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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, August 27, 2000

  • Mystery of Dragodan graves continues
  • SUPPLEMENT: Links to photos from Dragodan
  • SNC delegation visits Novo Brdo and Kamenica
  • MYSTERY OF DRAGODAN GRAVES CONTINUES

    Today the Serb National Council received additional information from confidential sources on the Dragodan (mass) graves on the basis of which one can conclude that the truth is far more complicated than the report which the Council received from the Victim Recovery and Identification Commission (VRIC). The information which the Council received from this commission was included in the SNC Daily Press Briefing of August 24.

    Namely, according to Brenda Kennedy, the head of the VRIC, there is only one location where exhumations took place. This is most probably correct; however, international representatives certainlyare aware of at least TWO OTHER LOCATIONS where exhumations have either not taken place yet or this was not mentioned in the report given to the SNC. Namely, in addition to the bodies discovered in the Albanian (Muslim) part of the cemetery in Dragodan, approximately twenty meters away there is a tract of land which is not a part of the Albanian cemetery with grave sites with multiple signs with numbers, obviously marking unidentified victims. According to information provided to the SNC, the bodies buried in this tract are EXCLUSIVELY BODIES OF SERBS murdered after the end of the war. There are 24 grave sites on the tract. The SNC source, who wished to remain anonymous, learned from KFOR authorities that for every one of the bodies of murdered Serbs there is certainly photo documentation as the bodies were found in various locations from June of last year onwards and underwent autopsies prior to being buried in Dragodan. From the same source, the SNC learned that the eyes of some of the victims had been gouged out, while others were found with limbs severed from their bodies. It is highly unusual that to date the members of the families of missing Serbs were not duly notified of the existence of this location and that no exhumation and identification of these bodies was done from last summer to the present day even though their existence was known to the international mission. Of course, the key question remains in which locations and under what circumstances were these bodies discovered, and was any investigation at all conducted following these murders.

    In addition to this second location, which is located approximately 30 meters from the Mulsim part of the Dragodan cemetery, at the Serbian Orthodox cemetery near the former garrison of the Yugoslav Army there are at least ten, and according to the statements of some perhaps more than 20 individual graves with signs bearing Serb names (written in the Latin alphabet) or the designation indicating the name is unknown. The question poses itself regarding the identity of these victims, who buried them here and when their identification will take place. The very fact that these bodies are buried in the Orthodox cemetery might lead one to conclude that those who buried the bodies here knew that they were Serbs, since a significant number of murdered Serbs, Roma, Bosniacs and Albanians killed by the Albanian extremists of the former KLA has been found by members of KFOR since June of last year.

    Viewed as whole, since the secret of the Dragodan cemetery has not been explained and there exist serious reasons to believe that some of the missing and kidnapped Serbs may be buried in these locations, and that KFOR and UNMIK may already have information on this, the SNC will ask that a special team of the council visit these locations and obtain more detailed information regarding the discovered bodies. In cooperation with the Association for Missing and Kidnapping Serbs, an intensive search and contacts with the family members and witnesses who may be able to help in clearing up this mystery continues. What remains certain is that the issue of killed and missing Serbs is being posed as a key issue of importance to the Serb community with increasing frequency. The SNC has the moral obligation to use all its power to shed light on this issue and to bring those responsible to justice.

    PHOTOS: (SNC KM)

    Location near the Albanian cemetery in Dragodan suspected of hiding at least 24 Serb victims: http://www.decani.yunet.com/dragodan6.jpg

    Part of the Albanin (Muslim) cemetery where exhumation of bodies has been carried out and approximately 40 Albanians have been identified http://www.decani.yunet.com/dragodan5.jpg

    A grave site at the Orthodox cemetery in Dragodan bearing the name of Zlatko Milenkovic (according to some theories, the names posted are not correct) http://www.decani.yunet.com/dragodan4.jpg

    SNC DELEGATION VISITS NOVO BRDO AND KAMENICA

    Today the delegation of the SNC headed by the president of the SNC of Central Kosovo, Dragan Velic, visited the municipalities of Novo Brdo and Kamenica together with representatives of UNMIK in order to contact with local UN administrators and agree upon a strategy for the formation of Serb local community offices in this area. In a meeting with local Serbs from the area, representatives of the SNC and UNMIK will explain the purpose and role of local community offices which are expected to enable the establishment of better life conditions for the Serb people.

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