Bučje Detention Camp - The 21st (twenty-first) anniversary of liberation of detainees
On 16 January 2013, twenty-one years after the exchange and liberation of the detainees of the Bučje detention camp, we wish once again to alert the general public and point out the tardiness of the Croatian judiciary in prosecuting the crimes which had been committed in the Bučje detention camp. Also on this occasion, we take opportunity to appeal to all competent authorities to put in their efforts to investigate the events in the Bučje detention camp and to prosecute those responsible for crimes.
In August 1991, members of Serb military, paramilitary and police formations started arresting and taking into unknown direction civilians and members of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) and members of the National Guard Corps (ZNG) (later Croatian Army (HV)), mostly of Croat ethnicity, residing in the wider Western Slavonian region. The arrested civilians and members of the MUP and the ZNG were being interrogated and tortured on several locations in the surroundings of Bučje, where a detention camp was soon established. They underwent serious forms of psychic and physical torture in extremely inhumane conditions, and today still undetermined number of detainees died as a result of torture in Bučje. Certain number of detainees were exchanged during August and October 1991.
Due to the HV's advancing liberation operations in the area of Bučje in December 1991, the remaining detainees were evacuated to the Stara Gradiška detention camp. The survived detainees lived to see the final liberation only in the official exchange which took place in January 1992.
We still do not have a credible, easily verified information on the total number of persons who were detained in the Bučje detention camp itself. It is assumed that approximately 200 detainees passed through the stated detention camps in the period from August 1991 until January 1992. Among the detainees there were also women and children. There was also a contingent among the total number of detainees which was formed by members of Serb ethnicity who had refused to join the Serb paramilitary formations or they had cooperated with Croatian authorities in any way. The youngest detainee was at the age of 4. The fate of 21 missing detainees has still been unknown. Only three killed detainees have been found and identified so far.
Please read more information in the full statement attached to this message.