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TITLE:  BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                     
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

                  BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA


Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of six constituent republics of the 
former Yugoslavia, became a sovereign state in April 1992 when 
63 percent of its voters endorsed independence in a free and 
fair referendum.  Pan-Serbian nationalists loyal to Serbian 
Democratic Party (SDS) leader Radovan Karadzic boycotted the 
referendum, and former Yugoslav National Army units which had 
organized themselves into a Bosnian Serb armed militia (BSA) 
declared their support for Karadzic.  Supported by the Serbian 
authorities in Belgrade, the BSA began a brutal campaign of 
terror--in which acts of genocide took place--to establish an 
ethnically pure state linking Serb-occupied territory in 
Croatia with Serbia/Montenegro to form "greater Serbia."  Human 
rights abuses in Bosnia occurred in an environment of war, 
occupation, a struggle for territory and power, the breakdown 
of a multiethnic system, and efforts to force the duly elected 
Bosnian Government to accept an ethnic division of the State.  
The Bosnian Government is Muslim-dominated but continues to 
support a multiethnic society, and elected officials are drawn 
proportionally from all national groups.

Bosnia's population consisted of 4.4 million people before the 
war, 44 percent of whom were Muslim, 31 percent Serb, 17 
percent Croat, and 8 percent other nationalities.  By October 
1993, some 200,000 Bosnians were said to have died as a result 
of the conflict; over 800,000 became refugees outside Bosnia; 
and another 1.2 million were displaced within the nation.

As BSA units swept through northern and eastern Bosnia in 1992, 
Karadzic declared the establishment of the "Republika Srpska" 
or "Serb Republic."  Techniques employed by the BSA, which 
Serbs themselves referred to as "ethnic cleansing," included:  
laying siege to cities and indiscriminately shelling civilian 
inhabitants; "strangling" cities (i.e., withholding food 
deliveries and utilities so as to starve and freeze residents); 
executing noncombatants; establishing concentration camps where 
thousands of prisoners were summarily executed and tens of 
thousands subjected to torture and inhumane treatment; using 
prisoners as human shields; employing rape as a tool of war to 
terrorize and uproot populations; forcing large numbers of 
civilians to flee to other regions; razing villages to prevent 
the return of displaced persons; and interfering with 
international relief efforts, including attacks on relief 
personnel.

In early 1993, the BSA, supported by paramilitary forces from 
Serbia and Montenegro, moved to complete ethnic cleansing 
campaigns in eastern Bosnia.  The BSA virtually destroyed the 
hamlet of Cerska, chasing its residents into forests and 
minefields, and subjected Srebrenica, Gorazde, and Zepa to 
strangulation and intense shelling.  International protective 
forces which reached the enclaves in March described conditions 
as the worst they had ever seen and noted that there were 
virtually no residents left to help.

By late spring, the BSA had consolidated most of its military 
and territorial gains in the east.  Facing international 
pressure and tightened economic sanctions against Serbia/
Montenegro, it scaled back assaults on the enclaves.  But at 
midyear, the BSA renewed attacks on Sarajevo and tightened its 
grip on vital humanitarian supply lines, prompting a North 
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) threat of air strikes.  
This led to a reduction in shelling until December, when 
attacks again approached July levels.  Ethnic cleansing 
campaigns in 1993 also took place in Banja Luka and Bijeljina, 
and the BSA waged sporadic attacks on Tuzla, Doboj, Brcko, 
Olovo, Teocak, and Maglaj (this last town in conjunction with 
the Bosnian Croats) through December.

In April periodic skirmishing between the Bosnian government 
army and the militia of Mate Boban's Croatian Defense Council 
(HVO), the main representative of the Bosnian Croat minority, 
escalated into outright war.  Regular Croatian army units, 
originally in Bosnia under a bilateral military cooperation 
pact, fought on the side of Boban's forces; Croatian 
authorities also offered materiel to the HVO but significantly 
less than that which Serbian authorities provided to the BSA.

The trigger for the surge in government-HVO fighting was 
Boban's insistence on the creation of a separate Bosnian Croat 
"Republic of Herceg-Bosna" within Bosnia and Herzegovina.  
Mostar was to be its capital, and government troops in the 
region were told to submit to HVO command.  When the Government 
refused, the HVO blockaded Mostar, attacked it, and brutalized, 
confined, and raped its Muslim residents in an assault 
containing some of the most extreme human rights abuses in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993.

The HVO also engaged in vicious acts in central Bosnia.  In 
April the HVO killed up to 100 noncombatants in the central 
Bosnian hamlet of Ahmici and then razed the village.  In 
October it massacred at least a score of Muslim civilians at 
Stupni Dol.  The HVO and BSA engaged in localized collaboration 
on the battlefield in the central Bosnian enclave of Maglaj, 
creating conditions of extreme deprivation there.

Bosnian government forces perpetrated a number of abuses and 
atrocities in 1993, for the most part against the Bosnian 
Croats.  In September government troops killed dozens of Croat 
civilians at Uzdol; the HVO charged that many more government 
massacres not yet investigated occurred in central Bosnia.  As 
the tide in the fighting turned in favor of the Government in 
the fall, tens of thousands of Bosnian Croats fled or were 
driven from their homes, most going either to Croatia or to 
parts of Bosnia under HVO control.  In November government 
forces killed two Franciscan friars in Fojnica and openly 
looted Bosnian Croat-owned shops in Vares.

In 1993 as in 1992, all national groups were victimized by the 
conflict, and all sides violated the Geneva conventions.  But 
the BSA, with Belgrade's complicity, launched the Bosnian 
conflict through its aggressive ethnic cleansing campaign.  Its 
pursuit of a policy of dispersing and destroying populations 
based on religious and national affiliation created a climate 
of prejudice and fear that ultranationalists on all sides 
subsequently exploited.

