opting to remain silent about many of the abuses and the identity of the abusers, the international community has become complicit in the continuation of serious human rights abuses and the final stages of "ethnic cleansing." Many of those who incited ethnic and nationalist hatred and were responsible for the massive atrocities committed during the war remain in power today. This is particularly true in the Republika Srpska (RS), where the control and influence of persons responsible for massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the war, increase the chances that human rights abuses will continue to be carried out in a systematic fashion until Republika Srpska is ethnically "clean."

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has collected strong evidence and obtained confirmation from IFOR sources in Bosnia-Hercegovina as well as from several international monitoring organizations there that, since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, underground Bosnian Serb paramilitary organizations are being led by the ruling nationalist-based party – the SDS [Srpska Demokratska Stranka – Serbian Democratic Party] in the entity of Republika Srpska. According to an IFOR source recently interviewed by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, the plans of this underground paramilitary network include "destabilizing the peace process, creating opposition to IFOR and international agencies within the Bosnian Serb population in Republika Srpska, stirring up general animosity towards the other entity – the Bosniak-Croat Federation – and destroying any moderate-line Serb elements including Bosnian Serb opposition parties and individuals not affiliated with the SDS." Furthermore, as several international monitoring officials informed us, "liquidation units" have been formed to eliminate specific high-ranking people, moderate Bosnian Serb leaders and specific non-Serb minorities either still living in Republika Srpska or who may return there.

These underground paramilitary organizations operate throughout the Republika Srpska. This report focuses on two towns – Doboj and Tesli – where underground paramilitary cells exist that are directly connected to the SDS, Karadi and possibly Mladi [see Appendix A]. IFOR sources and members of international monitoring organizations reported to us that this underground paramilitary organization receives financial support and arms through at least three companies in the Doboj area that funnel money and arms from sources in Europe.

Doboj and Tesli are under the absolute, autocratic control of a group of local Bosnian Serb political leaders, police chiefs, party leaders, officials and civilians who have established an underground mafia-type network bridging the two towns. At the moment, this underground network of nationalist-extremist Doboj and Tesli authorities is tightening its grip on the area in order to resist any possible undesirable results of the Dayton peace process and the municipal elections scheduled for the spring of 1997. They view the Dayton peace process as a direct threat to the power base they created during the war. According to representatives of a number of international monitoring organizations, the group is so powerful that they feel comfortable doing whatever they want. Almost a year after the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, and in the very presence of IFOR soldiers and the International Police Task Force (IPTF), the non-Serb residents of Doboj and Tesli are still subject to the kind of psychological and physical terror that existed during the height of the war in 1992-1994. According to an IFOR source:

In order that he exercise complete control over everything in Republika Srpska, Karadi has made sure his political party – the SDS – runs, controls and owns the entity's police, court system, media, major industries and local NGOs [non-governmental organizations] such as the Red Cross. Furthermore, Karadi has exclusively employed the power of the entity's Ministry of Internal Affairs [Ministarstvo Unutrašnjih Poslova – hereinafter referred to as MUP] in order to keep all internal problems in check, and this underground paramilitary organization has emerged from within its very ranks. In the Doboj and Tesli area, this underground paramilitary group is composed mainly of members of the special police of the regional ministries of internal affairs. The underground organization also actively recruits new members from the large numbers of demobilized and mostly unemployed Army of Republika Srpska [Vojska Republike Srpske – hereinafter referred to as VRS] soldiers. It doesn't even matter that Karadi was publicly banned from political office by Holbrooke and the Americans; he still continues to exercise complete control over all events in the Republika Srpska.

This report offers evidence that the national and local political leadership of the Republika Srpska as well as the state organs and agencies under its control – including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the local police force, and the VRS – are responsible for directing, aiding and abetting continuing human rights abuses in post-Dayton Bosnia-Hercegovina on an RS-wide scale. Over the past eleven months, RS forces and agencies, along with the underground paramilitary organization (comprising members of the aforementioned agencies as well as local political authorities), have committed widespread human rights abuses in the Doboj-Tesli area against non-Serb minorities and even moderate Bosnian Serbs involved in opposition movements. Specifically, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has documented acts of pre-meditated murder, "ethnic cleansing," expulsions, obstruction of freedom of movement, obstruction of the right to remain, the continued practice of forced labor, beating and torture in detention, threats and intimidation, looting and the destruction of property. The majority of these abuses are perpetrated in a highly organized fashion.

This report is based on a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki mission conducted in the months of July, August and September 1996, with a field update completed in November. Interviews were conducted with approximately a dozen international representatives from a number of organizations taking part in monitoring and/or carrying out the provision of the civilian component of the Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia-Hercegovina, including officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), European Community Military Monitors (ECMM), United Nations Civil Affairs (UNCA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Office of the High Representative (OHR), the International Police Task Force (IPTF), and the Implementation Force (IFOR). Furthermore, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviewed a number of individuals familiar with the Doboj and Tesli region who worked in Bosnia-Hercegovina under the United Nations mission. Some of these sources, recognizing the need to publicly expose the activities of local political leaders and regretting the fact that their own organizations are not doing so, provided Human Rights Watch/Helsinki with much information that their organizations have not made public. For that reason, these individuals asked that their names and the areas where they are based not be disclosed. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki agreed to maintain these sources' confidentiality.

The events and practices documented in this report indicate not only the ongoing control exerted by war-time organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Doboj-Tesli area and the human rights abuses that are a result thereof, but also that the whereabouts and abusive activities of these persons are well known to the international representatives present in the region. If these international bodies are truly interested in verifying the allegations in this report, they have no better place to look than to their own internal documents and reports and the knowledge possessed by their own field staff. We confirmed much of the information provided by international sources through interviews with dozens victims of human rights abuses from the Doboj-Tesli area. Because of their legitimate fear for their safety and that of their families, many of these individuals also asked that their identities be kept confidential.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges:

-the OSCE chairman-in-office and the Office of the High Representative (OHR) urgently to call on the Bosnian Serb authorities to make clear that full and immediate compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement is expected, pointing to the specific obstacles for the full provision of the civilian component of the agreement, outlining specific steps the authorities must take, creating a timetable for compliance, and making clear that non-compliance will be met with immediate punitive measures, such as the withholding of economic aid and/or the reimposition of sanctions. Should the Bosnian Serb authorities fail to meet the specified bench-marks by a specific time period, the United Nations Security Council must implement Security Council resolution 1074 which considers the imposition of sanctions if any party fails significantly to meet its obligations under the Dayton Peace Agreement.

-IFOR, the OHR, the OSCE and other international organizations operating in Bosnia-Hercegovina to clearly articulate a duty of their representatives to expose all continuing human rights abuses, as well as to name the perpetrators, even if they are high-level political authorities and police officials. Moreover, any international official witnessing human rights abuses should inform IFOR and IPTF, so that in conjunction, they can intervene to end such abuses and uphold the human rights guarantees spelled out in the Dayton Peace Agreement.

-that the operations of IFOR, the OHR, the OSCE and other international bodies that impact on human rights be completely transparent. While sources and other information must obviously be protected, reports of human rights abuses should not be withheld from the public for political reasons, and disclosure should be timely.

-IFOR to become more proactively engaged in guaranteeing and protecting the security, safety and human rights of non-Serb minorities and targeted Bosnian Serbs in Republika Srpska, and displaced persons and refugees wishing to return to their place of origin. The absence of "robust" and proactive protection has only emboldened hard-line Bosnian Serb authorities and local police officials to carry out human rights abuses with impunity, thus maintaining an environment of abuse and fear.

-IFOR to redouble its efforts to ensure "complete" freedom of movement as spelled out by the Dayton Peace Agreement.

-the IPTF to urgently press Republika Srpska to sign an agreement regarding the restructuring of the local police, including the screening process, parallel to the one signed by the Federation in April 1996. Failure to do so immediately should be declared non-compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement and should trigger punitive measures, such as reimposing sanctions and withholding economic aid.

-the IPTF to increase patrolling activities uniformly throughout the Doboj and Tesli regions so as to reduce the human rights abuses in areas where international monitors have been absent. IPTF should coordinate their patrolling strategy and schedule with IFOR to ensure that their work will not be obstructed by local elements.

-the IPTF to instruct stations in the Doboj and Tesli municipalities to record, report and make public all instances of continuing human rights abuses and non-compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement by members of the local police.

-the IPTF to establish mechanisms to protect individuals who provide information on abusive officials to the IPTF. Without concrete protection mechanisms, intimidation will prevent civilians from reporting continuing human rights abuses at the hands of the authorities.

-the IPTF to ensure that all police officers responsible for post-Dayton human rights abuses, harassment of, or threats against, minorities, or who have failed to investigate and punish those responsible for human rights abuses committed under their jurisdiction, be ineligible for police posts and be removed from their positions. Acts of non-compliance should be understood to include, but are not limited to the obstruction of freedom of movement, failure to protect the right to remain and violation of an individual's freedom of expression and association.

-the IPTF to ensure that all local police who threatened or committed acts of violence against IPTF, as well as those police officers who refused to comply with or obstructed other provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement, be ineligible for police posts and be removed from their position.

-the IPTF to publicize the vetting process of the RS police structure through the international and, most importantly, local media. Create mechanisms through which the local population can furnish the IPTF with information regarding abusive police officers and paramilitary members.

-the IPTF to pass on all information of human rights abuses carried out by local police officials to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with an agreement to exchange information on records in the ICTY on police officials, politicians and members of paramilitary groups in the area.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the United States, Russia and the European Union to:

-allow and fully support the OSCE and the OHR to carry out the above mentioned recommendations.

-disclose all available information, including intelligence, that implicates any of the ruling parties in running, supporting, supplying, or directing the organized commission of human rights abuses through local political, police and military bodies, agencies or branches.

-exert pressure on the Pale authorities to ensure that the Republika Srpska respects and upholds the human rights norms spelled out in the Dayton Peace Agreement. The granting of any kind of reconstruction assistance to the entity of the Republika Srpska should be linked to strict respect for human and minority rights and the creation of real return options by the Bosian Serb authorities for non-Serbs. Aid should be granted in a manner that ensures minority rights in, and the repatriation of persons "ethnically cleansed" from, the Republika Srpska. Also, such aid should be disbursed in a non-discriminatory manner that ensures that assistance is given both to displaced non-Serbs, Bosnian Serbs, and Serb refugees from Croatia in the Republika Srpska.

-establish an Office of the Ombudsman in the Republika Srpska identical to the one operating in the Federation entity of Bosnia-Hercegovina, to act as a legal representative for individual victims of human rights abuses and charged with obtaining remedies for such abuses from governmental authorities.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the authorities of the entity of Republika Srpska to:

-arrest, prosecute and punish all the local Doboj and Tesli authorities, police officials and VRS members responsible for ongoing human rights abuses against the non-Serb minority population, non-Serb returnees, as well as against Bosnian Serb civilians who are perceived as opponents of the SDS authorities.

-allow non-Serb displaced persons and refugees who wish to return to their homes – a fundamental right outlined in the Dayton Peace Agreement – to do so without any impediments and without fear of persecution.

-allow international human rights and police monitors to maintain an unimpeded presence and operate freely in the Doboj and Tesli areas.

BACKGROUND

Doboj

The municipality of Doboj is located in northeastern Bosnia-Hercegovina between Bosnian Serb-held Banja Luka and Bosnian government-held Tuzla. In post-Dayton Bosnia-Hercegovina, Doboj is situated in the entity of the Republika Srpska surrounded on three sides by the inter-entity boundary line (IEBL), in a pincer position between the Bosniak-Croat Federation municipalities of Tešanj and Graanica. According to the 1991 census, the pre-war population of the Doboj municipality was approximately 102,546, of which the Bosniaks comprised 40.2 percent, the Bosnian Serbs 39 percent, the Bosnian Croats 13 percent, "Yugoslavs" 5.5 percent, and "others" 2.3 percent. It was one of many towns in Bosnia-Hercegovina that were often called "little Yugoslavia" because of its highly mixed ethnicity as well as high rate of intermarriage.

At the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1992, the Yugoslav People's Army [Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija – hereinafter referred to as JNA], [1] Bosnian Serb paramilitaries and paramilitary units from Serbia[2] ("Tigers"[3] and the "White Eagles"[4]) occupied Doboj in April and May, besieging the town until August. Also, participating in the attack on the town were the paramilitary units "Crvene Beretke" ("Red Berets;" see the following four sections for more details) and "Knindas" (or Milan Marti's police militia).[5] The abuses committed during the seizure and control of the Doboj area followed a recognizable pattern used during the war in Croatia and Bosnia- Hercegovina. During the operation of "ethnic cleansing," Serb forces were responsible for massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law including attacks against civilian targets, disproportionate use of force, pillage and the destruction of cultural objects and private property, summary executions, and abuse in detention. Upon entering the town under the cover of the JNA, paramilitary forces swept through the area, "ethnically cleansing" it of all non-Serbs: non-Serbs were ordered to stay indoors while their homes and apartments were systematically searched[6] and looted. Phone lines of the non-Serb residents were cut, and Doboj's two mosques and its Catholic church were destroyed.[7] In many instances, non-Serb males were beaten and/or taken away from their families while female victims were raped in their homes, many times in front of their fathers, husbands and sons. Bosnian Serb and Serbian soldiers separated the women, children and elderly from the fighting-aged men, calling names from a prepared list.[8] Many male non-Serbs were then beaten and summarily executed while the women were rounded up and placed in various locations where they were held and repeatedly raped.[9]

Since Doboj is a main railroad junction in Bosnia-Hercegovina, it became a "transit center" for large numbers of non-Serbs who were "ethnically cleansed" from Serb-controlled northern Bosnia. Non-Serbs were systematically transported or marched into Doboj from their former areas of residence, and the women, children and elderly were forced to cross over into Bonsian Croat-Bosniak-controlled territories; many non-Serbs were summarily executed during this operation.[10]

Upon arrival in Doboj, military-aged non-Serb men (between the ages of eighteen and sixty) and some women were separated and sent to concentration camps in the area. The "Poljoremont" (repair plant) warehouse was converted into a concentration center where approximately 2,000 non-Serbs from the Doboj area were held.[11] The military barracks in Ševarlije near Doboj was used to detain approximately 300 men, women and children. They were placed in a ten by thirty meter basement room where there wasn't even enough space for them to sleep at the same time. Thus, the males slept during the day while the women and children slept at night.[12] The military warehouses in Bare were turned into a detention facility that could hold an estimated 2,000 persons each. In June 1992, the RS Red Cross removed the women and children, leaving behind the military-aged non-Serbs who were beaten with police batons, axe handles and rifle butts, forced to dig trenches on the front lines and to perform forced labor in the area such as loading trucks and plundering the villages around Doboj for livestock and furniture for the Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces.[13] Forced labor was also performed by non-Serb prisoners held at the Stanari mines, where they were ordered to dig coal. The central prison in Doboj was used as a detention area in which approximately 250 non-Serbs were crammed into a room sixteen- by twenty-meters. There, they were interrogated and beaten, usually two or three times a day. Some of the prisoners died from the beatings.[14] The Secretariat of Internal Affairs [Sekreteriat Unutrašnjih Poslova – hereinafter referred to as SUP] building complex, which today still acts as the headquarters for the Bosnian Serb police, was used to hold prisoners "deemed of high interest." The prisoners were subjected to interrogations that involved torture during questioning.[15] The etvrti Juli barake (Fourth of July army barracks) in Doboj were used as an interrogation and detention center.[16] Moreover, the Usora military facility, the "Kovinotehna" factory, the local hospital and a disco bar "Peri" (sometimes called "Perin") in Vila belonging to a Bosniak allegedly named Kasim Perin[17] also served as detention centers where non-Serbs were held, beaten and, at times, executed.[18]

Hundreds, possibly thousands of non-Serb women and girls were detained, raped and gang-raped for months in the Doboj high school located in the Usora area of the town, a middle school gymnasium, a Serb Red Cross refugee camp set up in a high school, in Mala Bukovica, Vukovii, ivija and a house in Lukavica at least from May 1992 until January 1993.[19] When the women were brought to these "centers" they were "classified" according to their appearance and their career, educational and financial status. The women deemed unattractive were "disappeared."[20] Each day, soldiers – identified by their victims as belonging to the JNA, "White Eagles," Bosnian Serb and Serbian military police, Serb police forces from Knin in Croatia, and various etnik paramilitary and militia units – would arrive and select women to be taken to classrooms or nearby apartments in the surrounding area where they were reportedly raped or gang-raped by as many as ten men. Afterwards, they were returned to the gym. Many women claim to have been raped every day, sometimes by men they knew and with foreign objects; they were urinated on, beaten, and spat on.[21]

