Yugo report - 1

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Aug 26 20:49:04 MDT 1995


/* Written  5:37 am  Aug 26, 1995 by OTVORENE-OCI_ST at ZAMIR-ZG.comlink.apc.org in
gn:yugo.antiwar */
/* ---------- "Follow up visit to Knin" ---------- */
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                      O T V O R E N E  O C I
             Croatian Branch of the Balkan Peace Team
              Male Putine 2/V  41000 Zagreb  Croatia
                 Zagreb: tel/fax: 385-01-156349
                 Split : tel/fax: 385-21-553610
               otvorene-oci_zg at zamir-zg.ztn.apc.org
               otvorene-oci_st at zamir-zg.ztn.apc.org
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\***////////////////////////////

[Split, August 26]

On August 22 and 25 Otvorene Oci Split visited former sector
South. The first day was spent in Knin in company of the
Dalmatian Committee of Solidarity (DOS) who are trying to
initiate the establishment of a form of permanent presence for
the "Coordination of Human Rights Groups in Croatia" in the
area and the second day the team gathered additional
information about the situation in former sector South.

A meeting with Mr. Pasic, the charge d'affaires for the
Croatian government in Knin did not yield immediate results in
terms of obtaining office space. An official request has been
sent to him. A meeting with the UNHCR protection officer in
Knin, Mr. Otim, produced agreement on possible future
cooperation with DOS.

In a meeting held with Mr. Otim, on Tuesday he reported that
of the 743 people currently residing in the camp, 687 had
expressed in writing, their desire to leave Croatia. The date
for the transport had been tentatively set for Saturday
morning (26.08.95). Information received on Friday revealed
that the departure has been indefinately postponed. It had
been previously agreed that approximately 10 people would
remain for questioning by the Croatian authorities, all
accused of war crimes. The Croatian authorities have refused
to let any of the refugees leave until 62 people have been
turned over to them for questioning.
Friday, also revealed that the number of refugees in the UN
compound is no longer static, with the number increasing each
day. Included in this are some refugees who had left the
compound for their own homes and after finding their houses
uninhabitable or after being intimidated by Croatian soldiers
decided to return. There are also reports of some isolated
beatings of these people.

Obtaining documents for those people that wish to remain in
the area, is proving to be relatively easy, although time
consuming, as Otvorene Oci discovered while helping an elderly
Serbian lady begin the process. The Ministry of Defence is
issuing travel documents (propusnica) for everyone living in
the area. All residents living in the area of Knin are legally
obliged to carry this document. All other documents are being
issued (in person only) at the Opcina (town hall) in Knin, as
well as 200 kuna financial aid on production of a valid
propusnica. The police station is then issuing each "Osobna
Karte" (identity card) on production of a Domovnica
(certificate of citizenship) and photographs. Queues are long
and waits of up to 5 days are occuring in order to obtain a
Domovnica.


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