25 6 2019
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THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE PIONIRSKA STREET FIRE

     Association for Social Research and Communication (UDIK) reminds the public that today is the 27th anniversary of the war crime in Pionirska Street in Višegrad. This crime is one of the most horrible war crimes that happened during the war against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the Pionirska Street fire, on 14 June 1992, a group of Bosniak civilians were locked en masse in the house of Adem Omeragić in Višegrad. The house was set ablaze and the occupants were left to burn to death. About 70 Bosniak women, children and elderly men, most of them from the village of Koritnik, were confined in a house in Pionirska Street by cousins Milan and Sredoje Lukić, leaders of the paramilitary unit called Avengers. The youngest victim was only two days old.

On this occasion, UDIK’s Coordinator Edvin Kanka Ćudić pointed out: „For the wartime Višegrad we can say that it was a city of starvation of women, children, and elderly people; a city in which neighbors killed neighbors. After the war, the city became the site of so many monuments, a place of false interpretation of history, not just of this war, but also of the Second World War.” According to Ćudić, this is precisely the problem for the future: “In this town, local authorities and the Serbian population systematically work to deny the facts that law and history have already established. Instead of using these facts on the path of reconciliation, we persistently ignore them, which is very dangerous for future generations”, says Ćudić.

For this crime ICTY sentenced Milan Lukić to life imprisonment and Sredoje Lukić to 27 years in prison. Alleged participant, Radomir Šušnjar, was arrested in France on 4 April 2014. He was later released and placed under court surveillance. He was extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2018 to face charges. The trial is still ongoing.

Two years ago, UDIK presented the publication War crimes in Višegrad – verdicts. The publication included nine convictions for war crimes committed in Višegrad, issued by the State Court and the Supreme Court of the Federation. They were sentenced Boban Šimšić, Dragan Šekarić, Miloš Pantelić, Momir Savić, Nenad Tanasković, Novo Rajak, Oliver Krsmanović, Predrag Milisavljević, Vitomir Racković and Željko Lelek.

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