Immediately preceding the Dayton Peace Agreement, the Doboj area was subject to another large-scale, systematic campaign of "ethnic cleansing:" After the RS directly confronted the international community's efforts in Bosnia-Hercegovina by forcefully taking the U.N.-declared "safe areas" of Srebrenica[22] and epa in July and launching another "ethnic cleansing" campaign in northwestern Bosnia,[23] NATO was ordered fly sorties over the RS so as to cripple VRS military capability. This served part of a larger campaign by the West to force the Bosnian Serbs to the table for peace negotiations. In early September 1995, the Doboj area was hit by NATO airstrikes, and a number of military installations and relay communication stations were destroyed.[24] Doboj was cut off from the outer world. These airstrikes were followed by a major offensive mounted by the Bosnian government forces [Armija Bosne i Hercegovine; Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina – hereinafter referred to as ABiH] in the area. By mid- September, ABiH conquered more than half of a strategic Serb-held Ozren pocket south of Doboj, while the city of Doboj came under direct shelling itself.[25]

During the ABiH offensive, approximately 12,000 Bosnian Serbs, mainly peasants, fled the Ozren area towards Doboj and its surrounding villages. With a huge group of displaced Bosnian Serbs entering the area, the Bosnian Croat and Bosniak communities remaining in the region were subjected to a brutal and systematic campaign of "ethnic cleansing." From September 20-25, 1995, massive waves of expulsions were carried out by the city authorities with the help of the military and civilian police. The expelled non-Serbs were forced to gather at the local soccer playing field from where they were systematically bused to the front lines. By the end of September, approximately 1,500 Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats – mostly women, elderly and children – were "ethnically cleansed" from the area while approximately thirty to forty non-Serb males are known to have been taken into forced labor.[26]

Tesli

The Tesli municipality situated southwest of Doboj is partially blocked from it by the jutting left pincer of the Bosnian government-controlled Tešanj municipality. According to the 1991 census, the population of theTesli municipality was approximately 59,632, of which 55.1 percent were Bosnian Serbs, 21.5 percent Bosniaks, 16 percent Croat, 5.7 percent "Yugoslav" and 1.7 percent "other." Initially, Bosnian Serb civilian, military and/or police officials called on the non-Serb population in the area to recognize the new all-Serb political structures which were quickly installed at the outset of the war. While claiming that the non-Serbs in the area were preparing to "mount an attack" on the Bosnian Serb residents, the local Serb authorities demanded that the non-Serb population turn over any weapons in their possession. In the first days of the war in Tesli, Serb forces liquidated forty-seven mainly Bosniak (and a few Bosnian Croat) intellectuals and successful businessmen. The town was quickly taken but, in May 1992, Arkan's paramilitary "Tigers" led an assault on the Kamenica village stronghold in this area, an enclave that finally collapsed after enduring ten months of Serb onslaughts. The entire village was abandoned by its non-Serb residents, after which Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces quickly moved in to destroy, pillage and burn private homes and mosques. Mass graves were dug, in which the Serbs claimed to bury their own who had died in combat.[27]

After Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces took control of the Tesli area, all remaining non-Serb families or individuals who had relatives working outside the former Yugoslavia were required to pay 300 DM per month [approximately 200 USD] to the Serb authorities. Those who refused had their homes raided at night, their family members beaten and the eldest male family member dragged to the police station for interrogations and beatings by sometimes as many as three to four policemen at a time. These beatings could last as long as two to four days.[28]

In March 1992, Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces captured a town in the Tesli area named Kaloševii. The non-Serb residents of that town were taken to a Serb-run camp in a forest approximately twenty kilometers from Kaloševii, comprising a complex of small houses where at least twelve women were repeatedly raped. The perpetrators came to the camp, raped women and left; the women were raped in front of each other and were told that they would bear "Serbian children." Some women were reportedly beaten while others were maimed or killed. [29] Others were allegedly made to cook for the guards and serve them naked.[30] In addition to the rapes, Bosnian Serb and/or Serbian soldiers executed some of their women prisoners.[31]

Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces set up several detention camps in which non-Serbs were interned. The old municipality building in Tesli acted as a concentration center in which all the rooms, including the area in the cellar, were filled with non-Serb prisoners. Some prisoners were beaten and then compelled into forced labor. A number of prisoners from the municipality building were transferred to the local soccer stadium "Proleter" on July 14, 1992.[32] Other identified detention centers were the Banja Vruica sanatorium, which allegedly housed over 300 military- aged Bosniaks, and in the village of Pribini in the Borja mountains, where approximately 500 non-Serbs were interned.[33] Some of these camps were allegedly run by members of the Bosnian Serb "Armada" militia and the "Red Berets" paramilitary group – both from the Banja Luka area – who arrived in the Tesli area to assist the "cleansing of the terrain."[34]

During the past year, the Tesli area has remained highly problematic in regards to fulfilling its obligations under the Dayton Peace Agreement. For several weeks in May 1996, the local authorities intimidated, harassed, beat and/or expelled up to 600 non-Serbs – mostly Bosniaks, but also Bosnian Croats and Roma – from the Tesli area.[35] According to an international monitoring organization's internal report dated May 31, "In Tesli, IFOR has reported that numerous Muslim families, perhaps up to fifty in the last days, have packed all their belongings in horse-drawn carts and have asked for protection in crossing the IEBL to Tešanj." Moreover, the UNHCR has publicly characterized the expulsions as "ethnic cleansing" and the worst attack on Bosniaks since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. IFOR and IPTF reported that intimidation against ethnic minorities included beatings, throwing of grenades, holding people at gunpoint, and burning haystacks.[36] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki as well as OSCE visits have determined that the non-Serbs in the area are reluctant to discuss this situation for fear of reprisals.

THE LEADERSHIP OF THE UNDERGROUND PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATION: DOBOJ-TESLI CELL

Since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the leadership of the entity of the Republika Srpska has continued to insist that its aim is the creation of an independent Bosnian Serb entity separate from Bosnia- Hercegovina that would eventually link up with Serbia proper. Such statements – which are violations of the Dayton Peace Agreement – have been recorded numerous times, from the local political levels to the highest levels of RS government.[37] Almost a year after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, top-level RS authorities, in conjunction with the network of paramilitary cells, have continued to work toward the de facto creation of a permanent border between the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the entity of Republika Srpska. Such provocative government rhetoric, reflected in the SDS-controlled press, TV and radio, has continuously frightened Bosnian Serb civilians (many of them displaced persons themselves) into believing that Bosniaks and/or Bosnian Croats will cross the IEBL to conduct terrorist attacks and/or forcefully reclaim homes. Thus, the underground paramilitary cells are specifically tasked to make sure than non-Serb displaced persons do not return to cities, towns or areas on the border of the IEBL where they once formed a majority.

The accepted return of refugees, as specified under the Dayton Peace Agreement, to places such as Brko,[38] Doboj and other areas where non-Serbs constituted a pre-war majority, is seen as eventually leading to an unfavorable demographic, and therefore political, situation. An IFOR source disclosed to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that:

It's crystal clear that a policy exists at a national level, and at local levels, to prevent non-Serb displaced persons and refugees from returning to their homes and from reuniting with any family members left in the Republika Srpska.[39]

According to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki's investigations, which included the acquisition of a classified IFOR document, the political leadership of the underground paramilitary group in the Doboj-Tesli region emanates from Milan Ninkovi, president of the SDS party in Doboj and president of the town council, who also happens to be the minister of defense of Republika Srpska. Ninkovi is one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Doboj area. Before the war, Ninkovi worked in the Doboj municipal administration and was a known nationalist (he is also known to dislike the politics of Serbian President Slobodan Miloševi, whom he considers to be too moderate). In early 1993, Ninkovi announced on Radio Doboj that all Bosniaks should be killed and that the city should remain a Serb city.[40] As the president of the SDS party in Doboj, he was one of the principal organizers of the overall plan and strategy to "ethnically cleanse" the Doboj area.[41] International monitoring officials who cover northern Bosnia told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that Milan Ninkovi is in control of everything that happens in Doboj and that everything needs his approval. Furthermore, according to an IFOR source, "His brother, Pero Ninkovi, a former worker at a gas station, is now the manager of the SDS-controlled company ‘Duga' and another company called ‘Modex' in Doboj, which supply the underground paramilitary organization with finances and weapons."[42] Moreover, during the war, Pero Ninkovi was also involved in paying off UNHCR and ICRC truck drivers to divert humanitarian assistance from Doboj to Milan Ninkovi's store in Bjeljina, where the material was sold to raise money for the same purposes.[43]

Ninkovi also has a "right-hand man" based in Tesli; he is a Serbian Orthodox priest named Savo Kneevi, and he is the "spiritual leader" of the underground organization. He is one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in Tesli, president of the SDS in Tesli and a member of the RS National Assembly in Pale since he was re-elected in the OSCE-sponsored national elections in Bosnia-Hercegovina in September 1996. Sources revealed to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that he is considered to be the most extreme member of the group: According to international monitoring organization sources as well as displaced persons from the area, in 1992 Kneevi walked into a local Socialist Party of Serbia [Socijalistika Partija Srbije – hereinafter referred to as SPS] [44] gathering, pulled out an automatic weapon, and killed everyone present at the meeting. Afterwards, he doused the bodies with gasoline and burned them. Kneevi is vehemently opposed to the Dayton Peace Agreement and is known to be openly defiant about it. In December 1995, after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, Kneevi dispersed a large crowd of celebrating Bosnian Serb civilians by firing an entire clip from an automatic weapon over their heads. Moreover, approximately two weeks before the national elections held in Bosnia-Hercegovina on September 14, international monitors reported that Kneevi stood up at an opposition assembly in Doboj and shouted, "Don't you dare show up at the polls or you will be hanged!"[45]

As stated in a classified IFOR document which was obtained by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, the Orthodox church in Tesli owns a company called ‘Bour' in which [Kneevi] plays a prominent role and which also supports the underground paramilitary organization (See below for further information).

Another document shown to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative by an international monitoring agency describes Kneevi's involvement with a gang of seven to twelve thugs called the "igosani" ("Stigmatized") who carry out orders to take care of the ethnic, political and social cleansing needed to be done in the Doboj-Tesli area (see below for further information).[46]

In Tesli, the leader of the paramilitary cell is a man named Milovan Mrkonji, chief of the Defense Council in Tesli. Mrkonji is one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Tesli area.[47] He was formerly an officer/commander in the VRS but, according to an uncirculated IFOR document Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to see, Mrkonji was expelled for his "extremist views." However, Mrkonji's extremist views have earned him considerable support from the local Bosnian Serb population in towns, villages and hamlets around the Tesli area.[48]

According to international monitors and an IFOR source, other members of the Doboj-Tesli cell of the underground paramilitary organization include:

-Slobodan Karagi, a.k.a "Karaga": During the war, "Karaga" led a special military unit called "Crvene Beretke"[49] in the region, which has very close ties to the SDS and which played a major role in the extermination of approximately 2,000-2,200 Bosniaks in Doboj. According to the IFOR document, the corpses are buried in a mass grave in the Ozren pocket. The "Red Berets" were based in the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MUP] where they beat, tortured and executed Bosniak and Bosnian Croat prisoners.[50] Displaced persons from the Doboj area told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that it was known that whenever this notorious unit raided houses or apartment buildings, their residents would disappear. "Karaga" was one of the first individuals to start burning non-Serb homes in Doboj (primarily Bosniak) – starting in the aršija[51] and then proceeding outward. He later organized others to continue. In a similar operation to Pero Ninkovi's, "Karaga" cooperated very closely with Milan Ninkovi to export appliances, electronics, cars, tractors, jewelry and other goods of non-Serbs killed or "ethnically cleansed" from Doboj for resale in Serbia. This was especially true in the beginning of the war, in May 1992, when the SDS took control in Doboj and organized the first wave of massive violence and expulsions. All non-Serbs who fled were required to turn over the keys to their homes while their possessions were confiscated.[52] During the war in 1992-1993, Karagi was a senior official in a makeshift prison located in the "Blue Factory." It is alleged that he was engaged in sadistic acts, torturing his victims by many means, including burning victims with cigarettes, cutting off ears, fingers and limbs. He was also in charge of running a detention center at the Perin disco in the Usora section of Doboj along with Nikola Jorgi, nicknamed "Jorga", who was arrested in December 1995, in Germany, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.[53] According to a classified IFOR document, "because of some well-done jobs, ‘Karaga' became commissioner in the parliament of the municipality, recommended by Milan Ninkovi, and at the same time, director of the company ‘Zanatprom,' and, later, co-owner of a construction company called ‘Bosanka.'"[54] Currently, Karagi lives in Doboj in the house of a doctor named Huški, a Bosniak who was forced to flee during the war. He is actively involved in recruiting and managing Bosnian Serbs whose job it is to disrupt and bar organized visits by non-Serb displaced persons from Federation territory; this includes the July 5 IFOR opening of the Usora bridge, during which a large gang of Bosnian Serb men from Doboj confronted the visiting non-Serbs with clubs, rocks, sticks and Serb flags.[55]

-Predrag Kujundi, a.k.a "Predo": "Predo" led a special unit called "Predo's Wolves," a paramilitary group also known as an "ethnic problem solver." He is reportedly a former member of Karagi's "Red Berets" unit. Along with Šešelj's and Arkan's paramilitary units, they were the most feared by non-Serb civilians in the Doboj region. According to international officials who worked in the area and displaced persons from Doboj, Kujundi's unit included some of the most vicious human rights violators. Before the war Kujundi was a poor locksmith; currently he is the owner of a cafe-disco on the outskirts of Doboj, in Bare, which was owned by Bosniaks he killed before taking over their house. He is also a company owner and director in Doboj and owns a large house and a Mercedes.

-Sreto Blagojevi : Blagojevi is a member of the SDS in Doboj and a relative of Vlado Blagojevi whose own paramilitary unit was responsible for "ethnic cleansing" in the area.[56] Described as "a very connected and powerful man,"[57] Blagojevi controls the only radio station in Doboj, "Radio Doboj," which is the main propaganda diseminator for the SDS.[58] Hard-line personalities like Milenko Gligori[59] and Veljko Braji[60] were often heard promulgating anti-Bosniak and anti-Croat diatribes over the airwaves, even since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Blagojevi was officially the director of the radio station until July 1996, when he was pressured by several international organizations operating in the area to step down for allowing threats against them to be broadcast over the airwaves. Although the authorities claim that Blagojevi has been removed from his position, he is still remains the station's de facto manager.

-Nikola Periši : Perišie was a judge before the war, from a town called Pribini . He was the mayor of Tesli throughout the war and was also one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Tesli area during the war. In mid-1996 he was replaced by Aleksa Kasapovi.[61] Now president of the SDS party at the municipal level, Periši is believed to be heavily involved in the black market which has allowed him to amass a small fortune. Like Kneevi, he is firmly opposed to the return of non-Serb displaced persons and refugees to the entity of the Republika Srpska.

-Ljubiša Savi a.k.a "Major Mauzer": Savi was born on August 11, 1958 in Bijeljina; he led a Bijeljina- based paramilitary unit called the "Panteri" ["Panthers"] during the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina.[62] Savi currently leads the underground organization's cell in Bijeljina and is allegedly financed and directly supported by Karadi. Moreover, Savi won a seat in the RS National Assembly under the "Democratic Patriotic Block RS" (Demokratski Patriotski Blok Republike Srpske) in the OSCE-sponsored elections in September 1996.

