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Written statement / submitted by International Educational Development.

UN Document Symbol E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/NGO/22
Convention International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
Document Type Statement by Non-Governmental Organization
Session 45th
Type Document

4 p.

Subjects Civilian Persons, War Victims, Mass Graves, Disappearance of Persons, Displaced Persons, Rape

Extracted Text

Distr. GENERAL E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/NGO/22 20 August 1993 Original: ENGLISH COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities Forty-fifth session Agenda item 6 QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, INCLUDING POLICIES OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND SEGREGATION AND OF APARTHEID, IN ALL COUNTRIES, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES: REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION UNDER COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION 8 (XXIII) Written statement submitted by International Educational Development, a non-governmental organization on the Roster The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is distributed in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1296 (XLIV). [17 August 1993] International Educational Development wishes to present the international community with information provided to it by the Division of Information and Research, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia. CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN THE WAR AGAINST CROATIA 1991/92 AND SEVERE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF CIVILIAN POPULATION: WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ETHNIC CLEANSING AND RAPE AS A NEW KIND OF WAR CRIME IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 1. According to the official records of the Division of Information and Research, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia (dated 25 June 1993), there were 23,926 wounded and 6,634 killed (on the basis of reports of GE.93-14921 (E) E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/NGO/22 page 2 commanders of Croatian Army units an additional 1,200 deceased soldiers should be included!) citizens of Croatia as the direct result of aggressive attacks by the Yugoslav Army and Serbian paramilitary troops. Among these casualties, there were 7,054 wounded civilians (among them 459 children, 3 priests and 27 medical doctors or other members of medical personnel) and 2,258 killed civilians (among them 97 children, 2 priests and 5 medical doctors or other members of medical personnel), while the remaining casualties are represented by members of the Croatian defence forces. These data alone point to the unusually high proportion of civilians among the total casualties (one third of all wounded and killed persons!). However, these data represent only the minimal number of firmly ascertained casualties (based on medical and autopsy records) and therefore they significantly underestimate the total number of casualties. The following data represent the estimation of additional casualties and they also point out clearly that the proportion of civilian casualties is definitively much higher. 2. Civilians massacred and executed within the occupied territory of Croatia. According to the number of well-documented independent testimonies of survivors and eye-witnesses, at least 1,000 Croatian civilians (mostly elderly people, over 60 years of age) were massacred, executed or brutally murdered by Serbian paramilitaries in a number of villages within the presently occupied part of the Croatian territory (in the regions of Eastern Slavonia excluding Vukovar; Western Slavonia; Banija; Kordun; Lika and Dalmatia). Additional killings of Croatian civilians (at least 500 victims) occurred in UNPROFOR Sector East (Baranja and Vukovar) and Sector South (Benkovac, Zadar hinterland) after UNPROFOR had taken responsibility in these occupied parts of Croatia. 3. Civilians massacred and executed from the town of Vukovar alone. According to the present official data, there were at least 1,851 citizens of Croatia killed in the town of Vukovar, as follows: 590 recorded in the Division of Information and Research Ministry of Health until 6 November 1991; 709 as listed on the "List of identified dead" presented by Yugoslav Army pathologists after the occupation of Vukovar; 266 persons executed or murdered after the occupation in Vukovar itself or subsequently in Serbian camps, according to written testimonies of survivors and eye-witnesses and 286 according to the list compiled by grave-diggers from Vukovar. However, since there are still 2,642 missing or forcibly disappeared persons from Vukovar (who disappeared after the occupation of Vukovar by the Yugoslav Army - 295 of them disappeared directly from Vukovar hospital, as follows: 18 employees of Vukovar hospital, 25 members of hospital assisting personnel, 53 civilians and 199 wounded patients), and we have every reason to believe that most of them were killed. Also, we estimate the total number of casualties in Vukovar to be about 4,500 to 5,000 people. About 70 per cent of them were either strictly civilians or members of the civilian defence organization of the town. 4. Mass graves in UNPROFOR Sector East ("Sector E"). As a consequence of a number of summary executions and