International efforts to stop the conflict were not successful 
by year's end.  At best, international attention diminished the 
level of fighting for short periods of time.  The participants 
to the conflict negotiated and signed numerous cease-fires but 
did not adhere to them.  Bosnian Serb ethnic cleansing 
campaigns in eastern enclaves in the spring occurred even as 
Karadzic and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic negotiated 
aspects of a settlement plan.  Bosnian Croat atrocities in the 
spring, summer, and fall took place in spite of Boban's formal 
acceptance of several internationally sponsored peace 
initiatives.  Bosnian government offensives against Bosnian 
Croat enclaves in central Bosnia late in the year occurred 
during sessions of the Geneva negotiations.  Resolutions 
adopted by the United Nations Security Council failed to have a 
significant impact on the human rights situation or the war 
itself.  U.N.-deployed peacekeepers (UNPROFOR)--some units of 
which were being investigated for abuses, corruption and 
partiality--were not equipped for peacemaking and found that 
there was no peace to keep.

The U.N.'s Commission of Experts, established by a Security 
Council resolution in October 1992 to investigate possible war 
crimes, continued to study abuses of human rights in Bosnia, 
Serbia, and Croatia.  The War Crimes Tribunal was created by a 
subsequent resolution in February to assess the culpability of 
alleged perpetrators of atrocities and issue a comprehensive 
report on violations of human rights and humanitarian law.  At 
year's end, all judges had been sworn in and a chief prosecutor 
named.  Between September 1992 and June 1993, the United States 
Government submitted eight separate reports to the War Crimes 
Commission summarizing thousands of instances of killings, 
torture, rape, interference with humanitarian deliveries, mass 
deportations, and other violations of humanitarian law.  In 
addition, the United States provided the United Nations with 
400 refugee reports totaling over 1,000 pages.  Illustrative 
examples from these submissions appear in sections of the 
report below.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

In the circumstances of the Bosnian war, targeted killings were 
difficult to distinguish from killings resulting from 
indiscriminate attacks and unpremeditated actions.  (See 
Section 1.g. for a description of large-scale, war-related 
atrocities committed against civilians, including killings.)  
While only the pro-Karadzic Bosnian Serbs pursued ethnic 
cleansing as a matter of broad policy, local units of HVO 
soldiers and Bosnian government troops, as well as Serbian and 
Montenegrin paramilitaries and civilian gangs and mobs, killed 
many people out of nationalistic or religious hatred.  The 
United Nations confirmed the existence of dozens of mass grave 
sites, as yet unexhumed.  The Bosnian Government, HVO and 
Bosnian Serbs alleged that there were many more.

During ethnic cleansing campaigns in the early part of 1993, 
the BSA targeted local civic and religious leaders with the 
goal of figuratively decapitating Muslim society.  Among the 
prominent individuals assassinated for political reasons was 
Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister Hakija Turajlic, who was shot at 
point-blank range by Bosnian Serb soldiers in January while 
riding in a U.N. vehicle that had been stopped--against U.N. 
procedures--at a roadblock.

At least 10 international relief workers died in 1993, shot by 
BSA or HVO soldiers or snipers of unknown affiliation.  
Sixty-some UNPROFOR soldiers died in outright attacks or as a 
result of sniper fire, and 34 journalists were killed (10 in 
1993) since the beginning of the conflict.  The U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and some international relief 
agencies suspended operations on several occasions during 1993 
because of danger to personnel.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reliable figures for the numbers of missing 
persons, but with hundreds of thousands dead, thousands 
incarcerated, and over 2 million having fled their homes, many 
more were missing.  The Bosnian Government claimed that 26,000 
Bosnians were missing as of May.  Two international journalists 
were known to be missing.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

In spite of intense international pressure to close the prison 
camps discovered under BSA control in mid-1992, there were 
probably still scores of detention facilities for civilians, 
including women, children, and the elderly, in operation 
throughout Bosnia at the end of 1993.  As many as 260 camps 
have been known to exist at one time or another during the 
conflict.  In January 1993, the U.S. Government estimated that 
there were 135 Serb-run detention centers in Bosnia.  Many of 
these formed part of the penal system established in BSA-held 
areas in mid-1992; a significant number in this network were 
closed by the end of 1993.  Many HVO and Muslim camps, numerous 
in the summer and fall of 1993, were also closed by the end of 
the year.

Because camps closed down and reopened depending in part on the 
status of negotiations and the presence of international 
observers, it was difficult to estimate the numbers of persons 
detained.  The three sides defined all males between 16 and 65 
as combatants, so some civilian detainees were listed as 
prisoners of war.  In October the UNHCR reported that the HVO 
was holding 4,200 Muslims and Roma in registered centers, down 
from the summer's high of 15,000 (many of whom were Muslim 
soldiers formerly in the HVO.)  According to the UNHCR, the 
government held 1,100 detainees in registered centers as of 
October.  The BSA was believed to be holding 550 Muslims and 
Croats in registered camps as of October, significantly less 
than the number of those incarcerated in 1992.  Far more were 
held in unregistered centers.  Observers stated throughout the 
year that the three sides hid prisoners and criticized the 
HVO's refusal in mid-1993 to allow international officials to 
visit camps around Mostar, where numerous refugees reported 
conditions to be dreadful.