-Tešo Risti: A school professor before the war, he is the current president of the SDS party in Tesli.[63]

-Milivoje Savi: An SDS official still employed by the military, he also works at a center for social work.[64]

-Goran Bubi : An SDS official who works at the SDS municipal office; he is the former president of the SDS in the area.[65]

An international monitoring official in the area told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, "The main aim of this underground paramilitary network is to destabilize the atmosphere in post-Dayton Bosnia-Hercegovina in order to create a situation in which they can finish creating Karadi's war-time goal: a pure Bosnian Serb entity, independent of anything to do with a unitary Bosnia-Hercegovina."[66] Thus, the aforementioned paramilitary unit called the "igosani" plays a crucial role to this effect in the Doboj-Tesli area.[67] The "igosani" are used by the SDS and RS authorities to carry out operations not only against non-Serbs in the area, but against opposition parties and well-to-do and influential Serbs who are not members of the SDS. According to international organizations, the "igosani's" known area of operation covers Doboj, Tesli, Derventa and Brko.[68] The unit is under the command of Zdravko Vukovi, a state security official living in Doboj,[69] and in Tesli by Radovan Toprek, director of Radio Tesli and SDS secretary, and Momilo eli, the bodyguard and driver of the Serb Orthodox priest Sava Knezevi. eli, with the help of Vukovi, provides the unit with money and weapons and forwards the material from Doboj to Tesli. Since the"'igosani" are closely tied in with high ranking members of the police force, local police officers refuse to investigate any cases that look like work that could have been carried out by the gang, stated members of international monitoring organizations.[70] Some members of the gang include Verislav (or Verisav) Savi, Siniša Peranovi, and a P. Savi. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has learned that the unit currently operates out of a small town to the south of Tesli called Blatnica. The majority of the members are located in the village of Mladikovine, northwest of Blatnica.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has also been informed by an IFOR official that another terrorizing unit also operates in the Tesli area named "Razbijai Balije" (the "Balija Breakers").[71] According to an IFOR source, "This force is believed to be very effective and may involve the VRS, many of whom were involved in special operations during the war."[72]

The money- and arms-supplying end of the operation, as mentioned before, is managed by at least three companies in the Doboj-Tesli area.[73] The companies, which are controlled by the SDS, operate in two markets, – one being the ordinary consumer market and the other one being the black market. It is through the black market that the underground paramilitary organization earns most of its money.[74] According to a number of international sources working in the area, some of the weapons customers were even Bosniak and Bosnian Croat paramilitaries and army officials during the Bosniak-Croat war in 1993. An IFOR source stated, "Most important, however, is the fact that the arrival of financial and reconstruction aid and the right of freedom of movement in Bosnia-Hercegovina under the Dayton Peace Agreement are threatening to destroy this lucrative market, which provides a tremendous source of revenue for the paramilitary organization." A number of international officials as well as an IFOR source have identified the following companies.

-"Bour" (Peony): This company distributes humanitarian goods that it receives from Europe. Part of the goods are sold on the black market, and profits go directly to finance the underground paramilitary organization. Bour is run by the Serbian Orthodox Church; therefore Sava Kneevi has considerable influence in hiring company employees. The company has offices in Doboj and Tesli.

-"Omnikum": This company sells various home appliances and acts as a front for the acquisition of arms and ammunition for the paramilitary groups. The director of the company is Milan Savi, a former Yugoslav intelligence officer and a suspected organized-crime figure in the Doboj area. Savi is also suspected of selling arms to Bosnian Croat and Bosniak extremist elements and of funneling the profits towards the paramilitary organization. The company is located in Doboj.

-"Modex": This company is a wholesale clothing distributor located in Doboj. An international monitoring agency's representative told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that "‘Modex' is believed to be linked to the underground paramilitary group because its director is Pero Ninkovi, Milan Ninkovi's brother."

A Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative was also informed that Milan Ninkovi and the Serbian Orthodox Church raised large amounts of money for the organization through a candle store located on the main street in the city of Doboj. Although it is fronted by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the store is owned by Ninkovi. It is the only candle store in Doboj – a city that suffered extensive power outages during the war. By safeguarding the monopoly on candles in the area, Ninkovi and the church were able to guarantee a steady income to fund their socio-political agenda in the area.[75]

INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN "ETHNIC CLEANSING"[76]

The personalities listed below have been identified by international monitors and displaced persons from the region, as well as by an IFOR source, as some of the major players in the "ethnic cleansing" operation in Doboj and Tesli. Moreover, international officials and an IFOR source stated that a number of these individuals continue actively to carry on "ethnic cleansing" through the underground paramilitary organization.

-Savo Kneevi: Kneevi was one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Tesli area during the war (see section, "The Leadership of the Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj-Tesli Cell").

-Zdravko Vukovi: Vukovi is a Center for Security Services [Centar Slube Bezbjednosti – hereinafter referred to as CSB] intelligence officer who lives in Doboj, works in Tesli and "acts upon orders from Pale."[77] He heads the aforementioned local terrorist unit called the "igosani" which is also under the influence of Savo Kneevi, and it is in charge of liquidating not only non-Serbs in the area but also members of opposition parties and well-to-do and influential Serbs who are not members of the SDS.

-VRS Officer Milii (son of Dušan): Milii is the head of an elite paramilitary unit in Tesli accountable to Savo Kneevi.[78] The elite unit was responsible for destroying religious and cultural structures and monuments and succeeded in destroying all fifteen mosques and three Catholic churches in the Tesli area. Jovo Simi was Milii's right-hand man in carrying out these campaigns.[79]

-Andrija Bjeloševi: Bjeloševi was acting commander of the CSB[80] in Doboj from 1991 until 1993. During this period of time, the "Red Berets" paramilitary unit reported to him on their activities in the region. Troops who took orders from Bjeloševi reported that he instructed them to "kill Muslims, wherever you find them."[81] His position (as well as Zdravko Vukovi's, "Karaga's,"[82] and Gojkovi's – see below) within the state security service and dealings with paramilitary units are strong indicators that a high level of cooperation exists between the Bosnian Serb state authorities and the "renegade" outfits. The guidance and coordination of the paramilitary units by the "state" was, and continues to be, a highly organized and systematic affair.[83]

-Nenad Gojkovi: Gojkovi is the deputy commander of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Doboj. During the war, Gojkovi was responsible for providing logistical and operational information – the target addresses and locations of the community's Bosniak and Bosnian Croat homes and businesses which were to be "hit" – to the local police officers under his command as well as to "Karaga" and his paramilitary unit.[84] Later the homes and businesses would be cleaned out of all valuables.[85]

-Vlado Blagojevi: Vlado is a relative of SDS President Sreto Blagojevi.[86] During the war, Blagojevi was involved in the operational aspects of "ethnic cleansing" of non-Serbs in Doboj. He had his own gang which beat and evicted non-Serbs from their homes.[87] Blagojevi was later appointed by SDS municipal authorities as Doboj's president of the Local Election Commission for the September 1996 OSCE-sponsored national elections.[88]

-Boro Malivojevi: Malivojevi is the chief of civil defense in Tesli and one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the area. He strongly dislikes IFOR's presence on Bosnian Serb territory and has been recorded advocating "ethnic cleansing" on local radio.[89] He is also believed to be one of the executive "Frontmen" (see section, "The ‘Frontmen," below.) who is still "actively engaged in ethnic harassment and terror" in the Tesli region.[90] According to an IFOR source, "Malivojevi was seen in the village of Vrelina, where he ordered Radovan Toprek and Momilo Rabi to throw explosive devices into houses. On the night of April 28, 1996, there was an explosion in a small shop owned by a Bosnian Croat in Tesli, which burned the shop down. Sources state that Malivojevi and his friends were responsible for this." Furthermore, Toprek and Rabi "are believed to carry out reconnaissance missions into Federation territory."[91] In September 1995, when the last large-scale campaign of "ethnic cleansing" of non-Serbs was implemented by the municipal authorities, an SDS official confirmed that Malivojevi ordered local police forces to sweep through Ruevii and other predominantly Bosniak villages in the region so that they would prepare the non- Serb population for expulsion.[92] After the villagers were transported to a central collection site near Tesli, Malivojevi ordered forces under his command to sweep through the homes of the departed non-Serbs and collect all valuables, which were later transferred to Serbia for resale.[93] Meanwhile, non-Serb military-aged men were separated from the women, children and elderly and were detained. Some time later, Malivojevi "was once stopped by an IFOR patrol with his lorry full of moslem [sic] slave laborrs [sic]."[94] Also, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was told by OSCE representatives that they had direct witness testimony of Bosniak men in forced labor operations that are being run by the Tesli military. According to OSCE sources, the military denied that the workers were not paid, yet confirmed that they were being ordered to work and would be expelled from the RS if they did not comply: In Tesli, OSCE staff spoke directly to Bosniaks "claiming to be in forced labor."[95]

-Jovo Simi: Simi is a commander in the Tesli civil defense sector. During the war, Simi's primary responsibility was the rounding up of non-Serb civilians for forced labor. Simi was often seen driving around Tesli in a police truck supervising the round-up process. The standard operating procedure of such a campaign was to surround an apartment building in town, or a number of houses in a village, so that the resident non-Serbs could not escape. Then, Simi's men were sent in to pull the people out of their homes and throw them in the back of trucks. The captured individuals were transported to a handball stadium in Tesli, which was used as a collection center. The RS police then determined where the non-Serb civilians would be sent to work. A common ritual accompanying Simi's round-ups was to summon large groups of drunken VRS soldiers into the stadium, where they would proceed to beat the prisoners late into the evening before sending them out to work. During the war, Simi was also a member of a local paramilitary unit headed by Savo Kneevi which took part in the destruction of all non-Serb cultural and religious objects and institutions in Tesli. It is likely that Simi continues to be an active member of this unit.[96]

-"Piko": Originally from Bosnian government-controlled Maglaj, "Piko" is highly involved in the Doboj mafia operation which unfolded during the war as a result of the trafficking of confiscated and stolen goods from non-Serbs. Throughout the war, "Piko" was involved in the systematic looting operations of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats and charged non-Serbs up to 10,000 DM [approximately 6,666 USD] for transportation out of Bosnian Serb-controlled areas of Bosnia-Hercegovina over to Bosnian government-controlled territories. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was told that "Piko" has the support of, and cooperation from, the RS state security and RS Ministry of Internal Affairs in Doboj. He is currently involved in implementing SDS directives against political opponents in the area. According to sources, "Piko" was most recently involved in the RS state security's attempt to remove SPRS [Socijalistika Partija Republike Srpske – Socialist Party of Republika Srpska] opposition party President Rade Pavlovi from his job.[97]

-Vlado Ðurðevi: Ðurðevi is the regional chief of police in Doboj area (covering Doboj, Tesli, Modria, Petrovo, Derventa and Bosanski ["Srpski"]Brod). Along with Ninkovi and Ljubii, Ðurðevi was intimately involved with the organizational aspects of the "ethnic cleansing" campaign in Doboj. Ðurðevi authorized the formation of cells within the police force that were responsible for carrying out the terrorization of local non-Serbs and appropriated the necessary number of police cars to transport personnel and enough trucks to haul away confiscated goods.[98]

-Predrag Markoevi: Although Danilo Savi is the acting chief of police of Tesli, it is actually the extreme hard-line commander of police, Markoevi, who is the de facto authority in the force. He is one of the five principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Tesli area, a former battalion commander, a member of Vojislav Šešelj's Serbian Radical Party [Srpska Radikalna Stranka – hereinafter referred to as SRS]; and has very close connections with the SDS party. During Boro Malivojevi's "ethnic cleansing" operation in September 1995 (see above), Markoevi and his men confiscated all the money and valuable possessions of the women, children and elderly who were separated from their military-aged male family members, while Malivojevi's men robbed all the remaining possessions left in the homes of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. Afterwards, Markoevi would divide the spoils among the Tesli authorities. More recently, Markoevi has been identified as a principal human rights abuser by international monitors operating in the area (See section, "Continuing Human Rights Abuses" for more details).

-Marinko Ðuki: Ðuki is a police official in Tesli and a member of the SDS; he is a former detective with the crime branch and ex-Communist Party member. He is also a member of the Tesli police force who has been mentioned by IFOR and a number of international monitoring sources as highly problematic and destabilizing.

-Milenko Gligori: Gligori is the ultra-nationalist and hard-line vice president of the SDS in Doboj and de facto head of the only radio station in the area, Radio Doboj. Gligori is "uncompromising in his views that ethnic co-existence between Serbs and non-Serbs is not possible and completely unacceptable."[99] During and after the war, Gligori gave speeches on Radio Doboj in which he encouraged the Bosnian Serbs to expel all Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats from Doboj.[100] Non-Serbs in the area especially feared the aftermath of his speeches in Doboj when killings, beatings, raping and robbing of non-Serbs ensued at night. In 1993, Gligori began a campaign informing all non-Serbs in Doboj that they should convert to Orthodox Christianity and personally drove around the area with a mounted loudspeaker propagating his policy. He is especially influential in the historically nationalist Ozren region south of Doboj. [101]

-Dušan Stojši/Stoji: Stojši is the manager of Tesli's radio station and responsible for what goes on the air in the area. Boro Malivojevi has often been heard propagating ethnic hatred on Stojši's airwaves.[102]

-Dragan Ljubii: Ljubii is originally from the Ozren area, south of Doboj. He is a childhood friend of SDS President in Doboj/Minister of Defense of Republika Srpska, Milan Ninkovi. "He is believed to be powerful because of his connections to Pale."[103] Ljubii was the mayor of Doboj during the war. Along with Milan Ninkovi and Vlado Ðurðevi (see above), he was one of the principal organizers of "ethnic cleansing" in the Doboj area. During the war, he spoke of the need to annul mixed marriages involving Serbs with either a Croat or Bosniak partner. Ljubii was also involved in the second wave of systematic "ethnic cleansing" which took place in August-Setpember 1995 – the period during which the self-declared Serbian Republic of Krajina fell to Croatian forces and the Ozren pocket south of the city came under attack. This second largest expulsion of non-Serbs from Doboj was organized by Ljubii and other city officials in order to make room for the arriving Serbs. During this period, non-Serbs were terrorized, beaten, robbed and evicted. For approximately a week, city buses under the supervision of the local police and VRS members transported non-Serbs to the front lines. During the operation, Ljubii personally insisted that all valuables be confiscated from departing non-Serbs. Lower-level city officials in Doboj conceded that orders for the operation came directly from the SDS party and high-level city officials.[104]

-Milovan Stankovi: Stankovi, now disabled, was a lieutenant colonel in the VRS responsible for the Doboj area at the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina (later active in the neighboring Ozren region). Along with Milan Ninkovi and other high-level SDS officials in Doboj, Stankovi was one of the primary architects of the Serb takeover in Doboj on May 3, 1992. Stankovi often boasts that he played a large role in "liberating" Doboj. Now he is a member of the SPRS opposition party in Doboj. The destruction of the Catholic church in Doboj as well as the eleven mosques in the area was carried out by military forces under Stankovi's command during the first two weeks of May 1992 (beforehand, all the valuables, including expensive ornaments and oriental carpets, were removed from the respective religious institutions). His campaign of destruction of cultural objects, especially the razing of the Catholic church, was criticized even by extremist Serbs since the powerful detonation damaged many buildings and shattered an even larger number of windows in the city.

