- Široka Kula massacre
The Široka Kula massacre was a
war crime[hr icon [http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/20040924/novosti05.asp Slobodna Dalmacija] Oslobođen D.S., Sep 24, 2004 ] committed by rebel Croatian Serbs' forces in the village of Široka Kuladuring the Croatian War of Independence. The atrocities took place on October 10 of 1991, reaching a high-point on October 13, when 34 Croat civilians were murdered. [http://vijesti.hrt.hr/ShowArticles.aspx?ArticleId=16026 Croatian National TV] 15th anniversary of the slaughter of Croatian civilians] . Among those civilians, 5 of them were of Serb nationality. These five refused to join the Serb paramilitaries and to be part of that massacre against their co-villagers Croats.Fact|date=December 2007
Often media put together the massacres in Široka Kula and in the neighbouring village of Bukovac (5 km away, in "zaselci" Radići and Vučići) together. 34 (30 Croats and 4 Serbs) and 7 civilians were killed in Široka Kula and Bukovac respectively.
Široka Kula is a village located 11
kmfrom Gospićand 3 km from Lički Osik; it lies within the area that was contested by the Serb rebels during the Croatian War of Independence. According to the 1991 census, there were 184 Croats (33%) and 346 Serbs living in Široka Kula.
According to the Croatian sources the bloodiest single massacre, resulting in the deaths of 8 Croat civilians, was perpetrated on October 13, when masked local Serbs set fire to two Croatian houses after forcibly imprisoning their inhabitants inside. In the days to follow, 32 more persons were killed in the neighboring areas. The youngest victim was a 13 year-old girl. [ [http://gospic.hbk.hr/content/view/679/53/ Anniversary of massacre in Široka Kula] from the site of Diocese of Gospić-Senj] The list of victims includes a 17 year-old boy, an entire family of 5, and many elders. Very few inhabitants of Široka Kula managed to escape.
Exhumations and remembrance
The remains of the majority of victims were later found in caves Golubnjača I and II. The death toll so far stands at 40 persons; however, the bodies of victims are still being discovered in the surrounding area. 16 persons still remain unaccounted for. The remains of the victims were transferred to local cemeteries in Široka Kula, Gospić and Lički Osik.
Altogether, small communities of Croats in Široka Kula and neighbouring villages - Vukšić, Urije, Ostrvica i Lički Osik - had 164 victims during
Croatian War of Independence, mostly civilians (including Široka Kula). As of July 5, 2005, 18 persons are still missing. [ [http://www.vjesnik.com/pdf/2005%5C07%5C06%5C46A46.PDF Article in "Vjesnik" from July 6, 2005] Pokop žrtava ekshumiranih iz jame Golubnjače]
Memory of the victims of the Široka Kula massacre was honored with a monument. The monument is called "Portal of Croatian history" (Croatian: "Portal hrvatske povijesti").
War crimes trials
In 1991, rebel Serbs' authorities have convicted Č.B. because of murder of 5 members of a mixed family (husband Serb, wife Croat and their children). After the sentence, convicted hasn't remained for long in prison in Knin; it was enabled for him to escape. Today he lives in Serbia. Allegedly, rebel Serbs' courts and other responsible persons also knew for the destiny of other victims from Široka Kula and Bukovac, but they haven't made excavations in cave Golubnjača, because of fear from the reaction from UNPROFOR. [ [http://www.domovinskirat.com/content/view/4856/631/lang,hr/ Domovinski rat On Line!] Zločin u Širokoj kuli, Nov 29, 2007 ] .
In 1994, seven Serbs were tried "
in absentia" (in Croatian courts) and convicted for the Široka Kula crimes. One of the convicted persons has returned to Croatia and he was promptly imprisoned. [hr icon [http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/20040129/temedana01.asp Article in "Slobodna Dalmacija"] from 29 Jan 2004] . He was however later acquitted of the charges and released from prison [hr icon [http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/20040924/novosti05.asp Slobodna Dalmacija] Oslobođen D.S. ] [ [http://www.ex-yupress.com/novi/novilist35.html Novi List] Charged with murder of eight residents of Široka Kula near Gospić, and then acquitted...]
There are two sentencing judgements (in absence) in Croatian courts, both in Županijski sud u Gospiću (County court in Gospić), that deal with the case of Široka Kula massacre. One from 27 Feb 1997, against two persons, and one from 16 June 1994 (indictment from 30 June 1992), against six persons.
There was an investigation against 82 persons in Croatian courts, that was interrupted in 2001. However, no one was abolished. [ [http://www.vjesnik.hr/Html/2001/02/16/Clanak.asp?r=unu&c=13 Article in "Vjesnik"] ) U hrvatskim zatvorima 55 osoba služi kaznu zbog ratnog zločina ]
* [http://www.un.org/icty/indictment/english/bab-ii031117e.htm ICTY materials] (the case of
Milan Babić, initial indictment from Nov 6, 2003.
* [http://www.un.org/icty/transe72/040629IT.htm ICTY Transcripts] , Sentencing judgement of Milan Babić
* [http://www.sense-agency.com/en/stream.php?sta=3&pid=9020&kat=3 SENSE Agency] Closing argument of ICTY prosecution, the case of
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6743607.stm BBC News Europe] Serb leader jailed for war crimes
* [http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1162e-summary.htm Summary of judgement] Milan Martić sentenced to 35 years for crimes against humanity and war crimes
* [http://www.novilist.hr/Default.asp?WCI=Rubrike&WCU=285928582863285F2863285A28582858285D2863289428942891289B286328632859285C28612861285A285E28632863286328582863K Novi list] Široka Kula: Mjesto masakra 39 Hrvata
* [http://www.novilist.hr/default.asp?WCI=Pretrazivac&WCU=285A2863285928582863285A28582858285F286328632863285A2861285F285A2860286028632863286328582863J Novi list] Spontana podrška Vukovarcima
* [http://www.novilist.hr/Default.asp?WCI=Rubrike&WCU=285A285F2863285928582863285A28582858285F286328962897289E28632898289728942891289C2891289328892863285B2858285A28602859285928632863286328582863F Novi list] Sahranjene žrtve divljanja arkanovaca - Široka Kula oprostila se od obitelji Rakić
* [http://gospic.hbk.hr/content/view/679/53/ site of Diocese of Gospić-Senj] Anniversary of massacre in Široka Kula (picture of monument visible)
* [http://www.katolici.org/dogadjanja.php?action=c_vidi&id=7867 Catholics on the Net] 15th anniversary of massacre of Croats from Široka Kula
* [http://hakave.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1052&Itemid=137 HKV Portal] Events before the action in Medak Pocket
* [http://www.vjesnik.hr/Html/2001/02/16/Clanak.asp?r=unu&c=13 Vjesnik] U hrvatskim zatvorima 55 osoba služi kaznu zbog ratnog zločina
* [http://hakave.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1732&Itemid=183 HKV Portal] Široka kula, our pride and shame
* [http://www.hlc-rdc.org/srpski/Haski_tribunal/Sudjenje_Milosevicu/Transkripti.php?file=951.html Humanitarian Law Center] Milosevic Trial - Hague Tribunal - Transcripts
* [http://www.politika.co.yu/ilustro/2212/1.htm Article in Politika] Dosje: Dosije: Hrvatska traži ove ljude
* [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/HR/0/Siroka_Kula.html Geographical position of Široka Kula] at fallingrain.com
* [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/HR/8/Gospic.html Geographical position of Gospić] at fallingrain.com
* [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/HR/0/Bukovac2.html Geographical position of Bukovac] at fallingrain.com
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