Camps with poor living conditions in 1993 included those in 
Batkovici, Kamenica, Trnopolje, and Doboj (operated by the 
BSA); Rodoc, Otok, and Dretelj (operated by the HVO); and 
Zenica and Konjic (operated by the Government).  At Dretelj, 
perhaps the most notorious camp of 1993, the UNHCR found 
prisoners in conditions of "appalling brutality and 
degradation," with broken ribs and fingers, bruises, and heart 
irregularities.  Amnesty International said prisoners at 
Dretelj were so cramped that they could not lie down.  Beatings 
and torture were reported at BSA camps in Manjaca, Batkovici, 
and Prijedor in the spring, at HVO camps in Rodoc and Jablanica 
in the summer, and at government camps in Visoko and Konjic, 
also in summer.  Summary executions and deaths due to torture 
or neglect were attested to in 1993 and almost certainly 
continued through December.

Individuals detained in 1993 told of meager and sometimes 
poisoned or spoiled rations, malnutrition, poor or nonexistent 
sanitation, withholding of medical care, forced labor 
(performed by women as well as men) including trench-digging on 
the front lines and removal of corpses and the wounded, forced 
blood donations, overcrowding, and lack of amenities such as 
bedding.  There were scattered reports of groups of prisoners 
being conscripted into enemy armies and of prisoners of one 
nationality being sold as conscripts from the second to the 
third nationality.  The three sides were accused of using 
prisoners as human shields.  In June the BSA arrested non-Serbs 
in Doboj and forced them to stand as a living front line in 
combat areas nearby.

Bosnian Muslim women in the spring and summer accused HVO and 
BSA soldiers of perpetrating mass rape.  The UNHCR noted that 
HVO soldiers may have raped 100 or more women, some in 
gang-rape situations; many of the rapes occurred in connection 
with evictions from Mostar in mid-1993 and fighting near Vitez 
earlier in the year.  Reports of rapes by Bosnian Serb civil 
and military police and soldiers continued, but the number of 
such charges was lower for 1993 than for 1992, when the BSA 
first practiced mass rape as a tool of war.  Reports from 
Brcko, Nerici, Stolina, Skijana, and Grcica described the 
continuing confinement and sexual abuse of a total of at least 
130 young Muslim women by the BSA.  UNPROFOR troops were 
accused of frequenting some locations where Muslim women were 
held.  Bosnian Croat women charged government troops with 
raping them in Mostar and Bugojno; the Bosnian Serbs also said 
government soldiers had raped Bosnian Serb women.  
International observers were not able to corroborate most 
accusations because access to victims was very limited.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The BSA continued to round up members of the intelligentsia and 
target regional and local political, economic, and religious 
figures in an effort to destroy the social structure of other 
nationality groups.  Sarajevo's Roman Catholic Archbishop, 
Monsignor Vinko Puljic, was abducted by the BSA and held 
temporarily along with his UNPROFOR guards in November.  Ransom 
was sometimes an additional motive for arbitrary arrest and 
detention.  BSA and HVO troops abducted government bodyguards 
of international officials from UNPROFOR vehicles on several 
occasions and held UNPROFOR soldiers hostage for brief periods.

In addition to the large number of civilians detained in prison 
camps (see Section 1.c.), some civilians were detained for 
prisoner exchanges.  Families of military officers were 
abducted with regularity because they had a high exchange 
value.  In Vitez in April, both the HVO and the government 
forces arrested large numbers of civilians for use in future 
exchanges.  The residents of some entire villages were 
prevented from leaving municipal confines (see Section 2. d.) 
so they could be used in prisoner exchanges.  The Serbs 
detained Muslims, Croats, and Roma for use as unpaid labor in 
combat zones (see Section 6.c.).

While the Bosnian Government did not practice exile per se, 
detainees released by the Government, as well as those released 
by the BSA and HVO, were sometimes forced over the border (see 
Section 1.g.).  Ethnic cleansing and mass population movements 
before advancing troops resulted in forced dislocation that was 
equivalent to exile for the half of Bosnia's prewar population 
that at the end of the year was seeking refuge abroad or 
protection elsewhere within Bosnia.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

In areas under its control, the Bosnian government attempted to 
maintain a functioning judicial system.  International legal 
experts have said the March trial for war crimes of two Bosnian 
Serb soldiers who had confessed to mass killings and mass rape 
at the behest of commanding officers was fair.

Summary trials and executions of local warlords who served as 
irregular government army commanders took place in Sarajevo in 
October, during a government crackdown on rogue elements in the 
military.  The individuals who were tried and executed had been 
identified as responsible for seizing UNPROFOR vehicles and 
controlling extensive black market activities.

Near the front lines and in BSA and HVO-controlled areas, 
military authorities who held power did not guarantee the legal 
rights of non-Serbs and non-Croats, respectively.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

Virtually all officials of the three sides (and international 
observers as well) assumed they were subjected to systematic 
surveillance.  Most were unwilling to use telephones or the 
mail system, to the extent that they functioned, for any but 
the most routine business.  Citizens who were interrogated 
reported that their questioners did not conceal the practice of 
surveillance.

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

Violations of humanitarian law and international conventions on 
the treatment of civilians in time of war were widespread and 
egregious.  Many human rights violations committed by the BSA 
occurred as part of specific policies to expel Muslims and 
Croats from areas the Serbs desired for themselves.  The HVO 
engaged in localized efforts to drive Muslims away from 
territories they sought to occupy.  Other abuses took place on 
a more haphazard basis.  Paramilitaries, vigilantes, "weekend 
warriors," criminal gangs reporting to local warlords, and 
civilian mobs were responsible for numerous instances of crimes 
against civilians.   Atrocities detailed in this section 
include indiscriminate attacks against civilians; forced 
population movements; interference with the delivery of 
humanitarian relief, including attacks on international relief 
workers; interference with utilities and infrastructure; and 
forced conscriptions.  Mistreatment of prisoners of war 
resembled mistreatment of civilian detainees and is handled in 
Section 1.c.  Use of prisoners as human shields is also treated 
in Section 1.c.  (See the Country Report on Serbia/Montenegro 
for information on Bosnian Serb paramilitaries who crossed the 
border into Serbia to attack Sandzak Muslims.)