-Zoran Pavlovi: Pavlovi is an SDS party member and war-time RS police officer; he is currently a judge in Doboj. Prior to the war, Pavlovi was responsible for hightening the state of inter-ethnic mistrust by bombing the homes and businesses of Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and even moderate Bosnian Serbs in Doboj. Moreovrer, Pavlovi organized the bombing of the SDS party headquarters in Doboj in March 1992 in order to instill fear in the local Bosnian Serb community by making them believe that the Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats were preparing to wage war and exterminate the Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina.[105]

-Mirko Ubiparipovi: Ubiparipovi is a displaced person from Bosnian Croat-controlled epe who came to Doboj during the war and joined the military police. Very often, Ubiparipovi conducted the more extreme and dirty work in the city and was a notorious police figure, feared by non-Serbs for his brutality. Ubiparipovi was primarily responsible for rounding up non-Serbs in Doboj; he would often kick down the doors to their homes and drag them out or would simply capture them in the street without any warning. During such operations, Ubiparipovi would either beat the victims, demand money from them as an alternative to forced labor, or simply kill them. Frequently after his raids, Ubiparipovi would lead a line of barefoot and sometimes naked captured non-Serbs whom he had pulled from their beds, through the streets of Doboj. He would return to the same homes over and over again to extort money from non-Serb families by threatening to send them to forced labor. Many of the non-Serbs conscripted into forced labor duties in Doboj were held in a hangar near the "Bosanka" factory[106] in Usora where they were brutally beaten and denied food and water for days at a time. Since the war, Ubiparipovi has spent most of his time selling cartons of cigarettes at the town market in Doboj.[107]

-Mirjana Šainovi: A very well-known informant for the RS authorities in Doboj. During the war, she wore a military uniform, even while working at her kiosk in the center of town, and carried with her a jockey whip that she used to beat non-Serbs. Non-Serbs were terrified of Šainovi: if she pointed a finger at one of them, it meant that the persons would soon be either badly beaten or killed. During the war, she was highly involved in the management of two "rape camps" filled with non-Serb women. They were located in the high school in Doboj and in a hangar in Usora, where Šainovi would bring VRS and Serbian soldiers so that they would be able to choose women for rape.[108]

-Siniša Lopandi: Lopandi is a police officer in Doboj who is responsible for monitoring international officials and monitors stationed in the area.[109] During the war, Lopandi was heavily involved in carrying out "population exchanges" of non-Serbs which were organized by the RS police in Doboj. Lopandi organized the drafting of lists of non-Serb names and addresses and bus transportation for these "exchanges." Once everything was set, police officers under Lopandi's command would search the homes of all non-Serbs preparing to be "exchanged"; confiscate all the money, jewelry, electronic hardware; and demand the keys to the home so that the additional items – furniture and other appliances – could later be removed. After this systematic procedure was complete, Lopandi would often hold at gunpoint and verbally abuse the non-Serbs waiting to depart. During the bus rides to the front line, Lopandi would brag to the non-Serbs about how many Bosnian Serbs he was able to get in exchange for them.[110]

THE "FRONTMEN"

According to an IFOR source, the underground organization also has a cadre of "frontmen" who are in charge of making sure the leadership continues to accumulate power. Should the organization become threatened in some way, the "frontmen" are responsible to protect the leadership and, "if necessary, take all the blame."

-VRS Lieutenant Colonel Veljko Braji: In cooperation with Milovan Stankovi,[111] Braji planned much of the "ethnic cleansing" carried out in Doboj including the organization of forced labor for non-Serb civilian prisoners. Although, during the war, the VRS made a deal with the Bosniaks in the area not to touch the Bosniak village of Svjetlia, Braji is personally responsible for the complete destruction of the village in mid-1993 using VRS tanks and anti-aircraft guns.[112] According to a classified IFOR intelligence report shown to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, Braji must be assessed to be one of the Doboj cell's front men. He was often heard on Radio Doboj during the months following the Dayton Peace Agreement, voicing support for Karadi and Mladi and threatening that if they were arrested, there will be much bloodshed.[113] Braji "was seen on the Usora bridge on the 21st of April, where he excited the Serb mass to fight for their city. He was heard the same day on Radio Doboj where he addressed the people of Doboj to defend their city," states the IFOR intelligence report. Furthermore, according to the IFOR document, Braji has stated that the Dayton Peace Agreement is not valid since Miloševi, not Karadi, signed it. He publicly referred to IFOR with contempt several times, stating that "he did not approve of their policy toward the VRS."[114] Braji also proclaimed that "there is no one in the world he is afraid of and that he is prepared to wage war, even if this means war against IFOR."[115] However, according to the IFOR report, a week later Braji commented on the Dayton Peace Agreement in the following way: "[He said that]...important results were accomplished, especially the military part and that he is satisfied and that credit belongs to IFOR. Comment: This indicates clearly that Braji is a front man, who says what he is told, and do not consider [sic] the consequences."[116]

-Mirjana Šarevi: Šarevi is the president of the Serbian Radical Party in Doboj. She is a very popular politician, both in the Doboj area and in the Republika Srpska, who is well known for her travelling campaigns in which she voices support for Karadi and Mladi. She is considered a very important "frontman" for the two aforementioned figures. An IFOR document states that she is "directly subordinate to Karadi and that her main task is to gain more power for him."

-Vojislav/Borislav Maksimovi a.k.a "Makso": Maksimovi is a member of the Counter Intelligence Service [Kontra-obavještajna Sluba – hereinafter referred to as KOS]. During the war, he organized the "illegal" arming of the militant wing of the SDS. He also took part in organizing the "fifth column" in the Tesli area.[117]

-Borislav Dujkovi: A former instructor at the Service for National Security [Sluba Dravne Bezbjedonsti – hereinafter referred to as SDB] in Doboj, Dujkovi is close to Maksimovi. He is involved in the black market; during the war he raised approximately one million DM [approximately U.S.$666,666] for Tesli and often travelled to Belgrade and Banja Luka for "business." Dujkovi now lives in Tesli and poses as a "tax collector."[118]

-Ðoko Stankovi: Stankovi is the head of the local Red Cross in Tesli. He is a crucial supplier of western humanitarian aid to the black market, which in turn raises money for the underground paramilitary organization.[119]

-Ðiko Tito: Tito was involved in the expulsion of non-Serbs from Doboj and Tesli by busing them to the front line during the war. He was personally responsible for the expulsion of the elderly, handicapped and immobile non-Serbs from Doboj's hospital in August and September 1995. During this exodus, Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats were forced to walk or be carried by others at night for a distance of more than twenty kilometers through torrential rains. Many never completed the journey. During the "cleansing" process, he abused and robbed the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians of their personal belongings.[120] Tito heads the "Crvene Beretke" (Red Berets) paramilitary unit in Brko. An IFOR source stated the following: "It must be assessed that this group is 'Karaga's' former unit. Tito is also the owner of a cafe bar in Brko, which was formerly 'Karaga's,' and it is likely that Tito is the organization's representative in the Brko area. Tito's status is low compared to some other members, thus it is believed that he is one of the organization's 'workers.' Nevertheless, Tito is reported to have a free hand in Brko, because the police ‘are frightened of him,' yet it is more likely that the police have been ordered not to touch him. Some reports indicate that Tito has planned terrorist attacks against IFOR, yet such information is not confirmed. Tito is also reported to have a partner named Ranko esi who is allegedly the leader of a similar group in the area."[121]

-Ratko Radi: Radi is the director of a company named "Sirovina Produkt;" he is rumored to be connected with smuggling and described as a "party arranger." A classified IFOR document shown to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative stated, "Once we were invited to a dinner and among other guests, there were Slobodan Karagi ("Karaga") and Predo Kujundi ("Predo")... Ratko Radi introduced these persons as his friends."

OTHERS WITH POSSIBLE TIES TO THE UNDERGROUND PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATION

According to a number of international monitoring sources, the persons mentioned below may be connected to the underground paramilitary organization as well. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki believes that these personalities should be investigated, as their names have been mentioned by international officials covering Doboj and Tesli as well as by displaced persons from the region.

-Miodrag Jodi/Joldi: Jodi is a dentist [often referred to as a "doctor" by locals] and a political extremist who is currently the head of Doboj Ljek, a health center in Doboj. Prior to the national elections in September 1996, Jodi instructed Bosnian Serbs over Radio Doboj not to allow the Bosniaks ["balije"] to return and told them to notify the local police immediately if any returned to visit their homes. Jodi allegedly killed scores of Bosniaks while confiscating their money, cars and furniture. The merchandise was later shipped to Serbia via trucks which he arranged and organized to transport the stolen goods.[122]

-Father Terezi: Father Terezi was the head priest of the Serbian Orthodox church in Doboj during the war. Terezi cooperated very closely with the SDS authorities and supported their nationalist agenda over Radio Doboj. Prior to the end of the war, Terezi allegedly left for Serbia with an extremely large sum of money confiscated by the RS authorities from Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians during the "ethnic cleansing" campaigns in the area. The Serb Orthodox church is currently in possesion of the valuables taken out of the Catholic church before it was demolished in Doboj. The current head of the Serbian Orthodox church in Doboj, Father Gavri, wants to trade the items in exchange for the icons and ornaments of the Serb Orthodox church in neighboring Bosnian government-controlled Tešanj.[123]

-Ðoko Lavri: Lavri was a high-level member of the RS state security in Doboj during the war and very involved with "ethnic cleansing" in the area. He currently owns a cafe in Doboj near the sports stadium.[124]

-Borislav Paravac: Paravac is head of the executive board of the municipality of Doboj and elected as a member of the National Assembly of the entity of the Republika Srpska in the September 1996, OSCE- sponsored national elections along with Savo Kneevi. Paravac was highly involved in organizing the "ethnic cleansing" campaign in Doboj. However, since the war, Paravac – who is recognized as one of the more pragmatic political leaders in the area – has chosen to be discreet about his role in human rights abuses in Doboj. In addition, some international officials in the area have chosen to put aside allegations of Paravac's past and view him as a "compromiser" who is willing to work on issues rather than take the hard- line approach toward the international community as many other SDS politicians have continued to do.[125]

-Aleksa Kasapovi: Kasapovi is the current mayor of Tesli, who replaced Nikola Periši[126] in mid-1996. Kasapovi was involved in the looting and rounding-up of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in the Tesli area during the war.[127]

-Nešo Radeši: A member of the "Red Berets" paramilitary unit, Radeši is originally from Belgrade, Serbia. Radeši's primary activities involved patrolling and hunting the Tesli area for Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. Radeši would rob non-Serbs of any money, gold or other valuables they possessed, including items such as cars and electronic goods. Radeši allegedly took part in the repeated beatings of non-Serb prisoners with baseball bats and raped a number of women in the predominantly Bosniak village of Ruevii. Toward the end of the war, he resorted to robbing Bosnian Serbs in the Tesli area, because there was little else to plunder from an almost "ethnically cleansed" region.[128]

-Tomo Mihajlovi, a.k.a."Kuka": Also a member of the "Red Berets" paramilitary unit which is active in Tesli, "Kuka" specialized in beating non-Serb detainees in prisons and detention centers in and around Tesli.[129]

-"Nada": "Nada" is a well-known police informant who wore a military uniform throughout the war and pointed out non-Serbs in the streets of Doboj to RS police, soldiers and paramilitaries. The non-Serbs were often taken into the police station for questioning and beatings. "Nada" is also notorious for beating and torturing Bosniak and Bosnian Croat women in the local jail. Displaced persons told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that "Nada" was so violent that they even feared walking around their jail cells for fear of her indiscriminate attacks. She also conducted organized robberies of non-Serb homes in and around Doboj with a gang of men who would beat homeowners while she removed their possessions.[130]

-Milan Smiljani: Smiljani was the president of Doboj's local Red Cross during the beginning of the war. He was heavily involved in the "ethnic cleansing" and "population exchange" campaigns carried out against non-Serbs in Doboj. According to displaced persons from the region, Smiljani demanded sex in exchange for the release of many non-Serb women; he also assisted non-Serbs in difficult circumstances if he was offered large sums of money in exchange. Under his management, the RS Red Cross in Doboj diverted large quantities of UNHCR and ICRC humanitarian aid from Doboj to Bijeljina and Serbia to be sold in the privately owned stores of Milan Ninkovi, Dragan Ljubii, (see above for both), Duško Savi (another Serb Red Cross official) and others. Moreover, the policy of the RS Red Cross – especially under Ðoko Stankovi's leadership[131] – was openly to reject providing humanitarian assistance to Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats.[132]

-"Rora": "Rora" is a convicted felon who was released from prison at the outset of the war. He was active in both the VRS and the "Red Berets' paramilitary unit in Doboj. According to international monitoring officials as well as displaced persons from the area, "Rora" allegedly killed and raped a large number of non- Serb civilians in Doboj during the war. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki learned that "Rora" raped a Bosnian Croat school teacher so that she would leave Doboj, and he would be able to move into her spacious home.[133]

-Slavko Lisica: Lisica was commander of the VRS armored unit operating in the Doboj-Tesli area. Lisica was very involved in rounding up Bosniak and Bosnian Croat women for raping and chose which ones he wanted to keep for himself. Afterwards, he would take their money before exchanging them to the other side. Lisica cooperated closely with Milan Smiljani (see above) and a Dr. Obrad Filipovi who, in addition to the soldiers and police already present, brought doctors from the hospital to rape the women.[134]

-Boško Jokanovi/Jotanovi: Jokanovi is an SDS party member who wore a VRS uniform throughout the war. Jotanovi's activities consisted of negotiating the "exchange" of non-Serb civilians with Bosniak and Bosnian Croat authorities. He collected money from non-Serbs in order that they might be granted permission to leave and was very well informed about how much money individuals or families had so that the local authorities could charge the non-Serbs as much as possible before allowing them to leave.[135]

-A "Mr. Pribini: A mid-level member of the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tesli who severely beat non-Serb prisoners during the war.[136]

-Momilo Ðeri: Ðeri is a member of the governing body of the SDS.[137]

CONTINUING HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

The ethnically motivated intimidation, mistreatment and expulsion of civilians that were the hallmark of the war have continued since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Those ethnic minorities who have remained in their homes in Doboj and Tesli have come under increasing pressure, especially in the later months of the "Dayton year," to leave the territories of the RS.[138] As articulated earlier in this report, the continued abuses being carried out against non-Serbs in these two areas are being orchestrated by local and national political and military authorities who maintain a goal of creating an "ethnically pure" state.[139] Unacceptable is the fact that the leadership of IFOR and IPTF- two crucial forces responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement – are fully informed of the identities of the human rights abusers, yet seek to downplay not only their own authority to intervene and protect minority populations, but their responsibility to make such vital information known publicly. As a result, they have emboldened the authorities to become more aggressive.[140]

Politically and Ethnically Motivated Killings, Beatings, Evictions, Arbitrary Arrests and Detentions

In late July, an international monitoring official told a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative, "Overall, the situation of human rights is becoming more tense in the Doboj and Tesli areas. All monitors have reported more tension, less communication and more cases of violations related to the return of displaced persons and refugees. However, the main focus continues to be on the physical integrity of the minorities who are still being evicted from their homes through intimidation or actual physical attacks. Some of these attacks are carried out by Serb displaced persons, but several cases illustrate that the security problems are generated by the authorities and police."[141]

An OSCE report from August 8 states: "Several individual cases and patterns of incidents indicate that the RS police are unresponsive to pressure by the IO [international organizations] to prevent abuses. In addition they have been directly linked to participation in abuses in a growing number of cases."[142] Furthermore, an official of another international monitoring organization working in the area corroborated to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that "the effectiveness of IPTF's duties has been hampered by a high level of non-cooperation and non- compliance by the local RS political and police authorities in Tesli and Doboj." The official specifically stated that although Tesli's new chief of police, Danilo Savi, is considered an improvement over the former chief, "Tesli continues to be run by commander of police, Predrag Markoevi,[143] and Savi still continues to receive orders directly from Doboj. Thus, the removal of the former police chief has, unfortunately, had little effect on the existing power hierarchy in the area."[144] Furthermore, international monitoring organizations and an IFOR source uniformly reported to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that police forces in Tesli and Doboj are involved in the forced billeting of Serb refugee families into the homes of Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks still living in the area. The police forcefully supports the politics and strategies of the SDS even though they meet with and talk to IFOR, the OSCE and the IPTF.

-Three explosions were recorded in Tesli in early June 1996. The first explosion was recorded on Saturday, June 8, in front of a Bosniak woman's home and was determined to have been caused by plastic explosives. The second and third explosions were recorded on June 9 in the vicinity of the [Bosniak] village of Barii. According to an international monitor, the force of the explosions was comparable to the detonation that destroyed the mosque in Tesli.

-On July 29, 1996, at approximately 6:30 a.m., two IFOR personnel, jogging towards the Usora bridge in Doboj, spotted an RS police car speeding in the opposite direction. Near the bridge, the IFOR personnel discovered a badly beaten and unconscious older man (later identified as a Bosniak) with a bloody nose, cut- off thumbs, broken ribs and marks covering his back and arms. The victim died after the IFOR personnel attempted to revive him. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the man had crossed over into Doboj the previous day in order to visit his former home. Evidently, the beating was carried out in another place, as there was no evidence of blood near the bridge.

