Adopt Srebrenica Adopt Srebrenica 11 luglio 2020 dal Sudtirolo a Srebrenica

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Lamija Grebo: Dreaming of a Hug: Families Still Wait for News of Srebrenica’s Missing

10.7.2020, BIRN Launches ‘If You Were Here’ Missing Persons Campaign
The 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres is a particularly distressing time for people whose loved ones disappeared in July 1995 but whose remains have not yet been found, identified and laid to rest in proper graves.

His father was captured and taken to Bajina Basta in Serbia. Then he was handed over to the Bosnian Serb Border Police, who passed him on to the of the Bosnian Serb Army Bratunac Brigade’s military police. After that, he went missing.

“What I have found out unofficially is that [his father and other captives] were probably taken towards Vlasenica, to the former Susica detention camp, and most probably executed there,” Avdic said.

The 25th anniversary of the massacres is marked this weekend, and the remains of 13 more people believed to have been genocide victims have been exhumed since last year’s commemoration, according to the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute. But for Muhamed Avdic and many others, the waiting continues.

A teenage son vanishes

When Emina Merdzic’s son Azmir fled with his father Salih and other Bosniaks in an attempt to save himself from Bosnian Serb forces’ attack, his mother packed his backback for him.

“He yelled, ‘Mum, you have to give me at least 100 Deutschmarks.’ And I gave it to him,” Merdzic said.

She never saw her son or her husband Salih again. Her husband’s remains have since been found, but Merdzic, who is now 78 years old, said she is losing hope that she will ever be able to hold a proper funeral for Azmir.

“If even a fingernail was found, I would bury it, to see that moment. He should be down there next to his father,” she said.

‘I often dream about him’

Sehida Abdurahmanovic is still searching for the remains of her brother Meho Hasanovic, who also took what she calls “the road of death” to try to escape from Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.

She said that she and her three sisters lost their lost their father early in life, so her brother acted as a surrogate parent and a role model in life.

“I often dream about meeting him, hugging and kissing him,” Abdurahmanovic said.

This report is part of BIRN’s ongoing campaign entitled If You Were Here, which tells the stories of family members of missing persons from the Balkan wars who are still waiting to discover the fate of their loved ones.

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