The BSA's relentless military assault on the eastern enclaves 
in early 1993, its periodic attacks on Sarajevo, and ethnic 
cleansing campaigns in Banja Luka, Bijeljina, and towns in 
north-central Bosnia throughout the year resulted in tens of 
thousands of civilian deaths.  U.N. observers reported that 
mass killings of civilians and attacks on refugees trying to 
flee Srebrenica, Gorazde, and Zepa were commonplace.  UNPROFOR 
claimed the BSA was attacking and seizing one or two Muslim 
villages a day in the eastern region throughout March.  In 
April and May, concern over conditions in besieged enclaves 
prompted the passage of U.N. resolutions that declared 
Srebrenica and subsequently Gorazde, Zepa, Sarajevo, Tuzla, and 
Bihac "safe areas" where security and relief deliveries were to 
have been guaranteed.  Heavy BSA attacks on the safe areas 
continued through June, and more sporadic attacks occurred 
during the rest of the year.  By the summer, most of Gorazde 
and surrounding hamlets had been leveled.  Many villages 
outside Srebrenica were completely destroyed, as were some 
villages in the vicinity of Zepa.

In Banja Luka, the BSA killed and mutilated Muslim and Croat 
civilians as part of ethnic cleansing campaigns throughout the 
year.  When a group of Muslims under attack sought protection 
in a local mosque in February, the BSA attacked the mosque.  
BSA advances also destroyed much of Maglaj and Doboj and many 
smaller communities near Brcko.  Several civilians in Maglaj 
were killed while attempting to retrieve airdropped parcels, 
their only source of food in the latter half of the year.  BSA 
killings of individuals in central Bosnia, as in the eastern 
enclaves and Banja Luka, sometimes involved mutilations.

Sarajevo was under heavy BSA pressure throughout the year.  
Thirty civilians, including a leading physician delivering baby 
food, were killed in the first 10 days of December.  In 
November, 9 children were killed and 20 injured by an BSA shell 
that fell on a school.  As in the eastern enclaves, the BSA 
deliberately aimed shells at hospitals, mosques, markets, 
cemeteries, and residential areas.

HVO attacks, particularly on Muslims, increased dramatically in 
1993.  The HVO slaughtered approximately 100 Muslims in the 
central Bosnian village of Ahmici in April.  Masked Croats 
killed Muslim civilians in Vitez in house-to-house fighting 
later that month.  In September, the United Nations said HVO 
shelling killed 10 to 15 Muslims a day in Mostar.  The HVO in 
the spring also reportedly shot two Serb women who were part of 
a small contingent of Serb inhabitants of Mostar forced out of 
the city and told to walk to BSA-held positions.  In October 
between 25 and 50 Muslim villagers, including women and 
children, were killed by the HVO at Stupni Dol, near Vares; the 
remainder of the town's population was taken captive and the 
village entirely destroyed.  The HVO shelled UNHCR officials 
attempting to gain access to Stupni Dol for 3 days before 
finally letting medical examiners through.  Later in the month, 
the Bosnian Government claimed the discovery of a mass grave in 
Tasovcici containing the bodies of alleged victims of HVO 
attacks in Stolac and Capljina.

Government troops also targeted civilians in 1993, particularly 
Bosnian Croats.  Thirty Bosnian Croat civilians were massacred 
at Uzdol in September.  Survivors of the attack said they were 
used as human shields.  Government soldiers murdered two 
Franciscan friars in Fojnica in November.  The HVO charged the 
Government with killing more than 100 other Bosnian Croat 
civilians between April and October in a variety of central 
Bosnian locations including Trusina, Doljani, Bugojno, 
Jakovice, Kiseljak, and Kopijari.  Witnesses described torture 
preceding the killings and mutilation afterward.  The United 
Nations is investigating the charges.  Government soldiers 
killed a score of Bosnian Serb civilians in the village of 
Skelani, in the Srebrenica pocket, in January, and shot several 
Bosnian Serbs in Sarajevo, including two elderly people being 
evacuated.

The Bosnian conflict has brutally uprooted millions of 
civilians.  The residents of Cerska and the populations of 
several villages in its vicinity were driven out of their homes 
as part of the BSA's ethnic cleansing campaigns in eastern 
Bosnia in early 1993.  The BSA then plundered and burned or 
shelled virtually all houses.  Large segments of the 
populations of other eastern enclaves also fled the BSA in the 
spring, some across mined territory.  Many refugees from the 
BSA went to Tuzla (behind the front lines,) the population of 
which increased four-fold in the spring.  World Health 
Organization (WHO) officials in the city termed conditions 
"desperate" because the limited infrastructure could not handle 
the huge refugee population.