-On August 23, two Bosniaks driving through Doboj were stopped by Bosnian Serb police for traffic control. Because the drivers allegedly did not have proper documents for the car, their vehicle was confiscated. On August 24, accompanied by two IPTF monitors, the two Bosniaks went to the Doboj police station to present their documents. While the IPTF monitors discussed the issue with an inspector Branko Risti from the criminal division, the two Bosniaks were taken to the ground floor, to room number 13 and were beaten by a police officer. An IPTF source stated, "It seems that nothing will be able to restrain the sense of impunity that Doboj police think they have. They seem to have no limitation and do not consider as a problem the very presence of IPTF monitors in the police station to perform, at the same time, their savage acts on some people that were actually accompanied by the monitors." Moreover, Human Rights Watch learned that in following up on the aforementioned case, IPTF was informed by the deputy chief of the regional criminal department that a beating committed by a policeman in the course of his duties in which only minor injuries are sustained by the victim is not a criminal act and that disciplinary measures are the prerogative of the policeman's superiors.

-On August 24, a Bosniak man came to Tesli from the Federation entity in order to visit his mother. Willing to register at the police station, he approached a group of three policemen on duty in the center of town. The policemen took him to the police station, where the commander of the Tesli police, Predrag Markoevi, inquired about his visit and then proceeded to beat him. The victim, along with a Bosniak woman who was present in the waiting room, were then forcibly deported to the Federation entity by the police. The Bosniak woman told IPTF she is not willing to testify officially because she is afraid of potential reprisals against her husband, who still lives in Tesli. Furthermore, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has learned that Tesli Chief of Police Danilo Savi went on prolonged "sick leave" on August 28, immediately after IPTF required that something be done to curtail the influence of Predrag Markoevi, Branko Popovi (badge number 03659) and Stojko Markovi (no badge) for beating a civilian and restricting freedom of movement. Clearly Savi is the Tesli police force's "frontman." On September 18, the IPTF district commander met with the Doboj regional chief of police, Vlado Ðurðevi,[145] to address the issue of Predrag Markoevi . However, up to the writing of this report, Markoevi is still on duty in the Tesli police station.

-IPTF reported that a Bosniak from Gornji Rankovi was beaten by several Tesli policemen in September, one of them being an officer by the name of Sveto Risti who had previously beaten the Bosniak in May and August.

-On September 3, Ahmet Kopi, a Bosniak from the hamlet of Barii, was fatally assaulted by five Serb displaced persons, who beat him to death. Kopi died in the hospital in Tesli. Although the five attackers were being held in detention as this report went to press, the RS police had suggested that the victim "deserved it," claiming he had molested Serb children in Barii.

-On September 3, in the evening, RS police entered the house of a Bosniak man in the village of Ðuli while he was absent and ordered his wife and her two children to leave the area and move to Federation territory within two hours. International monitors in the area told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that such invasions of non-Serb homes and apartments, which continuously take place, can be interpreted as an ongoing and premeditated form of intimidation meant to drive the remaining non-Serbs from the area.

-An international monitoring organization reported on September 8 that for the previous week, Serb displaced persons in the village of Ðuli had enforced a curfew on the Bosniak inhabitants and that armed men were patrolling the streets at night. Moreover, several haystacks belonging to Bosniaks were torched.

-According to OSCE and OHR, on September 18, at approximately 10:30 p.m, a Bosniak from the village of Gornji Rankovi in the Tesli municipality was severely beaten. The twenty-two-year-old Bosniak male was called outside of his house by a Serb neighbor, a displaced person from Tešanj named Mio Perzanovi. The Serb stated that a policeman named "Pajdo" wanted to talk to him. The Bosniak was beaten to such a state, that he crawled back into his house, bleeding, and lost consciousness a few minutes later. The victim's neighbors did not want to take him to the hospital in their cars, fearing for their own security.

-On October 10 two Tesli policemen entered a Bosniak's house and accused him of stealing chickens and potatoes, locked the doors and proceeded to beat him. The man was then taken to the police station, where he was subjected to more beatings until he confessed to the crime. On the same day, a Bosniak man in the same area stated that four armed men in military uniforms entered his house and threatened to kill him and his family.

-An OSCE official stated that, "Locally based IPTF noted that the nightime Bosnian Serb police and IPTF joint patrols in the Tesli area is not working nearly as well as hoped. They were instituted in Tesli after an increase in incidents against Bosniaks and Bosniak-owned property in villages south of Tesli in October, and have been conducted frequently – as many as 14 per night. Local IPTF feel, however, that the patrols are fairly ineffective. In practice, they allow local police to know exeactly where IPTF is during the night, and according to IPTF, the result is that incidents consistently occur in areas away from the patrols. IPTF also noted that in their opinion, the one reason for the relatively low number of incidents in Tesli proper is the fact that IPTF frequently move about the town without any notice."[146]

-OHR reported that, "Harassment of Doboj Bosniaks continues. IPTF received a complaint from a Bosniak man in Doboj who said that he was beaten up by RS police on November 19 [1996], and had an explosive device thrown at his house the day before. The man also received a note stating that the expulsion was ‘just a warning' and that he should move to the Federation."[147]

Obstruction of Freedom of Movement and the Right to Return[148]

Annex VII sets out the parties' obligations with respect to the return of refugees and displaced persons. Among other things, the parties agreed that "all refugees and displaced persons have the right to freely return to their homes of origin" (Article I (1)). Moreover, "[t]he parties shall ensure that refugees and displaced persons are permitted to return in safety, without risk of harassment, intimidation, persecution, or discrimination, particularly on account of their ethnic origin, religious belief, or political opinion." (Article I (2)). 148

Although they are fundamental rights guaranteed in human rights covenants as well as by the Dayton Peace Agreement, freedom of movement and the right to return have been nearly impossible for those wishing to return to an area where most current residents are from another ethnic group. As described below, many non-Serbs have tried to return, only to be turned away by violent mobs or obstructionist local authorities. As of this writing, the local authorities in the Doboj-Tesli area had not yet accepted freedom of movement as spelled out in the Dayton Peace Agreement. Recently, the Doboj authorities have gone so far as to demarcate a "border of separation' between the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska entity even though the Dayton Peace Agreement clearly forbids such acts.[149] During his visit to Doboj in early August, a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative noted that sometime between August 7 and 9, the local RS authorities had painted "GRS 200M" (Granica Republike Srpske 200 Metara – Border of Republika Srpska 200 Meters) and a little further ahead "STOP," on all roads leading in and out of Serb-held Doboj towards the Federation. IFOR, to date, has not done anything about this incident.

An international monitor in the Doboj-Telsi area stated to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that "Although some anti-freedom of movement incidents can be attributed to spontaneous actions by local civilians, it is extremely clear that the local authorities carefully stage many of the incidents. People with radios and weapons have been spotted many times by us circulating through crowds of civilians. Some of them have been identified by IPTF and U.N. officials as members of the local police out of uniform. In addition, local radio stations broadcast messages that incite residents to confront the returnees."[150]

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was told by an IFOR source that demobilized soldiers in the area are paid between 10 DM and 20 DM [between approximately 6 USD and 13 USD] for an "operation" they carry out for the underground paramilitary organization: These demobilized soldiers are paid to keep certain areas under surveillance; should they spot non-Serbs or other persons from Federation territory attempting to cross into the RS, they are to either confront the "undesirables" or alert and incite local civilians to deal with them.[151] The civilians are manipulated into creating a "brush-fire" incident in order to block or injure the person(s) trying to enter the area. For instance, as an international official told a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki researcher,

"On April 21, Lt. Col. Veljko Braji[152] called his demobilized soldiers to go to the Usora bridge over Radio Doboj. He himself was present at the scene dressed in civilian clothes and giving orders, directing the crowd... Most of the demonstrations that have occurred in this area have all ended up in civilian clashes between Bosnian Serbs and non-Serb civilians from the Federation. Some kind of violent incident unravels almost every time, even though IPTF has notified all the parties in advance of any kind of crossing or visit that will take place. The aim of such manipulations is to show people that there is no way for the freedom of movement to actually be implemented and that they should rather vote for the ruling [nationalist] parties instead of opposition parties calling for the union of Bosnia-Hercegovina and the return of displaced persons. "[153]

An international official stated that in mid-May 1996, IPTF notified Doboj's chief of police, Vlado Ðurðevi, expressing concern about the continued obstruction of freedom of movement by RS police. The source added that: "IPTF patrols continually witnessed local policemen not only checking the identification papers of civilians who were moving in and out of the zone of separation [ZOS], but demanding to see documents that gave civilians 'permission' to do so. This continued even after Ðurðevi was given clear guidelines at a mid-May meeting with IPTF."[154]

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki learned that at a "Joint Mayors" meeting held in Doboj on June 26, 1996, (chaired by UNHCR and an IFOR advisor to General Nash, and attended by representatives from IFOR, IPTF, ECMM, OSCE and UN Civil Affairs), the mayor of Tesli, Aleksa Kasapovi, insisted that there had been no pressure on the minorities from Tesli and stated that all such information had been fabricated by the international community. Furthermore, he proclaimed that the only way to deal peacefully with the freedom of movement issue was to limit crossings of the IEBL to individuals.[155] Afterwards, an international official commented,

"Even if the presence of the Tesli representatives at this meeting might suggest a willingness to work, their statements actually show that there is no will from RS representatives in the area to promote freedom of movement. Each suggestion consists of actually restricting the movement, which they hope, will happen on the smallest scale possible so as to allow them the maximum opportunity to control the situation.[156]

RS authorities continue to hamper the right of freedom of movement through a bureaucratic operation as well: non-Serb as well as Bosnian Serb residents in the area are required to obtain permits – initially, for a price of 10 DM[157] – from the local police if they wish to travel to, or receive visitors from, the other entity [the Federation]. A formal and official process has been instituted by the RS authorities in which a civilian is required to: a) present a request to leave at the Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; b) fill out a form which requires: the person's name, address, personal identification card number, place of destination, reason for leaving the RS and the exact duration of the visit; c) present the form, some sort of personal identification and 10 DM (no longer required) to a clerk; and d) receive, from a second clerk, a receipt of an official request, the identification materials and information on when the permit will be ready. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki obtained a copy of the permit civilians are required to fill out for the RS authorities in order to cross the IEBL to visit the Federation (see Appendix B).

After the "request" is analyzed, the Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will or will not issue a written permit that allows the individual the maximum "visiting time" of up to one week. In the zone of separation, mobile patrols of RS police stop civilians to check IDs, examine visas, and record movement. Furthermore, according to a U.N. source, Tesli chief of police, Danilo Savi, stated that persons who are expecting someone from the Federation side must report the visit at least two days in advance to the local police so that they may be issued a permit.

IPTF protested, stating that such a policy is an obstruction of the right to freedom of movement, to which Savi responded that "he was obliged to act on instructions of his authorities."[158] However, a U.N. officials told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that the local RS police in Tesli have stated that the abovementioned permits are "sought voluntarily by people who are travelling so as to guarantee their safety." The U.N. official continued:

"The permits required for movement have only contributed to a heightened climate of fear and paranoia in the area. I believe that there is a general clamp-down on freedom of movement before the elections, and we won't see it diminishing until the local authorities are legitimately placed in power by the elections."[159]

Thus, the local authorities refuse to comply with their obligations under the Dayton Peace Agreement to allow free movement and continue to create barriers to civilians who attempt to exercise this right. Non-Serbs as well as a number of Serbs told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that they fear for their safety, especially when crossing the IEBL, but especially when entering areas controlled by a different ethnic group.

-On Sunday, April 21, 1996, a group of 800 to 1,000 Bosniaks tried to cross the IEBL into Tesli. According to an international monitor based in the area, "Radio Doboj rallied Serbs to defend their city against the advance of the 'Turks.'" However, only about one hundred Bosniaks crossed the IEBL, after which they were rounded up by the RS police on the other side. After IFOR's intervention and their subsequent release, Glas Srpski – a hard-line nationalist newspaper – ran a front page story on Monday, April 22, which stated that IFOR had allowed 3,000 Bosniaks to enter RS territory. Furthermore, the article quoted Mladi as stating "the citizens of Doboj used their bodies to stop the mass, but IFOR shot Serb citizens and wounded two of them... This is a brutal abuse of IFOR's peace mission and its impartiality... If similar situations will arise again, there will be a possibility of spontaneous revenges aimed at IFOR by the local population."[160]

-On July 5, 1996, the newly repaired Usora bridge was officially reopened by IFOR after it was blown up by Bosnian Serbs. Civilians began crossing from the Federation side in groups of two to four until a large crowd of approximately fifty to sixty persons rushed across the bridge onto the RS side. The group was headed off by RS police who demanded money for the crossing and later, by a mob of nearly fifty persons carrying sticks, chains, rocks and RS flags. The two groups engaged in a violent clash until separated by IFOR troops.

-On July 7,1996, an RS police officer questioned a Bosniak woman, asking why she had travelled outside of Doboj and whom she had visited.

-On July 29, 1996, a car full of German citizens (presumably of Bosnian origin) were transiting through the RS (Tešanj to Tuzla) and were stopped near Doboj by two RS policemen. The RS police checked their documents, made an radio call, and then let the car pass. A short distance down the road, the car was stopped again by four RS police officers who confiscated the documents of the people in the car and called to a gang of men wielding iron rods. The gang proceeded to smash the car's windows, injuring one of the passengers before the car was able to escape the scene.

-On July 30,1996, the OSCE reported to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that the RS authorities were issuing and charging foreign civilians for entry visas into the RS. It is not known whether this is a systematic practice or whether it is carried out on a sporadic, ad hoc basis. On July 27, 1996, two Dutch citizens entering and leaving the RS provided OSCE with receipts and documents given to them by the RS authorities after they were forced to pay a 200 DM "road tax"[approximately 133 USD] and a 50 DM "visa charge" [approximately 33 USD] for vehicles with a foreign registration.

-On August 27, 1996, U.N. Civil Affairs told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that RS Special Police forces are now operating in the Tesli area and set up checkpoints from time to time. According to the source, chief of police Danilo Savi said he can do nothing to restrict these activities because the special police take orders directly from the ministry in Bijeljina. Moreover, U.N. Civil Affairs reported that these forces have probably been deployed to "control" things before the election [in September 1996] and that their presence creates a "heavy atmosphere" in town.

-International officials in Doboj reported in late September that for a number of days they observed, on several occasions, four policemen standing at a road juncition, claiming that they were two different patrols.[161] Twice, on September 21, 1996, IPTF ordered the four policemen to disband. The police complied, but only after they stated that they had been ordered to remain in that spot in order to "check vehicles and look for suspicious people." Moreover, they produced a written order signed by Zoran Ðuki, Doboj's police station commander. On September 22, the police set up another checkpoint in the same spot.

-UN IPTF officers visited Stani Rijeka on the RS side of the Zone of Seperation (ZOS) near Doboj on October 3, 1996 to monitor the reconstruction of Bosniak homes after reports of increasing tension in the area. Four unoccuppied Bosniak-owned homes were destroyed by explosives in Donja Rijeica on the RS side of the IEBL that same day. Another explosion damaged an unoccuppied Bosniak house in Stani Rijeka on October 10.

-Two Bosniak men complained to IPTF that they were stopped as they were driving thorough Doboj on November 6, 1996 by six men, two of whom were wearing RS police uniforms. They stated that they had been threatened at gunpoint and beaten up.

-According to OHR, "IPTF reported that three Bosniaks were injured after their vehicle was fired on as they drove through the village of Poljice, located in the zone of separation near Doboj on November 11 [1996]. Thirty people armed with iron bars demonstrated against the return of Bosniaks to Poljice the following day. Tensions have been rising over the issue of Bosniak returns following the refusal of local RS authorities to cooperate with international organizations trying to facilitate this process."[162]

Most of the non-Serbs who were interviewed by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki stated that they feel unsafe attempting to exercise their right of freedom of movement as spelled out in the Dayton Peace Agreement, as there is a great risk that during their absence, their homes will be taken over by Serb displaced persons. "Since you have to report to the authorities that you wish to travel to the other entity, they know exactly to which house or apartment they can send displaced persons. Therefore, freedom of movement for non-Serbs still remaining in this area is being hampered on two levels: one, you have to report your movements to the local police in order to receive a travel permit; and two, you don't feel like you can travel freely because your apartment or home may be taken away while you are away."[163] Other non-Serbs told a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that they are afraid of being denied permission to cross back home into the RS by local police once they have left Doboj or Tesli to visit the Federation.

