For the first time after they were released or exchanged from the silos camps in Tarcin, Busovaca, Zepce and Derventa three decades ago, former camp inmates, today peace activists, visited the cells where they and their loved ones were tortured, remembering the horrors, despite which they sent messages of peace, forgiveness and understanding at the two-day actions of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Center for Nonviolence (CNA)
In front of the silos in Kacuni near Busovaca, seventy-seven-year-old Marijan Krajina, a former teacher, stands alone and cries as he looks at the place where he was imprisoned for more than 70 days in 1993. He says he’s fine, but he simply can’t use words in front of the dilapidated building in the snow and mud.
Ivan Bohutinski, who was also imprisoned in this place, pushes the heavy iron door with a thunderous sound and part of the participants led by Krajina enters through the dark corridor to the cell where he was with his brother. Part of the participants remains outside the silos. They say – they just can’t get in.
In front of the silos, they invite Ivan Bohutinski to speak. He was also imprisoned there, as well as in the Music School in Zenica. No one was held accountable for the crimes committed in that school before the domestic judiciary.
Ivan is overwhelmed by emotions and tears, and without a word he looks at the floor and stomps on the snow. Another activist puts his hand on his shoulder and says that there will be an opportunity for him to speak.
The night before the action, former camp inmates and war veterans from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Serbia and Croatia meet in Sarajevo, where the “Four Silos” action begins.
They stand up, and with a moment of silence and a prayer, they pay tribute to a friend and colleague who stood up for peace and whose name they will often mention in the coming days. He died last year – Stanislav Krezic Stana – for whom marking the place of suffering had a special significance, as he previously told TV Justice.
Camp inmates introduce themselves one by one, tell where they come from, which army they belonged to in the war and where they were all imprisoned. Most of them emphasize that they are peace activists.
Zlatko Prkic extended his hand to the camp inmates from Zepce.
“I am also a Croatian prisoner and I would like to ask you if I can give you a hand as a sign of greeting because we went through the same thing as you”, he says, while they thank you with a smile and say that they understand everything.
“We remember ugly things. Yesterday we were in Zepce and Kacuni, which had an emotional effect on me, and this is a good thing that we all go around together and hear the words of other people who went through the camps”, said Drago Knezevicyesterday on the second day of the action, while former camp inmates and others visited silos in Polje near Derventa.
However, above all, mutual support, understanding and the desire to build better relations and a common future prevail, they concluded, Detektor reports.
Photo courtesy of BIRN