Bosnian Serbs pursuing cleansing operations in southern 
Herzegovina ordered residents of Trebinje and Bileca to leave 
the district in January, killed several who did not comply, and 
bombed mosques.  Over 1,000 Muslims fled to Montenegro.  In an 
effort to frighten non-Serbs into leaving Banja Luka, BSA 
soldiers cut phone lines, beat residents, sealed off and bombed 
non-Serb shops, seized non-Serb apartments, fire-bombed 
mosques, threatened citizens with rape, and warned non-Serbs 
via the local television station they would have to pay heavy 
fines for remaining.  (As noted above, they also killed and 
mutilated non-Serb residents of Banja Luka.)  Some non-Serbs in 
Bijeljina were reportedly forced to give up house keys and 
property deeds before being driven to front lines and ordered 
to walk across them.  In August a group of Muslims from 
Bijeljina was driven through Serbia proper to the Hungarian 
border, where they were dumped.  Cleansing operations in 
central Bosnia continued.  Of 43,000 Muslims recorded as living 
in Doboj in the 1991 census, only 1,000 remained in November 
1993, according to the United Nations.

HVO troops worked most actively around Mostar to force 
non-Croats to move out.  In May the HVO rounded up thousands of 
Muslims and imprisoned them temporarily in the heliodrome 
stadium while simultaneously running thousands more out of 
town.  When several made their way back, they found former 
Muslim areas empty and buildings shot full of holes.  In June 
the HVO burned the personal papers, including apartment leases, 
of Muslims who had not so far been detained or chased out and 
forced them across a bridge under a hail of gunfire to a 
section of east Mostar where they were ghettoized.  By the end 
of June, international relief agencies said the HVO had 
destroyed virtually all Muslim property in Mostar.  In July a 
number of the ghettoized Muslims in Mostar were boarded onto 
buses and dumped in Croatia against their will.  In September 
the UNHCR described signs of malnutrition and physical abuse 
among the 14,000 Muslims who had escaped Mostar and surrounding 
towns and made it to Jablanica, behind the front lines in 
central Bosnia.

The HVO chased Muslims out of several central Bosnian locations 
in early 1993, including an Italian-run refugee camp whose 
staff and inhabitants were forced to flee; local HVO commanders 
said they planned to expel more Muslims from the region to make 
room for Bosnian Croats who were homeless as a result of 
government-HVO fighting.  At midyear, the HVO began evicting 
Muslims from Stolac, Capljina, and Livno, forcing as many as 
20,000 across the front lines.  Before the evictions began, 
local HVO officials disconnected Muslims' telephones, 
requisitioned their cars, and made radio broadcasts saying 
their security could not be guaranteed.


Tens of thousands of Bosnian Croat refugees fled Konjic, 
Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez in fear of advancing 
government troops in the spring.  In September government 
forces used death threats and extortion to pressure Bosnian 
Croats to leave Zenica; a month later government soldiers 
rounded up 1,000 Bosnian Croat refugees trying to flee Konjic, 
robbed them, beat them, and fired shots at them.  In November 
the UNHCR described the situation around Vares as "chaotic," 
with gunmen terrorizing 15,000 mostly Bosnian Croat civilians 
who had fled their homes in fear of attack.  Boban claimed 
150,000 to 190,000 Bosnian Croats had been displaced by 
fighting in central Bosnia or driven out by the Government as 
of late fall.

All parties to the conflict interfered with humanitarian 
assistance, but abuses by the BSA were most widespread in 
1993.  In February BSA troops issued orders formally sealing 
off Bihac, Zepa, Gorazde, and Srebrenica from relief 
deliveries, which in any case had not occurred for many 
months.  In Zepa, Cerska, Srebrenica, Konjevic Polje, Kamenica, 
and Gorazde, deaths due to a combination of severe 
malnutrition, exposure, and wounds that could not be treated 
for lack of medicine occurred in the winter and spring.  WHO 
doctors said 20 to 30 people died of untreated wounds, lack of 
food, and exposure every day in Srebrenica during the month of 
March.  When observers reached Zepa at the end of January, they 
found the population eating bread made of straw.  After seizing 
14 villages near Cerska in March, the BSA blocked international 
evacuation of the wounded, resulting in more deaths.  The BSA 
then shelled UNPROFOR troops attempting to carry a field 
hospital into Srebrenica and threatened to fire on German 
relief planes if Germany participated in the relief effort.  
The WHO reported that tuberculosis and hepatitis were 
increasing sharply among the refugee population of Tuzla as the 
"pharmaceutical situation collapsed."  In April the BSA blocked 
convoys bound for Gorazde, where starvation was reportedly 
imminent, as the ICRC announced from Zagreb it was considering 
withdrawing from Bosnia because of BSA harassment.  In June BSA 
positions shelled a UNHCR convoy near Maglaj, killing three 
relief workers.

Throughout the remainder of the year, more relief workers were 
killed, more citizens died of deprivation, and more vitally 
import medical evacuations failed to take place both inside and 
outside the United Nations' safe zones due to BSA threats and 
harassment.  U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, on a 
trip to the safe areas shortly after they were declared, 
described conditions brought about by long-term BSA denial of 
relief as "appalling."

The HVO began closing roads leading to Muslim areas of central 
Bosnia to all commercial traffic in February.  In April the HVO 
seized and briefly held several international relief workers 
near Kiseljak, claiming they had sided with the Government.  In 
May the HVO began blocking all relief convoys bound for Mostar; 
as a result, almost none reached the city until late August.  
Participants in an HVO attack on a U.N. convoy in central 
Bosnia in mid-1993 said they were acting under orders to 
threaten European Community (EC) and U.N. officials.  In July 
the HVO began charging tolls termed "extortionate" by relief 
workers.  In August the UNHCR temporarily suspended relief 
deliveries to central Bosnia because its convoys were being 
harassed by the HVO.  International relief agencies reported 
that the HVO had targeted its workers for harassment and abuse, 
bound and gagged UNHCR employees in Mostar, and fired a grenade 
(which did not explode) at an ICRC truck.  In November an HVO 
commander accused of leading the attack on Stupni Dol ordered 
all U.N. relief workers to depart Kiseljak.  Later in the 
month, a combination of malnutrition and exposure brought about 
by HVO interference with relief resulted in several deaths in 
Mostar.