Many Serbs in the Doboj-Tesli area were reluctant to speak about the permits for movement to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representatives, but one Bosnian Serb stated, "Many of us are afraid to cross, since we can later be called into the police station for 'informative talks' with the authorities."[164] A number of Serbs in Tesli who attempted to travel to the Federation have told our researchers that they were unable to get permits because they were denied proper documents by the local police. According to an IPTF source, "Serbs have been given numerous excuses for why they can't travel; for instance – that they [the police] had run out of the proper forms or that only a limited number of permits can be issued a day, etc. Anything to curtail the number of Serbs wishing to visit the 'other side.' RS authorities are definitely limiting the number of Serbs crossing into Federation territory, especially during the time period prior to the elections."[165]

Obstruction of Freedom of Association[166]

In addition to the severe restrictions imposed by the local Doboj and Tesli authorities discussed above, there are also serious restrictions on freedom of association. According to international monitoring organizations, opposition parties in both Tesli and Doboj have many difficulties with the governing authorities, including threats, acts of intimidation and attacks against their members. Persons in the RS – even Bosnian Serbs – who oppose the aims and policies of the SDS are often targeted by the local authorities in a number of ways ranging from "informative talks" to assassination attempts.

Moreover, a systematic pattern of discrimination that has emerged in the region whereby persons who are suspected of supporting alternative parties or ideas are dismissed from work by local SDS authorities. An IFOR source told a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative, "The tension we see in the Tesli area is mostly between the Serbs; there is a struggle between some moderate opposition parties and the all-powerful SDS. It is unlikely that the outcome of this struggle can lead to anything but the destruction or elimination of the moderate Serbs."[167] Increased pressure, especially against the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska [SPRS] members, has recently taken a more violent turn, and international monitoring sources told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that this may be a broader campaign of aggressiveness being carried out by this underground paramilitary network operating in the area.[168]

An August 8, 1996 OSCE report states: "The right to political assembly, expression and association of the SPRS and Party of Serb Unity has been restricted in the Prijedor, Prnjavor and Doboj AoR [Area of Responsibility] during the last fortnight... Several times the SPRS has requested permits for political rallies and has been turned down. As a result they have held the rallies at unannounced times."[169] Following are a number of incidents that were "carried out by the SDS and its underground paramilitary organization"[170] in the vicinity of Doboj and Tesli:

-According to a U.N. source, on March 24, 1996, after a political meeting in Blatnica, a member of the SPRS was beaten by members of the underground paramilitary organization's squad "which is tied to the SDS."[171]

-On July 9, in Banja Vruica near Tesli, at approximately 5:00 a.m., a 64-mm rocket-launched grenade was directed at the summer home of the SPRS president of Tesli, Rade Pavlovi. An international monitor told a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that the RS police in Tesli stated that "there might be further similar attacks." Furthermore, the official told us, "This bombing is another sign that the SDS seem genuinely threatened by the SPRS in the forthcoming elections. The SPRS would not be targeted if they were not a formidable political challenge with significant political support."[172]

-On July 25, Rade Pavlovi, president of the SPRS in Tesli and director of a chemical industrial company "Destilacija" in Tesli, was notified by letter that he would cease to exercise his function . The newly appointed director would be Drago Pejanovi, the vice president of the SDS in Tesli and already the director of PTT [Pošta, Telefon, Telekomunikacija – Post office, Telephone and Telecommunication] in Tesli.[173]

-On July 27, Tešo Risti, the president of SDS in Tesli, and two RS policemen from the CSB [Centar Slube Bezbjednosti – Center for Security Services] in Doboj threatened to replace Zdravko Ostoji, the director of a hospital-hotel (zdravstveno-turisticki centar "Kardial"[174]) in Banja Vruica (south of Tesli) unless he joined the SDS. Zdravko Ostoji is a member of the municipal council of SPRS..[175]

According to Rade Pavlovi, "This type of aggression toward members of the Socialist Party is aimed at frightening them, their sympathizers and the whole membership of the Socialist Party. In this way, political might is being displayed, and it creates a demonstration in public of a powerful and organized political force that can effectively punish anyone who has different political beliefs. Such is the practice of the SDS; it is the most perfidious form of political manipulation and threatens the elementary principles of a democratic election campaign."[176]

-On July 29, 1996, an SPRS official in Tesli was told by SDS members that he would lose his job as the director of a local hotel if he did not join the SDS.

-According to an ECMM official, on July 30, 1996, two businessmen who are SPRS members were visited by a local SDS official and two RS policemen and were told to join the SDS or resign from their jobs.

-In the last week of July 1996, the car of a successful Bosnian Serb businessman who did not provide "financial" support for the SDS was blown up in Doboj.[177]

-On August 4, 1996, local SPRS representatives were meeting in Ljeskove Vode, a village outside of Doboj, when a bomb exploded near the meeting place. No one was injured, but local representatives as well as international officials suspect either SDS sympathizers or direct SDS involvement.

-On August 6, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Tesli police arbitrarily arrested an SPRS member. Police informed IPTF that the man was suspected of criminal activity and denied the IPTF any access to him. The man was released at approximately 8:30 a.m..

Meanwhile, flouting the spirit of the agreement signed on June 18, 1996, titled "Statement of Mr. Krajišnik, Mr. Buha and Madame Plavši," which commits the RS authorities to remove indicted war criminal Radovan Karadi immediately from any type of political life,[178] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to confirm that on the nights of July 25-27, 1996, elements of the SDS in Doboj and Tesli put up new posters around the towns, including official buildings (inter alia,Tesli courthouse and police station and even the OSCE-IPTF building in Doboj), which pictured Radovan Karadi above the slogan, "USPJELI SMO, NASTAVLJAMO" (We Succeeded, We Continue). According to an internal OSCE telefax addressed to Amb. Robert Frowick and dated August 9, 1996:

"The persons witnessed placing the posters could be readily identified as SDS members... Upon questioning by the OSCE, it was learned, however, that the printing of these posters is not done locally and that they are normally brought from Pale. The posters are new ones... A throwaway camera containing the photographs of these sites is included with this communication... In regard to identification of the photos, care was taken to include the identifying placard of each official building with the poster. The same was done for buildings used by international organizations... The first eight photos are in Tesli, including the courthouse and police station, the next two are the Doboj OSCE building... They were taken on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 through 7 August 1996, respectively."

Even though Ambassador Frowick was notified, no punitive actions were undertaken by the OSCE against the local Doboj and Tesli SDS authorities prior to the national elections which were held in September.[179]

THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE IN THEIR AREA

In conjunction with the human rights abuses being carried out against minorities and non-Serb returnees, the RS authorities and the underground paramilitary organization have actively engaged in a campaign to discredit the work of international officials in the area who are in charge of implementing the Dayton peace process. According to IFOR documents and international monitoring officials, the underground paramilitary organization mounted a propaganda campaign to undermine the image of IFOR and other foreign operations as being anti-Serb and pro- Federation so as to turn the local Bosnian Serb population against them.[180] A Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative was shown a classified IFOR document which stated:

It seems likely that by turning people against IFOR and by using the right powers to increase Serb public rage against the Muslim-Croat Federation, this organization gains more and more power, supported by the people... In that way, they are able to make so much trouble that the Western world agrees to establishing a border between the two parties. If IFOR is tasked to make sure of civilian freedom of movement, it is likely that we would see an increasing rage from the RS against IFOR, inspired by the organization, which could mean future clashes between IFOR and the Serb civilian population.

A Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative was also told by an IFOR source, "Unsubstantiated information from early May 1996 indicates that the Bosnian Serb municipal leadership of Doboj and Tesli agreed in late April to plan possible attacks against single IFOR vehicles and foot patrols operating off of the main roads in Doboj and Tesli by unidentified elements. According to the information, the municipal leadership agreed that IFOR vehicles are to be destroyed by explosives and foot patrols are to be surrounded, disarmed, beaten and chased from the area. However, reports have indicated that the underground network does not intend to mount terrorist attacks against IFOR."

During the month of July, tensions and national fervor ran especially high and xenophobic propaganda was broadcast over Radio Doboj.[181] Announcements included statements encouraging local Serbs to evict international representatives if they are residing in their homes, and promises that if Karadi and/or Mladi are arrested, U.N. personnel and other foreigners will be taken hostage.[182] According to international monitors, on July 10, Milenko Gligori,[183] former head of Radio Doboj, stated the following over the airwaves of Radio Doboj [paraphrased]: "The SDS has ordered the residents of Doboj to evict all foreigners from their homes because they are not welcome in Doboj." The following day, ECMM asked Radio Doboj for the transcript of the text and was told that it was missing from the folder where it belonged. Radio Doboj also accused IFOR of spraying poison from helicopters and dropping alligators into the river and snake eggs in the area, according to international sources who monitor the broadcasts. OSCE, IPTF, ECMM and U.N. Civil Affairs in Doboj met with the regional police chief and the director of Radio Doboj to protest the announcements. Later, on September 2, 1996, IPTF spokesperson Alexander Ivanko announced at the daily press conference in Sarajevo that the U.N. had gathered evidence that the Bosnian Serb authorities had launched an anti-IPTF campaign in the media.

A Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative also learned that in early July, IFOR inspected VRS sites in the Doboj area: According to an international monitor, "On July 7, IFOR discovered that VRS soldiers covertly and illegally moved heavy weaponry from one site to another and that the VRS would mobilize approximately 600 soldiers in the area. Also, in the beginning of July, a local employee of an international humanitarian organization in Doboj was informed by a VRS soldier that 'if anything happens with Karadi and Mladi, the foreigners had better watch out, because we just mobilized a large number of soldiers and they will be the first ones rounded up.'"[184] Afterwards, military activity visibly increased in the Doboj region – VRS troop presence, IFOR patrols, IFOR helicopter surveillance and even NATO jets flew over the town. On July 9, an OSCE core supervisor was denied access to a potential polling site north of Doboj by a VRS soldier, while at another polling station north of the town, an OSCE official spotted approximately twenty to thirty VRS soldiers, who quickly went indoors when two IFOR helicopters flew into the area.

Moreover, on November 19, 1996, a crowd of approximately fifty people gathered outside the Doboj special police station after Bosnian Serb officers denied IPTF monitors access to the facility to conduct a spot inspection. According to the Office of the High Representative, "IPTF decided not to carry out the inspection in order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Doboj special police at the same time also refused to provide IPTF monitors with their names, ranks and ID numbers when requested to do so."[185]

Such actions on the part of the VRS, the Bosnian Serb police and their leadership reveal their sense of impunity which has been reinforced with each failure by IFOR and the international monitoring organizations to hold them accountable for violations of the peace agreement. The fact that incidents like this were occurring in July – just over six months into the Dayton peace process – should have sent a message to the international community that the civilian component of Dayton was not being successfully implemented. The failure of IFOR and the implementing agencies to bring these continuing human rights abuses and acts of non-compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement to greater public attention, has contributed to a deterioration in respect for the provisions of the peace agreement generally and minority rights guarantees specifically over the course of 1996.

CONCLUSION

Since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the SDS has organized an underground paramilitary organization, provided it with financial and other necessary resources, including weapons, and facilitated the ongoing commission of human rights abuses and "ethnic cleansing" of non-Serbs and human rights abuses against moderate Bosnian Serbs in the Doboj and Tesli areas. This report documents the responsibility of the current political leadership of the Doboj and Tesli regions for continued abuses of human rights: By virtue of its political power base in Republika Srpska, the SDS – the ruling nationalist party whose members make up the national and local political leadership – exercises power, influence and control over all government and military agencies and businesses, which in turn directly contribute to the operation of the underground paramilitary network. Thus, the Doboj and Tesli authorities direct, aid and abet, and are therefore complicit in the commission of continued human rights abuses in the area.

Since the SDS is the official and actual holder of power in the Republika Srpska and exerts substantial control over its members who are in the VRS, and in national and local-level police and civilian posts, the SDS has the opportunity and means to prevent the commission of human rights abuses and "ethnic cleansing" in the Doboj and Tesli areas. However, SDS authorities have not only failed to prevent ongoing human rights abuses, but have actively taken part in carrying them out. Naturally, the SDS failed to punish those responsible for such abuses even when it is within their power to do so. This failure by SDS authorities has created an environment of total impunity for local authorities, the local police and members of the underground paramilitary organization.

According to officials from a number of international monitoring groups interviewed by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, the consensus is that, as one official put it, "the SDS is using all available resources to consolidate its political and administrative control in the Doboj-Tesli area, and their activities are organized and controlled by this underground network of paramilitary cells. Moreover, throughout the entire RS, the SDS is consolidating its grip by replacing or recalling local politicians not considered sufficiently loyal to the party. International monitoring field officers from the OSCE, IPTF and other human rights monitoring agencies have been documenting cases of violations on a large scale throughout the Dayton year to their respective headquarters'; However, almost a year since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, almost no proactive or punitive measures have been adopted by them to curtail the activities of this underground network."[186]

International organizations operating in Bosnia-Hercegovina, including IFOR, have been aware not only of the existence of the underground paramilitary organization in the Doboj-Tesli area and the control exerted on it by the SDS leadership, but also of the extent to which this underground paramilitary organization has committed wide- spread human rights abuses and helped to derail the civilian components of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The international community's failure to publicize and attempt to prevent such abuses or to take punitive measures where abuses nevertheless occur, underscores the extent to which international organizations are contributing to the ultimate failure of the civilian provisions of the peace plan and to the subversion of human rights to political goals.

The international agencies operating in Bosnia-Hercegovina whose job is to monitor and implement the civilian component of the peace plan have a responsibility immediately to make such information public and to draw international attention to obstacles preventing the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The withholding of information which describes the full scope of the active and direct involvement of the SDS authorities in perpetrating continuing human rights abuses in Doboj and Tesli only fosters an environment of impunity and encourages further abuses. An international monitor stated to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that, "Problems of police misconduct and abuse continue to be tied in with evictions, beatings, freedom of movement and even killings. Given that the mayors and certain police chiefs wield considerable autonomy on the local level, they must be held responsible for police control. However, it is ultimately the SDS leadership in Pale and the Ministry of Internal Affairs that exercise a centralized grip on the whole of the RS. The international community must make it clear to the top leadership of the RS that they are ultimately responsible for guaranteeing human rights, ensuring proper police conduct, and the successful implementation of the peace agreement at the local level."[187] If indicted war criminal and de facto head of the Bosnian Serb leadership, Radovan Karadi, is not apprehended and turned over to the ICTY, and if his cronies – president of the Republika Srpska, Mrs. Biljana Plavši and member of the Bosnian Presidency, Momilo Krajišnik [188] – are not pressured to dismantle such an operation, Bosnian Croats, Bosniaks and moderate Bosnian Serbs in Republika Srpska will continue to be terrorized and the Dayton Peace Agreement will continue to be made a mockery of.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Research for this report was undertaken by a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki staff member who must remain anonymous. This report was edited by Jeri Laber and Holly Cartner, and formatted by Emily Shaw. We would like to acknowledge with gratitude, many individuals – both from the international community as well as the local population – whose help and information towards this report were invaluable, yet who cannot be named. The individuals who contributed information to this report, especially the ones working under the political and bureaucratic constraints of many of the international organizations operating in the area, are primarily concerned with addressing the most crucial aspect of a post-Dayton Bosnia: the state of human rights. They should be commended for their bravery in bringing forth information otherwise withheld from the public.



[1] "After the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro transformed the JNA into the Army of Yugoslavia (Vojska Jugoslavije). During the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the JNA operated widely in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina and continued these operations after its transformation into the Army of Yugoslavia and into two other successors - the Army of the Republika Srpska (in Bosnia-Hercegovina) and the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (in Croatia)." Although on May, 19, 1992, the JNA announced its "withdrawal," from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bosnian Serbs who were JNA officers and soldiers were permitted to remain behind and fight on behalf of Serb forces in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Moreover, despite claims by the rump Yugoslav government that citizens of Serbia and Montenegro did not participate in hostilities in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia, Serbian and Montenegrin members of paramilitary groups and the JNA continued to fight on behalf of, or provide military and other aid to, Serb forces in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia. The overall command structure, the lion's share of the military personnel, and the weaponry and ammunition of the JNA, remained in place with the two aforementioned armies. See, "The War Crimes Trials for the Former Yugoslavia: Prospects and Problems," Appendix: "War Crimes and Individual Responsibility: A Prima Facie Case For the Indictment of Slobodan Miloševi," Paul Williams and Norman Cigar. (May 28, 1996) (The Balkan Institute briefing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe); and Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volumes I and II, (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 1992 and April 1993).

