Tuesday marks 30th anniversary of closure of Heliodrom concentration camp

NEWS 19.03.202416:08 0 komentara
Branka Soldo

The Mostar association of concentration camp detainees on Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Croat Defense Council’s (HVO) Heliodrom concentration camp in the Rodoc settlement near Mostar. Pročitaj više

Numerous delegations were denied access to the building of the former camp, which is now part of the campus of the University of Mostar, however, they laid flowers in front of the closed gate.

The president of the Mostar association, Emir Hajdarovic, pointed out that even thirty years after the war, this camp was not prosecuted by the state authorities, who did nothing to bring to justice the criminals who controlled “this area and who controlled the lives of the camp detainees, the lives of people who did absolutely nothing but have the wrong first and last name at the wrong time.”

He also referred to the construction of the HVO museum on the site of the former Heliodrom camp and said that the place where people died was not the place to build such a facility.

“The museum is being built on the site that was the place of imprisonment of over 10 thousand people from Mostar and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were over 500 people in this area who were brought from the area of Zepce, Zavidovici, Maglaj…, there was a large number of people from different parts of Bosnia. What hurts the people who passed through the camp the most is that the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a body that should represent the interests of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, allocated funds for the construction of the museum to a component that committed a crime in this area that was also ruled in The Hague,” Hajdarovic noted.

One of the former inmates, Edin Batlak, who spent 253 days in the Heliodrom, said that they are celebrating their second birthday and that everyone who was in the concentration camp knows how to value freedom and knows very well what it means to lose that freedom.

He added that they had come to pay their respects to all the camp inmates and above all the 77 murdered detainees of Heliodrom, whose names were written and displayed on a large white banner in front of the closed gate, which are unfortunately not final because there is a group of people who are still sought after.

As part of the commemoration, a public forum “From concentration camp to museum” was held last night in the Mostar Cultural Center, while on Tuesday a commemoration for the 77 murdered inmates of Heliodrom will be held in the Mostar National Theater.

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