In February the Bosnian Government responded to the BSA's order 
to seal off the eastern enclaves and Bihac from relief by 
refusing relief deliveries to Sarajevo.  Frustrated at the 
politicization of humanitarian assistance, the UNHCR 
temporarily suspended aid to many parts of Bosnia.  In March 
local officials in Srebrenica detained UNPROFOR General 
Phillipe Morillon as a shield against further BSA shelling.  
(Morillon subsequently elected to remain as a gesture of 
solidarity with the people of the enclave.)  In Sarajevo the 
Government refused the delivery of fuel bound for Bosnian Serb 
hospitals.  In Mostar local government officials detained the 
first convoy to arrive in the city in 3 months and a UNPROFOR 
contingent as well, apparently in the hope that keeping them in 
Mostar would prevent the HVO from renewing its attacks on the 
city.  In the fall, government soldiers attacked a UNHCR convoy 
near Novi Travnik and killed the driver; they subsequently shot 
and wounded a U.N. driver in Kakanj after his convoy refused to 
hand over fuel.  In December government soldiers attacked a 
Croatian convoy attempting to deliver relief to Bosnian Croats 
in Nova Bila.


At the end of 1993, UNPROFOR forces were under investigation 
for showing favoritism in the provision of humanitarian 
assistance.  At year's end, the United Nations was 
investigating reports that some UNPROFOR units attempted to 
influence the outcome of the conflict through preferential 
deliveries of aid.

The BSA interfered with utilities and infrastructure to a much 
greater extent than the HVO or Government.  The WHO, terming 
the situation in Sarajevo "desperate" in January, said several 
elderly residents of nursing homes had frozen to death due to 
Bosnian Serb diversions of natural gas to the capital.  The BSA 
cut the water supply to Srebrenica in April and prevented U.N. 
workers from repairing it.  In July a U.S. Office of Foreign 
Disaster Assistance relief team visiting Sarajevo reported that 
most houses lacked electricity and gas; water was generally 
unpotable, and dysentery was spreading.  The UNHCR noted in 
July that Gorazde's water supply was contaminated with human 
waste as a result of BSA interference.  In October, 10 days 
after the announcement that the BSA had achieved its aims and 
ended the siege of Sarajevo, heavy shelling resumed, and gas 
supplies were reduced.  The WHO reported an increase in burns 
as residents used more "do-it-yourself" heating contraptions in 
an effort to keep warm.  In November the UNHCR said some 
patients had died in hospitals that remained unheated due to 
the BSA cut-off of gas, and cold had made some patients too 
weak to withstand operations.  As of the end of the year, 
Sarajevo was under the heaviest mortar fire since before NATO's 
August warning, and water, electricity, and gas flows remained 
sporadic and at barely usable levels.

The HVO prevented international relief workers from supplying 
water pumps and water-purifying equipment to Mostar in the 
summer.  In November the HVO destroyed Mostar's 400-year-old 
UNESCO-protected Ottoman Foot Bridge, which supplied the Muslim 
ghetto in the eastern sector with water.  A Belgrade architect 
noted that the bridge had "linked cultures and people" and 
remarked that, "with a loss like this, people lose their place 
in time."  No instances of government interference with 
utilities and infrastructure have come to light, but government 
forces near Mostar in August did threaten to release the 
floodgates on the Neretva River to drive the HVO out of the 
area.

The three sides practiced forced conscriptions to a limited 
degree in 1993.  In some BSA-held areas, those who refused the 
draft were dismissed from work and detained.  Some families of 
men who refused conscription were also dismissed.  In April the 
BSA forced evacuation flights from Srebrenica to divert to 
BSA-held Zvornik, where evacuees were taken prisoner and 
threatened with conscription.  The HVO segregated Bosnian Croat 
males from among displaced persons on the run near Stolac and 
Capljina and forced them to enlist in the HVO in October.  
There was no right to conscientious objection under Bosnian 
law; Serbs and Croats who refused the draft in Banovici were 
arrested by local officials, conscripted into the government 
army, and taken to the front lines in the spring.  Also in the 
spring, the Government prevented draft-age men from leaving 
Zepa and Sarajevo.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Bosnian Serb refugees complained of living in a virtual police 
state under Karadzic's SDS.  They suffered harassment, 
dismissal, and incarceration at the hands of BSA soldiers and 
pro-Karadzic local officials for taking a public stance in 
support of the Bosnian government or for opposing the ideology 
of the SDS.  A BSA military court sentenced a Bosnian Serb 
worker to a prison term this summer for trying to broker 
cease-fire talks between the Government and BSA.  A Bosnian 
Croat family living near the BSA detention facility in 
Trnopolje was shot because they "looked at the camp" too 
frequently, and officials feared they might talk about it.  In 
1993 as well as 1992, numerous Bosnian Serbs were killed by BSA 
soldiers for speaking up in defense of Bosnian Muslim neighbors.

Freedom of speech and debate was protected as a matter of 
principle in Bosnian schools, but due to security concerns 
educational institutions were open only sporadically, sometimes 
in unusual settings such as underground bunkers.  In a move 
that denied freedom of thought and expression to all Bosnians, 
the BSA fire-bombed the national library in Sarajevo, 
destroying major collections of cultural importance to all 
nationalities.