[2] Bosnian Serb and paramilitary forces for Serbia proper were often attached directly to regular JNA units. They "played a special role in the commission of war crimes, often being the key instrument in implementing ‘ethnic cleansing.' With respect to conventional military operations, the role of paramilitary agents has been limited and episodic, with their function largely confined to ‘ethnic cleansing,' genocide and plunder. Although the regular JNA [later Army of Yugoslavia] and Bosnian Serb Army have themselves systematically targeted civilian populations, for the paramilitary agents, ‘ethnic cleansing,' genocide, and plunder have been at the heart of their mission and, in many respects, their raison d'etre." Paul Williams and Norman Cigar, "War Crimes and Individual Responsibility: A Prima Facie Case For the Indictment of Slobodan Miloševi," in "The War Crimes Trials for the Former Yugoslavia: Prospects and Problems," (May 28, 1996) (The Balkan Institute briefing of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe). p. 35.

[3] "Arkanovi Tigrovi" - Among the larger paramilitary forces from Serbia proper are the Serbian Volunteer Gaurds (Srpska Dobrovoljaka Garda (SDG), often referred to as "Arkan's Tigers") commanded by eljko Raznatovi whose nome de guerre is "Arkan." Arkan's SDG was one of the most active paramilitary agents and was responsible for war crimes against civilians. "Arkan's SDG has been especially important for its size and its considerable equipment in comparison to most of the other paramilitary agents. The discipline and relative capability of the SDG suggest that at least some, if not most, of the cadre and rank-and-file of the SDG may actually be police or army personnel seconded to the paramilitary agent. Although reliable numbers are often difficult to come by, there have been reports of 3,000 men under arms at any one time." Ibid.

[4] "Beli Orlovi" - a paramilitary force also known as the Serbian National Gaurd (Srpska Nacionalna Garda); it was led by Mirko Jovovi and its first combat commander was the notorious Dragoslav Bokan.

[5] Indicted war criminal Milan Marti, police chief and later president of the former "Republic of Serbian Krajina," (hereinafter RSK) in Croatia, organized a militia that subsequently became the Krajina's police force. His force - sometimes known as the Knindas (Ninjas from Knin - the onetime capital of the RSK) - took part in operations in both the Serb-occupied territories in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Williams and Cigar, "War Crimes and Individual Responsibility . . .," The Balkan Institute, p. 36.

[6] Most of the homes were raided by either the VRS, the RS police or Serb paramilitary units under the pretext of a "weapons search" and accusations that non-Serbs were planning an attack against their Serb neighbors. Non-Serb civilians who remained in towns, cities and villages after Serb forces took over an area were then accused of taking part in "fifth-column" activities, i.e. radio transmitting, flashing light signals, directing enemy fire, etc.

[7] See section, "Individuals Involved in 'Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[8] During the first three days of the occupation of Doboj (between May 3-5) Bosniak and Bosnian Croat intellectuals and successful businessmen - seen as potential resistance leaders against the SDS - were specifically targeted and rounded up and to this day remain "disappeared." It was during this time that scores of Bosniak and Bosnian Croat prisoners were led to the Usora bridge spanning the Bosna river (later destroyed by the VRS), where they were summarily executed by Bosnian Serb soldiers and RS police and thrown into the river.

[9] See Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume II, (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993), and Jeri Laber, "Bosnia: Questions About Rape," The New York Review of Books, March 25, 1993.

[10] For instance, a "shipment" of approximately 1,800 detainees in five cattle cars from the Trnopolje concentration camp near Prijedor were sent to Doboj, while non-Serbs held in the Sanski Most sports center and Krinks factory were loaded into freight trains and transported to Doboj. Similarly, non-Serbs from Blagaj in northwestern Bosnia were loaded into cattle cars and transported to Doboj overnight. Non-Serbs in the villages of Grapska and Sjenina (northeast of Doboj proper) fled into the forest when Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces attacked the area. When they attempted to return to their homes, they were rounded up by Bosnian Serb/Serbian irregulars who forced them to march to Doboj. Forty-five male and female non-Serbs were held back, taken to the cemetery near the village mosque, forced to dig graves, and were then executed. During the march, people were pulled out of the column and shot. Once in Doboj, the remaining non-Serbs were marched to the confrontation line and forced to cross. See Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1982), Annex VIII pp. 120 and Annex X, pp. 15, S/1994/674.

[11] Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1982), Annex VIII S/1994/674 pp. 124

[12] See Staff Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, "Ethnic Cleansing of Bosnia-Hercegovina," August 1992.

[13] Ibid. See also sections, "Individuals Involved in 'Ethnic Cleansing'" and "The Frontmen."

[14] See Canadian Mission, "Submission to the United Nations," June 20, 1993.

[15] Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1982), Annex VIII S/1994/674 pg. 124

[16] See Canadian Mission, "Second Submission to the United Nations," June 29, 1993.

[17] For more information see section "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing,'"under Slobodan Karagi.

[18] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the area, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996. Also, see Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Annex VIII S/1994/674 pg. 124.

[19] Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1982), Annex VIII S/1994/674 pg. 121 states that between 600 to 2,000 women were held at one school gymnasium. For more details, also see section "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing'" under Mirijana Šainovi and section "Others With Possible Ties to the Underground Paramilitary Organzation," under "Rora," and Slavko Lisica, for more details.

[20] Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1982), Annex VIII S/1994/674 pg. 121.

[21] See, Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume II, (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993) and Jeri Laber, "Bosnia: Questions About Rape," The New York Review of Books, March 25, 1993, Slavenka Drakuli, "Rape After Rape After Rape," The New York Times, December 13, 1992 and United Nations Mission, "Fifth Submission to the United Nations Security Council Pursuant to Paragraph 5, Resolution 771 (1992), U.N. Doc S/25171, January 18, 1993.

[22] After the fall of the U.N. "safe area" of Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces in some cases summarily executed, and otherwise systematically liquidated, up to and possibly more than 8,000 Bosniaks who still remain missing. See Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, "The Fall of Srebrenica and the Failure of U.N. Peacekeeping," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 7, no. 13, October 1995.

[23] Areas of northwestern Bosnia under Bosnian Serb control were the site of a brutal end game of "ethnic cleansing," murder, and rape during the period between August and November 1995. More than 6,000 non-Serbs were systematically driven from their homes. At least 2,000 non-Serb draft-aged males were separated from their families and were "disappeared." See, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, "Northwestern Bosnia: Human Rights Abuses During a Cease-Fire and Peace Negotiations," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 1(D), February 1996.

[24] An international official told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that eight to ten Bosniak forced laborers working near a relay station were killed by a NATO bomb during the air strike.

[25] After the Bosnian Serb political and military authorities took control of Doboj, the city remained vulnerable to shelling by Bosnian government forces throughout the war because of its proximity to front lines.

[26] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[27] See Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Annex III.A pp. 161, S/1994/674. Moreover, mass graves are reported to exist in the villages of Jaboi Polje, Pridjel, evarlije and, as mentioned above, in Sjenina and Grapska in the Doboj area. See Declassified Document No. 94-377, U.S. Department of State.

[28] Ibid., Annex VIII, pp. 310 S/1994/674.

[29] Ibid., Annex IX, pp. 48, S/1994/674.

[30] Ibid., Annex VIII, pp. 309 S/1994/674.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid. In the early morning of July 23, 1992, approximately twenty-five intoxicated Bosnian Serb/Serbian soldiers lined up a number of Bosniak and Bosnian Croat prisoners. Upon calling individuals to step in front of the line, as many as ten soldiers at a time beat and stabbed the prisoner to death. If a prisoner refused to step forward when called, the soldiers simply shot the individual in place. Some fifty prisoners were killed in this manner in a period of approximately three hours.

[33] Ibid., p. 310 S/1994/674.

[34] Ibid., p. 308 S/1994/674.

[35] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996. Also, see section on Tesli in Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, "Bosnia-Hercegovina: Update: Non-Compliance With the Dayton Accords; Ongoing Ethnically-Motivated Expulsions and Harassment in Bosnia," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 12 (D), August 1996.

[36] Jovan Kovai, "Bosnia Mediator to Take Up Tesli Issue," Reuters, May 31, 1996.

[37] The Election Appeals Sub-Commission of the OSCE stated, on September 10, in the matter of complaints against the SDS alleging that the party has made statements threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Hercegovina, that "the Sub-Commission finds that SDS speakers have continually stressed th substantial autonomy granted to Republika Srpska in the General Framework Agreement, to the total exclusion of any referrence to the unity of Bosnia-Hercegovina... The Sub- Commission further finds that the SDS speakers have made heated appeals to nationalism, and have mingled positive assertions regarding the limited autonomy granted to Republika Srpska with remarks indicating that this autonomy implies that Serbs no longer have to live alongside their fellow Bosniak or Croat citizens, but can instead move towards union with Serbia. The detrimental effect of these statements is amplified by frequent broadcasts of these statements on Srpska Television, which is effectively controlled by the SDS." See Case Number 96-24-B.

[38] According to the 1991 census, the population of the municipality of Brko was approximately 87,332 of which Bosniaks made up 44 percent, Bosnian Croats 25.4 percent, Bosnian Serbs 20.8 percent and "others" 9.4 percent of the population.

[39] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR representative, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[40] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the Doboj area, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[41] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international monitors and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Herceovina, 1996.

[42] The assets needed to support and supply the military, police and paramilitary operations are almost exclusively in the hands of the SDS and, therefore, the Republika Srpska. Most large firms, banks, the media and the transportation infrastructure are owned by SDS members who at the same time hold office in the Republika Srpska government. In many instances, government officials participate on the board of directors of such companies (see below for further information).

[43] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international monitors and displaced persons from the Doboj and Bijeljina areas, Bosnia-Herceovina, 1996.

[44] An opposition party with ties to Belgrade.

[45] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials from two monitoring organizations, Bosnia- Hercegovina, September, 1996.

[46] "The "igosani" operated as a "special terrorist group" in the Republika Srpska during the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, acting as a shock brigade on the front lines in the Tesli area. According to displaced persons from the region and international officials Human Rights Watch/Helsinki spoke with, the "igosani" had a free hand to do as they saw fit. During the war, they would attack the homes of non-Serbs in the region, "cleanse" the owners and occupy the home and collect booty during their operations. They also carried out at least "ten known terrorist acts including the destruction of two municipal buildings in the town of Tesli in 1993 and the burning of a number of houses in the village of Buleti (southwest of Tesli)."

[47] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international monitoring officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[48] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international monitoring official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996

[49] The "Red Berets;" this group is not to be confused with the "Crvene Beretke" unit led by the infamous "Captain Dragan," (real name Daniel Šneden), a subordinate to the Belgrade regime.

[50] The command and control of the police force is exercised by the Republika Srpska Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is directly responsible to the president of the Republika Srpska. Furthermore, the SDS continues to exercise power, influence, and control over the paramilitary organization responsible for the continuing human rights abuses by virtue of the fact that the underground paramilitary organization is comprised of formal members of the MUP and VRS. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international monitoring officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[51] The oldest and usually central section of a city or town.

[52] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[53] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki learned that Nikola Jorgi, a Bosnian Serb, approximately forty-five to fifty years old, was born in Kostajnica, a village north of Doboj and moved to Dusseldorf, Germany a number of years before the war in former Yugoslavia. He returned in 1991 to take part in the Serb siege of the Croatian city of Vukovar. There he served with the "Red Berets" paramilitary unit. When the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina broke out, Jorgi returned to Doboj and actively took part in the "ethnic cleansing" campaign in the area. Jorgi participated in the "cleansing" and looting of - among other areas around Doboj - Ševarlije, Pridjel, Potoani, Kotorsko and Grapska, while participating in the beating, torture and execution of non-Serb prisoners in Bare, Miljkovac, and Stanari. Again, he worked with the "Red Berets" paramilitary unit and carried the title of "Vojvoda" [literally "Duke" but also a historic title of Serb military leaders]. Later he became known as a "weekend warrior" as he traveled back and forth between Germany and Bosnia-Hercegovina, in the proces,s transferring large amount of looted valuables. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with official from Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Völker, Göttingen, Germany, November 1996.

Moreover, in January 1993, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviewed a displaced Bosniak woman from Doboj who claimed that the man who oversaw a women's detention center in a school in Doboj was Nikola Jorgi, whose nickname was "Jorga." Before the war Jorgi is alleged to have served as a commander of the police force in Doboj. The Bosniak woman said she knew Jorgi before her detention. She also asserts that he introduced himself to her as "the man in charge." According to the woman: "... 'Jorga' and Stankovi [see section "Individuals Involved In 'Ethnic Cleansing'" under Milovan Stankovi, below] were in charge of the prisoner exchanges and the money. Without ‘Jorga's'[permission], no woman was allowed to leave the camp. He would come in with a list and announce who would be released. Soldiers who belonged to [the paramilitary group headed by Vojislav] Šešelj and those who belonged to [Milan] Marti [in Knin] also were present; maybe they were 'Jorga's' bosses. I don't think he was the highest ranking officer [in the area] because items that were stolen were sent to Serbia." See, Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume II, (New York: Human Rights Watch, April 1993), p. 219.

[54] The other owner is Radomir Gavri. See also information on Mirko Ubiparepovi in section, "Individuals Involved in 'Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[55] See "Obstruction of Freedom of Movement and Right to Return" for more details.

[56] See section, "Individuals Involved in 'Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[57] Classified IFOR document.

[58] In conjunction with their violent activities against non-Serbs and moderate Bosnian Serbs, the local members of the underground paramilitary organization also expressed their views on the radio and in the newspapers on the need to keep Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks from returning to the Republika Srpska, while showing no reticence about creating an atmosphere of fear and violence to achieve these goals.

[59] See section, "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[60] See section, "The Frontmen."

[61] See section, "Others With Possible Ties to the Underground Paramilitary Organization."

[62] The "Panthers" were primarily active in northeastern Bosnia and especially in Brko, where a brutal campaign of "ethnic cleansing" and mass executions were carried out in 1992.

[63] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to confirm from an IFOR source that this individual is involved in the leadership of the underground paramilitary network; however we were not able at the time to receive a more detailed description of his activities.

[64] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to confirm from an IFOR source that this individual is involved in the leadership of the underground paramilitary network; however we were not able at the time to receive a more detailed description of his activities.

[65] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to confirm from an IFOR source that this individual is involved in the leadership of the underground paramilitary network; however we were not able at the time to receive a more detailed description of his activities.

[66] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[67] Because of the underground paramilitary organization's close connection, and dependence on, the SDS governing authorities, the organization's agents have, in turn, played an important role for the SDS. Dealing through the underground paramilitary organization provides the local and national SDS governing officials an effective instrument for carrying out some of the more odious acts in support of their broader and long term strategic goals which require continued "ethnic cleansing," disappearances, beatings, and expulsions in order to establish and consolidate complete territorial control. Simultaneously, the paramilitary organization's intangible links with the SDS and its image as a seemingly vigilante, and thus unofficial, group offer the advantage of providing local and national political officials of the Republika Srpska plausible denial.

[68] As Doboj and Tesli are the base for the "igosani" gang's operation, Bosnian Serb-controlled Bijeljina is the base for the "Mauzer Group" led by Ljubiša Savi. According to an IFOR source, "it is the underground organization's cell in Bijeljina, and it is financed and supported directly by Radovan Karadi."

[69] See information on Zdravko Vukovi in section, "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[70] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews in Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[71] "Balija" (singular) or "Balije" (plural) is a derogatory name for Bosniaks.

[72] See section, "Individuals Involved in 'Ethnic Cleansing,'" under VRS Officer Milii for more details.

[73] Having established the paramilitary network, the Republika Srpska authorities (the SDS), continue to aid and abet the commission of human rights abuses by this underground organization by providing it with substantial financial resources. Such funding is crucial to the continued operations of this organization since war booty is no longer a sustainable source of income.

[74] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials, IFOR source and displaced persons from the Doboj area, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996

[75] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with an international official in the region, 1996.

