Bosnien-Herzegowina: Nusreta Sivac

Let justice win, even if the world has to fall apart.

— Nusreta Sivac

A judge by profession in Prijedor, Nusreta Sivac experienced the worst kind of physical and psychological torture, rape, and imprisonment when she was deported to the Omarska extermination camp in June 1992. Together with other imprisoned men and women, she witnessed countless crimes and executions. In August, she was released and fled to Zagreb. She became active in the Women’s Association and its work with refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nusreta seeks to make known the truth about the war and especially the imprisonment and torture in the concentration camps.

Nusreta Sivac, born in Prijedor in 1951, worked as a judge in Prijedor until 1992. In the end of April 1992, the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), with the help of army and police forces, violently took control of Prijedor. Consequently, Nusreta wasn't allowed to work any longer because of her nationality. The SDS held absolute authority in the town. After its occupation, a large formation of troops came from Serbia and Montenegro and provided full support to the local Serb extremists. The local media, controlled by the SDS, was broadcasting the programs of the instigators whose goal was to ethnically cleanse the city of all non-Serbians. The Serbs set up three concentration camps in Prijedor: Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje, where non-Serbians were taken and murdered in the process of ethnic cleansing. The local military and paramilitary formations, supported by those from Serbia and Montenegro, began the destruction of the villages and surrounding areas where the non-Serbians lived, along with the cleansing of its citizens. Murder of men, women, and children was done on a daily basis. Nusreta was invited to the police station of Prijedor for an informative conversation that never took place. Instead, she was ordered by armed men to get on the bus parked in front of the police building. It was her trip to hell in Omarska. There, she witnessed the everyday systematic and brutal torture and killing of her people. In August, she was released and she then fled to Zagreb, Croatia. There, she became active in the Women’s Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This organization works with many refugees from the country. Primarily, Nusreta seeks to make the truth about the war crimes that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially the imprisonment and torture in the concentration camps, known to the public.

Srcem do Mira (Through Heart to Peace)