28 years from the suffering of the Serb`s population in Bradina village near Konjic was marked today by a holy hierarchical liturgy in the renovated Church of the Ascension of the God in this village, by a memorial service for innocent Serbian victims and the laying of wreaths at the memorial site in the port.
The liturgy was served by His Eminence Bishop Dimitrije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and the Littoral, who has said during the sermon that Bradina is the place of suffering of Serbs.
Bishop Dimitrije has said that the meaning of today’s memory of the victims is not to allow that evil, hatred and vengeance to win.
“When we stand in such a terrible place and remember our innocent victims, we know that only our conscience and life can derive and release meaning from it, and the meaning is that we are not defeated by evil, hatred, vengeance. Because hatred is like rust, and our nature, common, human, is like the nature of iron – rust spreads to everyone and eats everyone, and hatred does the same. It eats not only those we would eventually hate, but ourselves as well”, Bishop Dimitrije said.
The commemoration was attended by members of the families of the victims, representatives of the institutions of the Republika Srpska, Serb representatives in the institutions of BiH, representatives of the city of East Sarajevo, eastern Herzegovina, veterans’ organizations and the Association of Detainees.
48 Serb civilians were most brutally killed on May 25, 1992 in Bradina, which was inhabited by a majority Serb population before the conflict. The rest were taken to camps or expelled, their property looted, and houses and the Church of the Ascension of the God set on fire and demolished.
Another 22 residents of Bradina were killed in the camps, while five more are still being searched for.
Milan Bužanin Archpriest-Stavrophor, the parish priest of Konjic, has said that even today, 28 years after the monstrously events that took place, there is almost no life in this village.
“Two elderly people live there – retirees, and over the summer a few more from Australia, the United States or some other area, who have renovated their houses and come for a few days. In essence, there is no life. Most of the houses have not been renovated yet. The ruins can be seen on all sides. We renovated the Church in some period, we built the monument, now we are building a parish home, all in the hope that we will bring life back here”, Bužanin said.
Esad Ramić, Omer Borić, Šefik Nikšić, Adnan Alikadić, Mitko Pirkić, Redžo Balić, Hamed Lukomir, Safaudin Ćosić, Muhamed Cakić, Ismet Hebibović, Enes Jahić, Senadin Ćibo and Željko Šimunović are being tried in the Court of BiH for crimes committed against the Serb civilian population in the area of Konjic between May 1992 and May 1993, which include Bradina.
They were charged with persecution by murder, rape, imprisonment, torture and other inhumane acts.
According to the indictment, they were also in command positions, members of the Municipal Headquarters of the Territorial Defense in Konjic, the Sabotage and Reconnaissance Detachment “Akrepi”, the police and the guards in the ” Čelebić” camp.
They are accused of attacking and killing dozens of Serb civilians of both sexes, including children and the elderly, and torture, ill-treatment, inhumane treatment, and unlawful imprisonment of a huge number of Serbs from Konjic and the surrounding villages of Bradina, Cerići, Zukići, Brđani, DŽepi, Zagorice, Hum, Blace, Nevizdraci, Donje Selo, Vrdolje, Živanja, Sitnik, Bjelovčina, Zabrđani, Bijela.
The indictment alleges that a huge number of Serb civilians from this area were unlawfully imprisoned and taken to camps in the Konjic area, where the torture and ill-treatment continued.
Their trial began on May 8, 2019, and in the previous part of the proceedings, the Prosecution has examined a dozen witnesses, most of whom were residents of Bradina.
Almir Padalović, who was separated from the case in October 2019 after neuroscientists concluded that he was temporarily incapable of following the trial, was charged with Ramić and the others, so the proceedings against him are in the standstill phase.
The accused Zdenko Grbavac was with them, but the Court separated the case in relation to him, considering that he was unavailable.
The Court of BiH is in the process against Agan Ramić, who was originally charged with Esad Ramić and others, but he is not charged with crimes committed in Bradina, but in the village Brdjani, near Konjice.
The BiH Court previously tried Miralem Macić on charges that in May 1992, as a reserve policeman at the Konjice Public Security Station, he killed three Serbs in Bradina and participated in the ill-treatment and torture of Serb civilians, but the trial was suspended after Macić died in January 2012.