[76] In this and past reports concerning the former Yugoslavia, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has used the term "ethnic cleansing" to refer to a premeditated plan by local, regional, and higher authorities to capture or consolidate control over territory by forcibly displacing or killing members of the "enemy" ethnic group. The public nature of the abuses, the regular frequency with which they took place and the impunity with which they are conducted also indicate a systematic policy of "ethnic cleansing." When we refer to the "forcible displacement" of a population in connection with "ethnic cleansing," we refer to involuntary displacement caused by the authorities' planned deportation, expulsion, eviction and/or terrorization or marginalization to such an extent as to force one's flight from an area. The flight of a civilian population during hostilities can properly be referred to as "forcible displacement" but, in and of itself, cannot be considered "ethnic cleansing." However, deliberate and sustained attacks against civilian targets during hostilities could be considered a method through which to effect the policy of "ethnic cleansing." For a discussion of the relevant laws of war defining "forced displacement," see Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume II, (New York: Human Rights Watch, April 1993) pp. 10-13.

[77] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR source, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[78] Although highly likely, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki could not confirm that this paramilitary group was the "igosani" unit led by Savo Kneevi.

[79] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and with displaced persons from the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996. See Jovo Simi in this section for more details.

[80] Center for Security Services in Doboj is responsible for the municipalities of Doboj, Tesli, Petrovo, Modria, Derventa and Bosanski ["Srpski"] Brod.

[81] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with local resident in the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[82] See section, "The Leadership of Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj-Teslic Cell" for details.

[83] According to an international official covering the area, "It is almost misleading to view the RS police, the VRS and the paramilitary units from the local area and even from Serbia as autonomous or separate institutions taking orders from different sources. All the aforementioned organizations are part of a large web which connects at its center. The so-called ‘paramilitary units' which operated here during the war, and still continue to exist, were, in most cases, provided with housing, food, equipment, ammunition and weapons to carry out their ‘work' in the area. Many of the paramilitary units operating in the Doboj and Tesli areas were at least temporarily placed under the control of the Doboj or Tesli branches of the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs and were therefore officially allowed to ‘work' in the area... Other Republika Srpska agencies involved in security and war-related activities besides the Ministry of Internal Affairs is the Ministry of Defense [headed by Milan Ninkovi], and to a lesser extent the Ministry of Information." Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[84] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[85] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was told by international officials and displaced persons from the region, that in 1993, after a large looting operation in Tesli, police officers from Doboj as well as soldiers under Karagi's command transported the booty to hotel "Kardial" in order to divide the spoils. The VRS stationed in Tesli confronted the two groups from Doboj for looting in their area of responsibility and a large fire-fight ensued in the center of town over the looted goods.

[86] See section, "The Leadership of the Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj-Tesli Cell" for more details.

[87] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[88] The LEC is responsible for the conduct of elections under the supervision of the OSCE and PEC (Provisional Elections Commission). One of its most important tasks is the hiring and training of local staff for the polling stations and counting centers.

[89] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and IFOR source, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[90] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[91] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[92] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with an international official in the region, 1996.

[93] See "The Leadership of the Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj-Tesli Cell" section under Pero Ninkovi and Slobodan Karagi, and "Others With Possible Ties to the Underground Paramilitary Organization" under Milan Smiljani, Miodrag Jodi/Joldi for more details of the network of reselling stolen goods from Bosnia-Hercegovina in Serbia for various reasons.

[94] Classified IFOR document shown to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996

[95] According to an OSCE representative, "an OSCE official spotted six persons cutting grass in a military-owned field in Tesli. Through a brief conversation, the OSCE official was told that the men were working for the military against their will and were not being paid. Subsequently, a VRS soldier claiming to be the head of staff of the military unit in the village approached the OSCE official, recorded the OSCE vehicle's license plate and warned him that the area was a restricted military zone. The OSCE monitor was told by the Bosnian Serb official that he was not allowed to talk to the workers, and upon requesting to contact the officer in charge, was ‘strongly advised not to return to the area.' However, according to Annex VI, Article XIII: 3. of the Dayton Peace Agreement, ‘The Parties shall allow full and effective access to non-governmental organizations for purposes of investigation and monitoring human rights conditions in Bosnia and Hercegovina and shall refrain from hindering or impeding them in the exercise of these functions.'" Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia- Hercegovina, September, 1996. For more information regarding Malivojevi's recent activities, see section, "Continuing Human Rights Abuses."

[96] See this section under VRS Officer Milii for more details. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[97] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996. See section, "Obstruction of Freedom of Association" for more details.

[98] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996. For more information about Ðurðevi's recent activities, see section, "Continuing Human Rights Abuses."

[99] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[100] See section, "Continuing Human Rights Abuses" for more details.

[101] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[102] See this section under "Boro Malivojevi" and "Continuing Human Rights Abuses" section for more details.

[103] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[104] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials working in the area and with displaced persons from the Doboj area, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was not able to obtain enough information to confirm reports that Ljubii is also part of the leadership of the underground paramilitary organization.

[105] Since then, the SDS party headquarters has relocated to the center of Doboj (across the street from the OSCE field office) in a luxurious and spacious house that once belonged to a Dr. Hajrudin Danovi, a Bosniak who died before the war. Dr. Danovi's wife, their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren were allowed to reside in the house. During the war, "Karaga" and his men, Siniša Lopandi [see in this section, below] and VRS soldiers would repeatedly go to the house and threaten to kill the family if they did not pay 10,000 DM [approximately U.S.$6,666] in order to be granted permission to leave Doboj. Eventually the family was forced out and the SDS has since then allegedly invested more than 50,000 DM [approximately $33,333] to renovate the house. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[106] Owned by Slobodan Karagi. See section, "The Leadership of the Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj- Tesli Cell" under "Slobodan Karagi" for more details.

[107] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[108] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996. See section "Background: Doboj" for more details.

[109] Lopandi was referred to by a U.N. Civil Affairs officer as "the Chief of Foreign Affairs." Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was not able to verify his official title.

[110] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[111] See section "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing.'"

[112] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[113] Classified IFOR intelligence report shown to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid.

[117] "Fifth column" is a term used to refer to a unit(s) or a group(s) which is/are stationed inside a city, town or village while it is being attacked and which act as quislings, snipers or relayers of information for the attacking force. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the area, Bonsia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[118] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the area, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[119] See information on Milan Smiljani and Miodrag Jodi/Joldi under section, "Others With Possible Ties to the Underground Paramilitary Organization" for more details.

[120] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[121] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with IFOR source, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[122] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[123] An international official in the area stated that Gavri's desire to exchange the cultural and religious ornaments is an indicator that the Serbian Orthodox Church upholds the SDS's politics and also does not support the return of non-Serbs to the area. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, September, 1996.

[124] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[125] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[126] See above under "The Leadership of the Underground Paramilitary Organization: Doboj-Tesli Cell" for more details.

[127] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region in, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[128] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[129] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[130] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region in, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[131] See section, "The ‘Frontmen'" for more details.

[132] It is imperative to note, however, that many Bosnian Serbs working for the RS Red Cross struggled at great risk to aid the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat minorities during and after the war and were punished and then persecuted by the local authorities and police when their efforts were uncovered. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[133] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with an international official working in the area, Bosnia-Hercegovina, September, 1996.

[134] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996. Moreover, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki recorded a testimony in January 1993 from a non-Serb woman who identified Obrad Filipovi as one of the rapists at the Usora high school. She stated the following: "Another doctor whom I had previously known also raped me; [his name was] Obrad Filipovi. I wasn't allowed to say anything. Before he raped me he said, ‘Now you know who we are. You will remember forever.' I was so surprised; he was a doctor!" See, Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Vol. II (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993), pp. 217-218.

[135] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials and displaced persons from the area, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[136] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and displaced persons from the region, Bosnia- Hercegovina, 1996.

[137] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki was able to confirm from an IFOR source that this individual is involved in with the underground paramilitary organization; however, we were not able at the time to receive a more detailed description of his activities.

[138] On October 24, 1996, almost a year after the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, Bosnian Serb authorities systematically blew up ninety-six Bosniak homes and two mosques after the U.N. provided the authorities with a list of their refugee owners who had applied to visit the properties in the Prijedor area. The results of an IFOR investigation on the dynamiting of the Bosniak homes confirmed that the destruction was part of a well-organized operation aimed at preventing the return of non-Serb refugees. Anti-tank mines were used to flatten the homes in an operation so swift and professional that it must have been sponsored or carried out by local or paramilitary police, U.N. and NATO sources said. See UNHCR Daily Press Summary, October 28, 1996 and November 7, 1996. Moreover, in the Doboj-Tesli region, the most recent telephone directory does not list Bosniak or Bosnian Croat names but Serb names only.

[139] Moreover, according to an OHR memorandum drafted to Carl Bildt regarding deputy Michael Steiner's mid- September 1996 assessment visit to the Doboj-Tesli region, "Minorities in Tesli and Doboj confirmed that intimidation and harassment by the authorities and Serb DPs continues, as does the practice of requiring visit permits for minorities, and exit permits for Serbs crossing into the Federation. U.N. IPTF in Tesli reported that local police continue to expel Bosniak visitors." Office of the High Representative, "Memorandum: M[ichael] S[teiner] Visit to Doboj and Tesli." Office of the High Representative, Sarajevo, September 9, 1996.

[140] An international official in the area explained to a Human Rights Watch/Helsinki representative that "strong international presence is the only element which will bring success to the provisions of the civilian component of the Dayton Peace Agreement." This view was also widely held by local minorities who explained to Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that Bosnian Serb displaced persons and Serb refugees from Croatia became extremely polite to the local Bosniak and Bosnian Croat minorities during the period between the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the arrival of IFOR. The Bosnian Serb authorities, as well as the Serb displaced persons and refugees, according to the local minorities, were concerned about the possible IFOR response to abuses against minorities since they believed that IFOR would respond more proactively than the U.N. By mid-May, however, local authorities and Serb displaced persons saw that the IFOR and IPTF missions were "monitoring- heavy" and thus, re-adopted an aggressive attitude or policy towards the minorities in the area. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with displaced persons from the region, Bonsia-Hercegovina, 1996

[141] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[142] OSCE, "Human Rights Weekly Report," August 8, 1996.

[143] See section "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing'" for more details.

[144] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996

[145] See section, "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing'" for more details.

[146] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[147] Office of the High Representative, "Human Rights Report, 21 November 1996," Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina.

[148] The parties to the Dayton Peace Agreement committed themselves to secure "the right to liberty of movement and residence" to all persons within their jurisdiction. See Annex VI, Ch. 1, Art. I (13), "without discrimination on any ground such as... religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority..." See Annex VI, Ch. 1, Art. I (14).

[149] Specifically, see Annex IV, Constitution of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Article I., 1. Bosnia-Hercegovina and, 4. Movement of Goods, Services, Capital and Persons.

[150] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[151] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996

[152] See section, "The ‘Frontmen'" under "Veljko Braji" for more details.

[153] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996

[154] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[155] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[156] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with an international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[157] According to OSCE and IPTF, on June 17, 1996, the RS police allegedly stopped charging fees for the permits, but Human Rights Watch/Helsinki continues to receive reports that permits are still being required.

[158] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, September, 1996.

[159] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, September, 1996.

[160] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[161] According to an agreement worked out by the parties and IFOR and IPTF, local police and military are not allowed to set up formal or ad hoc checkpoints so as not to hinder the right to freedom of movement. Two or more policemen or soldiers standing in one spot is considered a "checkpoint," and therefore, illegal.

[162] Office of the High Representative, "Human Rights Report, 13 November, 1996," Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina.

[163] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with a Bosnian Serb civilian in the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[164] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with a Bosnian Serb civilian in the region, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[165] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[166] Freedom of association, including for political parties, is identified in the Dayton Peace Agreement as a prerequisite for free and fair elections. Specifically, the parties are obligated to: "[R]espect the right of individual and groups to establish, in full freedom, their own political parties or other political organizations and provide such political parties and organizations with the necessary legal guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on a basis of equal treatment before the law and by the authorities; and to [E]nsure that law and public policy work to permit political campaigning to be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere in which neither administrative action, violence nor intimidation bars the parties and the candidates from freely presenting their views and qualifications, or prevents the voters from learning and discussing them or from casting their vote free of fear of retribution. See OSCE Copenhagen Document, paras. 7.6 and 7.7.

[167] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996

[168] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[169] OSCE, "Human Rights Weekly Report," August 8, 1996, Bosnia-Hercegovina.

[170] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[171] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international monitor, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[172] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[173] Later, on August 22, Tesli police informed international monitors that [after much politicking], the High Court temporarily ruled to reinstate Pavlovi as director.

[174] See footnote 85 for more details.

[175] According to Rade Pavlovi, the local authorities in the Doboj-Telsi area have taken action to try to forcefully remove the following people - all members of the SPRS in Tesli - from their jobs: Mladen Doli, director of a hotel/restaurant comapany "Borja;" Perica Kuzmanovi, director of a transportation company "Jugoprevoz;" arko Jovii, director of road building and maintanence company "Niskogradnja;" Rajko Ðeki, director of commerce company "Tekom;" Boo Petrovi, director of "Elektrodistribucija;" Nikola Vukovi, director, "Geofon;" Jerko Jevrosimovi, director of a forestry managment company "Borja;" and Vojko Pozderovi, director of an education center.

[176] Letter written by Rade Pavlovi to an international monitoring organization, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996

[177] On June 18, 1996, the Doboj Municipal Assembly decided on the need for a local SDS-controlled television station and created a board - headed by Milan Ninkovi - to oversee it's development. A solicitation campaign was launched to collect money from prominent business people in the area. The money collected has been channeled through a private company called "Duga" [see p.13 for more details], headed by Milan Ninkovi's brother, Pero. 2.4 million DM [approximately$1,600,000 ] needs to be collected from public and private companies, "whether they like it or not." Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[178] Specifically: "As of July 19, 1996...," a) "Dr. Radovan Karadi states that he shall withdraw immediately and permanently from all political activities. He will not appear in public, or on radio or television or media or other means of communication, or participate in any way in the elections;" and b) "As of July 19, 1996, Dr. Radovan Karadi relinquishes the office of President of the SDS and all the functions, powers and responsibilities of the President of the SDS shall be frozen until the SDS chooses a new President..."

[179] Local authorities took down the posters only when they were notified by international officials working in the area that Office of the High Representative deputy Michael Steiner was planning to vist Doboj and Tesli on September 9, 1996. The posters went up again as soon as the OHR representative left the area.

[180] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interviews with international officials and IFOR source, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[181] For example, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki obtained from an international monitoring organization a transcript of a radio announcement broadcast over Radio Doboj on July 5, 1996 at approximately 4:00 p.m. which stated the following:

A large group of Muslims from Tešanj have crossed the Usora bridge today, in an attempt to enter the city by force. They were stopped by the citizens of Doboj. Goran Stojinovi reports on what was going on in Doboj, noting that the incident took place in spite of the claim that the freedom of movement would not be ill-used: Using freedom of movement as a mask, the Tešanj Muslims - helped by IFOR - used force to enter the territory of the Republika Srpska near Doboj. The spontaneously gathered citizens of the "City of the Three Rivers" prevented their coming, thus expressing the willingness to protect the territorial integrity of their only state - Republika Srpska. Again, IFOR's dishonest assistance showed it's double standard politics, treating the Republika Srpska as it's step-daughter, though the Republika Srpska is an entity within Bosnia-Hercegovina. According to a group of Doboj citizens, IFOR's goal is to create a state of destabilization throughout the Republika Srpska. In their protest, the citizens of Doboj warn that IFOR must not be biased, but treat both entities equally...

[182] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international officials, Bosnia-Hercegovina, August, 1996.

[183] See section "Individuals Involved in ‘Ethnic Cleansing'" under Milenko Gligori for more information.

[184] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, July, 1996.

[185] Office of the High Representative, "Human Rights Watch Report, 20 November 1996, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[186] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview with international monitoring official, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[187] Human Rights Watch/Helsinki interview, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1996.

[188] Momilo Krajišnik, president of the Republika Srpska, refused to participate in the inauguration ceremonies in Sarajevo on October 5, following the OSCE-sponsored national elections held in September 1996. Instead, according to The Washington Post, he met with indicted war criminal Radovan Karadi three times on October 5, who ordered him not to attend.

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