arbitrary mass killings of Croatian civilians as well as some captured Croatian soldiers, jointly committed by the Yugoslav Army and Serbian paramilitary troops, there are presently a number of mass graves within the occupied part of Croatia (UNPROFOR Sectors East, West, North and South as well as the so-called "pink zones"). The exact number of mass E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/NGO/22 page 3 graves and victims of summary executions is still unknown. However, to illustrate the extent and brutality of that kind of war crime, here we offer a concise and selective list of 11 such localities (the probable number of victims murdered and buried at each locality is given in brackets) within the present UNPROFOR Sector "E" only: (i) Ovcara (295 victims); (ii) Five localities within the town of Vukovar: sports stadium "Sloga" (120 victims), near the shop "Kivi" (about 360 victims), New Cemetery of Vukovar (about 1,200 victims), Old Brickery building at Sajmište (about 250 victims), Gelesova Dol near Petrova Gora (about 70 victims); (iii) Lovas (about 140 victims); (iv) Tovarnik - four mass graves with about 250 victims; (v) Jakobovac (about 300 victims); (vi) Petrovci (16 victims); (vii) Ernestinovo (several mass graves); (viii) Tordinci (208 victims); (ix) Dalj (about 300 victims); (x) Berak (32 victims) and (xi) Bogdanovci-Vukovar line (over 300 persons disappeared in this area). 5. Missing persons. Furthermore, the total number of missing persons in Croatia (according to the evidence of Croatian Red Cross Tracing Service) is 13,788 persons (among them 416 missing children - 85 from the Vukovar alone!). The greatest number of missing persons is recorded in the following regions: East Slavonia 4,485 (2,642 from Vukovar alone!); Banija and Kordum 987; Lika 180; Dalmatia 491; West Slavonia 592; Baranja 275; Lika 180; Dubrovnik 114. 6. Invalids of the war according to the strict WHO criteria. Until 23 June 1993, the Division of Information and Research, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, had recorded 2,156 invalids of the war classified according to the strict WHO criteria: 685 of them are civilians, while the remaining 1,471 are members of Croatian defence forces. A number of invalids of the war still remain to be fully analysed and classified. 7. Exchange from Serbian concentration camps and prisons. Until 3 December 1992 the Division of Information and Research, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, had recorded 5,261 persons released through exchange from Serbian concentration camps and prisons (3,766 of them were citizens of Vukovar!). 8. Maltreated in Serbian concentration camps and prisons. According to the results of comprehensive medical examinations about 90 per cent of all detainees were maltreated and tortured; extensive medical documentation about the victims of torture in detention has been collected. Furthermore, medical institutions of Croatia are in possession of complete documentation of 40 cases of sexual abuse as well as incomplete documentation on an additional 120 cases of sexual abuse. 9. Displaced persons in Croatia and refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 23 June 1993 the Office for Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Government of the Republic of Croatia had recorded 254,126 displaced persons within Croatia plus 272,982 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e. the total of 527,108 displaced persons and refugees in Croatia. 10. Rape as a new type of war crime in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The spatial pattern and time schedule of brutal and mass rape clearly demonstrates that mass rape served as a strategy in ethnic cleansing - mass E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/NGO/22 page 4 rape occurred in the initial phases of ethnic cleansing in those areas from which Muslims and Croats were later completely expelled. Furthermore, mass rape occurred in the areas flanking the major routes of Serbian military operations serving to expand the "pure Serbian land". Finally, there are clear signs of "synchronized action": mass rape occurred in several places in the same way, leading to the same consequences. Until now, we have collected 40 cases of raped women with complete medical documentation as well as an additional 120 cases of raped women with currently incomplete documentation. In contrast to the limited number of cases recorded with complete medical documentation, there are many more written testimonies and survivor or eye-witness reports, all indicating clearly that rape is a mass phenomenon and a widespread form of war crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is obvious from that documentation that at least several thousand women were exposed to brutal rape and maltreatment. However, the total number of raped and tortured women is definitely much higher: estimates range from the minimum of 10,000 (our estimate) up to 60,000 raped women (official sources from Bosnia and Herzegovina). The majority of raped victims were Muslim women, ranging in age from 6-year-old girls to 80-year-old women. It seems that within occupied parts of Croatia the most frequent victims of rape were fertile women, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina the most frequent victims of rape were quite young girls, teenagers, or even children who were driven to brothel-camps and treated there like white slaves. -----