Before the war, the principal Bosnian media--Sarajevo radio and 
television, the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje, the independent 
television station Yutel--were widely regarded as accurate and 
balanced.  Olsobodjenje, with a multiethnic staff, has 
maintained standards of objectivity and accuracy that won 
international prizes and acclaim even under the difficult 
circumstances of the war.  The newspaper endorsed the notion of 
a pluralistic Bosnia and supported democratic and progressive 
elements in the Government.  Editorials freely criticized 
government policies and officials.  Sarajevo also had a tabloid 
press that the Government tolerated, but authorities detained 
several reporters from Tanjug, the Belgrade-based news service, 
and denied visas to Radio Zagreb personnel.

The single television station operating in Sarajevo in 1993, 
funded by the Government, took a pro-government line.  The 
Government also ran a radio station and allowed an independent 
station to broadcast.  The government news agency, BH Press, 
emphasized reports of attacks against Muslims and downplayed 
reports of atrocities committed by government forces.

The SDS news agency SRNA, headquartered in Pale, provided 
biased and distorted reporting.  Both SRNA and Tanjug, the 
Serbian news service, carried unsubstantiated reports of crimes 
against Serbs in order to reinforce ethnic Serb solidarity, 
promote ethnic hatred, and instigate violence.  A pro-Karadzic 
television station that broadcast from Banja Luka transmitted 
reports directly from Serbia and received financial support 
from Belgrade Television.  As noted in Section 1.g., in 
February it advised Muslims and Croats to leave Banja Luka or 
pay fines for remaining.

The HVO's newly established news agency, HABENA, reported 
Bosnian Croat casualty figures far in excess of those attested 
to by international relief organizations.  Radio Zagreb 
regularly issued distorted reports.  For example, in November 
it reported that Swedish peacekeepers detained by the HVO had 
been helping Muslims when in fact they were attempting to 
escort Bosnian Croat civilian refugees near Vares to safety.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The right of peaceful assembly and association could not be 
observed in the conditions of war and violence.  In areas not 
under the control of the Government, assemblies of persons 
whose nationality and religion were not the same as those in 
power were regarded with suspicion and in some cases 
participants were subjected to harassment and attack.  Even in 
government-controlled areas, large gatherings such as queues 
often attracted snipers.


     c.  Freedom of Religion

Religious tolerance has been a tradition of the diverse Bosnian 
population for 500 years.  Serbian Orthodox Bosnian Serbs, 
Roman Catholic Bosnian Croats, and Muslim Bosnians are largely 
indistinguishable in terms of language and physical 
appearance.  But the war and ongoing atrocities radicalized 
many, and religion became one of the justifications for 
fighting.  Citizens living in government-controlled areas 
enjoyed the greatest freedom of religion in 1993, as the 
Government remained committed to pluralism and included 
representatives of all religious groups.

In connection with ethnic cleansing campaigns, BSA troops 
systematically destroyed religious institutions and made 
cultural monuments specific targets.  In areas under BSA 
control, virtually all mosques and Roman Catholic churches have 
been bombed, shelled, burned, or bulldozed, and statuary has 
been defaced.  The BSA destroyed the last of Trebinje's mosques 
in April, after expelling the majority of the town's Muslims.  
Banja Luka's historic 16th century mosques were also 
demolished, as were all the mosques in Bijeljina.

The HVO destroyed mosques as well, including four in Stolac and 
one in Pocitelj this summer.  The HVO charged the BSA and the 
Government with the destruction of 66 churches in the course of 
the conflict.  All told, hundreds of mosques and churches have 
been demolished, including several of unique architectural and 
cultural significance, since the war began.

Mixed marriages accounted for 20 to 30 percent of unions before 
the war began; citizens in mixed marriages faced difficult 
choices as the war expanded.  In some cases, they hid their 
religious backgrounds or sought shelter with those of a 
different faith to avoid being separated from their families.  
In government-held areas, where commitment to religious 
diversity was a matter of law, individuals in mixed marriages 
had an easier time than those in BSA- or HVO-controlled areas.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The wartime situation, coupled with mass detention and 
expulsion (discussed in Sections 1.d. and 1.g above), 
interfered with the free movement of millions of Bosnians.  The 
changing front lines made many others virtual hostages within 
broad geographic areas.  Sarajevo was the most heavily 
populated island of "hostages" in Bosnia.  The lack of safe 
transportation into or out of the capital put citizens and 
officials at risk when they attempted to travel to other parts 
of the country or abroad.  The airport was one of the most 
frequently attacked targets in the city.

In some cases citizens of whole villages were given orders to 
remain within specified confines, or be shot or fined, in order 
that a pool of people to perform labor and take part in 
prisoner exchanges could be maintained.  In some areas, the BSA 
established local "Commissions for Exchange" to ensure that 
non-Serbs wishing to leave were exchanged for Serbs who wished 
to return.  In March the BSA put in place procedures whereby 
non-Serbs wishing to go to other regions were not permitted to 
carry valuables or travel by car; non-Serbs were also required 
to pay higher prices for bus tickets and exorbitant transit 
taxes in BSA-controlled towns they crossed.

