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    Copyright: The following text is for personal information only. Any professional use or publication in written or electronic form is subject to an agreement with AIM, 17 rue Rebeval, F-75019 Paris, France

    MON, 24 FEB 1997 21:46:34 GMT

    Zavidovici, the Bosnian Twilight Zone

    NEW MURDER, OLD STORY

    AIM Zavidovici, 23 February, 1997

    In Zavidovici, a small town in central Bosnia, a new murder happened. With shots from firearms, Hasan Huskic murdered in cold blood Ibrisim Muharemovic in a village close by. Unfortunately, this piece of news from "the twilight zone" does not disturb anybody. Zavidovici ranks the first among Bosnian provincial towns the names of which are most frequently mentioned in connection with horror. Terror rules this town of completely changed ideas and rules, and those who are disobedient become just a new name on the list of unclarified murders.

    And everything is as clear as it can be. In this latest murder, too. Unfortunate Ibrisim was drinking together with the murderer's father and this was good enough reason for the "true believing jihad warrior" Huskic to sentence him to death, sparing this time his own father. What will happen if his father reaches out for the bottle again, it is not difficult to assume. Jihad warriors do not forgive anybody in their vicinity who violates their rules of living.

    It is difficult to say when these rules were established, because it had begun "spontaneously". After the end of war actions, on the territory of the municipality there remained "several" foreign citizens, whose war accomplishments are linked to liberation of Vozuce, one of the strongest fortifications of the serb army. In the general euphoria, triumphant salutes addressed to Alija Izetbegovic in those days in Vozuca "Allah Ekhber!" and "Tekhbir!" did not grate on anybody's ears.

    It did not take long to pass from salutes to action. The fact which helped a alot was that during the war a special military unit called "Asim Camdzic" was established in thir region, the members of which were men of profound religious feelings and who contributed greatly to final liberation of the municipality. What these men have in common were religious obstinacy and intolerance to anything different to such an extent that they started exterminating everything different, "with no evidence" of course. Unfortunately, even when speaking of murders which remain "unclarified".

    In just a year, a number of people were murdered: brothers Radoslav and Rajko Jovicic, member of military police Refik Visic while on duty, the owner of the coffee shop Boris Tesanovic (his murderer is known and freely walking around Zavidovici!), Goran Keler, recipient of the greatest award of the army of B&H - Golden Lily. Then there was the murder of Jadranko Bozanovic editor of the local radio station, and manager of ZIK Habid Hotic from one of the oldest and most respectable families in Zavidovici, in the manner seen only in criminal films: a timed bomb tore him to pieces in his car at the moment he turned the ignition key. The last one who was killed from explosives in front of the entrance to his apartment was Zeljko Dejanovic. The same explosive device was placed in front of the apartment of Enes Saletovic who was fortunately not badly injured.

    Sometimes news about the worst horror provincial town leak after tours of journalists from Sarajevan media who come only once and never again, happy that they manage to get out alive. That is how the AIM journalist found out the following:

    The centre of gathering of jihad warriors (it is assessed that in the town of thirty odd thousand inhabitants, there are at least ten of them, although according to the known saying that "fear has magnifying eyes", some of the colleagues speak about the figure of as many as thirty or forty thousand in the region) is the town mosque. The mosque used to have its imam, Memis Mahmutovic, thanks to whom it was constructed. The jihad warriors used the mosque gladly, but they did not like the imam. He was not a good enough Muslim! On the eve of Bairam last year, the group of jihad warriors forced their way into the mosque and threw imam Mahmutovic out and brought their man to the post, Hafiz Efendic, whose c.v. obviously suited them better. The new imam is the brother of the chief imam, brother-in-law of the cantonal minister of the interior and son-in-law of the former president of the Islam community. He worked as a khoja in Seher and then in Tesanj from where according to certain information he was banished. He is a real fanatic and one of the initiators of the formation of the jihad warriors' movement. Unfortunate imam Mahmutovic suddenly died of heart attack the very next day after he had been thrown out of his mosque. And only two days after his burial, the zealous jihad warriors, for reasons known only to them, dug up his grave!

    Since then, new rules of behavior have been introduced which nobody dares break. The town and the surroundings are covered with posters and slogans which invite the citizens to respect the only, sheriat law, clearly pointing out to bans of everything coming and brought from the West. That is how two cafes immediately became targets, as "pure western products" and as they were near the mosque, explosives were planted in them, of course. The first warning! Since they were taking over control last summer, in the town with two rivers - the Bosna and the mouth of Krivaja - bathing was banned, but especially of men and women together. In autumn, the turn of barrels with plums came. Since good plum brandy was made traditionally in this region, the jihad warriors found a way to stop that, too. They simply poured oil into barrels of plums and there was no brandy!

    The best time for "action" are Muslim holidays, especially the month of fasting - Ramadan. Anyone who dared be caught eating or drinking was badly beaten up. There were tens of disobedient ones who were punished on site. During the latest Ramadan post an old man was beaten up only because he dared light a cigarette at the market place. The "true believers" are forgetting that the elderly and the ailing are permitted to commit this "sin". A few young men were beaten up for the same "offence".

    In these external manifestations of creed, covering up of women is also obligatory, so that long hooded dresses have become a "fashion hit" in Zavidovici, and men have specially shaven beards, and all of them together have a lot of children. This is one of the main tasks!

    How the "Bosniac non-jihad warriors" live, but (few) members of other nations too, unfortunately, it is not difficult to imagine. In constant fear not to make an "offence" they rarely come out in public. And why should they when almost all doors are shut for them, from employments to various groups and associations with the prefix "Muslim". They are happy that they still have their own doors. But for how long?

    SENAD BOSNIC