The Government inhibited movement by citizens in part to avoid 
a mass exodus.  During the BSA sieges against the eastern 
enclaves in the spring, local officials sometimes prevented 
UNPROFOR from leaving areas under attack.  The Government 
prevented large numbers of Bosnian Croats from leaving Bugojno 
and Banovici during the summer, using the civilians in prisoner 
exchanges and as forced labor.  Local authorities announced in 
September that Zenica's 23,000 Bosnian Croats could not leave 
the city.  (Earlier in the month, government soldiers had 
pressured them to depart against their will.)  In Sarajevo the 
city's Secretariat of Evacuations often refused Bosnian Serbs 
permission to leave or delayed their departure for many months.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The duly elected Bosnian Government did not have the means to 
protect its territory, to defend its sovereignty, or to 
guarantee its citizens' rights.  Nearly 80 percent of the 
country was under the military control of various separatists 
supported by Serbia or Croatia.  In this environment, the 
Bosnian Government's goal of establishing a secular, 
pluralistic, democratic society in an undivided land had little 
chance of success.  Bosnia's only election, which occurred in 
April 1992, created a bicameral National Assembly with 240 
seats, of which 99 were filled by Muslims, 84 by Bosnian Serbs, 
50 by Bosnian Croats, and 7 by others, in proportion to the 
composition of the population of the country at the time.  
There were no elections scheduled for 1993.


Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Bosnian Government, the BSA, and the HVO all agreed in 
principle to allow international observers access to territory 
under their control so alleged human rights abuses could be 
investigated.  In practice, political and military authorities 
imposed obstacles and made it difficult for international 
officials to carry out investigations.

All sides in the war viewed the work of international 
organizations through the prism of their political interests.  
All sides downplayed their own culpability for atrocities.  
Both the BSA and HVO denied responsibility for human rights 
abuses that international investigators assigned to them, 
claiming for example that the Government was killing its own 
civilians in the hope of blaming the other side for 
atrocities.  No side has cooperated fully on the issue of 
examination of prisoners.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

     Women

In addition to being subjected to rape (Section 1.c.), women 
suffered other sorts of physical abuse in 1993.  Muslim women 
in Mostar reported they were strip-searched (and in some cases 
raped) by male HVO soldiers before being evicted from the 
city.  Before the war, discrimination against women was not 
officially practiced, although there were few women in 
prominent positions.

     Children

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported in June 
that 1,400 children had been killed and 12,800 wounded since 
the beginning of the conflict; 91 percent had witnessed 
shooting in the course of the conflict, 72 percent had had 
their homes shelled, 41 percent had witnessed a person being 
injured or killed, and 81 percent thought they could have been 
killed during 1993.  Many lived on a diet of bread, rice, and 
pasta, when those goods were available, and had not eaten fresh 
fruit or vegetables since early 1992.  The result was 
widespread anemia and other wasting conditions in children who 
did not suffer more serious injuries or illnesses.  Children 
witnessed atrocities, including murder and rape committed 
against their parents and neighbors.  Tens of thousands were 
orphaned, and tens of thousands more lived in refugee centers.  
Assessing the psychological effects of war trauma on children 
in Sarajevo, Bihac and Banja Luka, UNICEF found that virtually 
all suffered from nightmares and inappropriately apathetic or 
aggressive behavior as a result of exposure to the conflict.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Extreme nationalism precipitated the war to cleanse non-Serbs 
from parts of Bosnia.  Other micronationalist ideologies 
developed in the context of violent separatism, and at the end 
of 1993 national identity was a critical factor in whether one 
would keep a job or lose it, remain at home or be driven out, 
or all too often live or die.  Throughout Bosnia, violence, 
fear, and the collapsing social structure eroded support for 
pluralism.  No group was more victimized than Bosnia's Muslims.

     People with Disabilities

The pervasiveness of the war, the destruction of the economy, 
and the Government's reduced means limited assistance to the 
disabled, including those disabled by the war.  An example of 
disregard for the needs of the disabled occurred as the HVO 
withdrew from Fojnica:  troops evacuated the doctors from a 
hospital for mentally impaired children, but left the patients 
behind.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Legally, all workers were free to form or join unions of their 
own choosing without prior authorization.  Before the outbreak 
of the war, this right was generally respected.  Bosnian 
workers had independent trade unions, while journalists, 
teachers, and others organized independent professional 
associations to address labor issues.  The bulk of Bosnian 
workers were probably members of the semi-official Council of 
Independent Trade Unions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CITUBH), 
although new trade unions were also organized.  The right to 
strike was recognized but not exercised in connection with 
work-related grievances in 1993.


     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Bosnian law formally guaranteed this right, but the fighting 
among the three sides interrupted Bosnia's economic transition 
from state domination to a market-oriented system.  As a 
consequence, the management of state-owned enterprises had not 
adopted collective bargaining as a practice prior to the war.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Forced labor was legally prohibited and did not occur before 
the outbreak of the war.  In some villages, however, citizens 
found themselves under virtual "house arrest" so surrounding 
forces would have a convenient labor pool.  As with civilians 
placed in detention centers, villagers under house arrest were 
sometimes forced to erect shelters or fill sandbags in 
dangerous conditions near the front lines.  Although the BSA 
was the main user of forced labor, government troops also 
occasionally surrounded villagers and forced them to work.  
Bugojno was surrounded for most of the summer, and in May 
government troops surrounded the residents of Banovici and sent 
some of them to the front lines to dig trenches.  As the 
trenches were completed, the troops advanced.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The minimum age for employment was 16, although children in 
agricultural communities sometimes assisted their families with 
farm work before they reached that age.  As in 1992, there were 
occasional reports in 1993 that children were employed for 
military functions such as reconnaissance and running messages.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

In principle, minimum wages were guaranteed; with the economy 
in total disarray, however, workers had no assurance they would 
be paid for work performed.  Dismissals because of ethnicity or 
political affiliation occurred throughout Bosnia.  The prewar 
42-hour workweek, with a 24-hour rest period, was formally 
still in effect, and sick leave and other benefits were 
generous.  But in the context of the war, benefits counted for 
little.  Regulations on occupational health and safety were 
adequate but not enforced.


[end of document]

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