"A Closed, Dark Place"

Past and Present Human Rights Abuses in Foca

Legacy Link

The Foca municipality was the site of some of the most brutal crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Bosnian Serb civilian, police, and military officials established a wartime government called the "Crisis Committee," much like those established in many towns in Bosnian Serb-controlled territory, to plan and carry out the expulsion of the non-Serb population. Using a thorough propaganda campaign, the Crisis Committee established a network of detention centers, where non-Serb civilians were detained, tortured, raped, and either expelled, killed, or "disappeared," leaving the town as it is today, almost completely ethnically Serb. The persons alleged by many sources to be responsible for the crimes committed in Foca during the war continue to wield power in the town. In many cases, they are in governmental or police positions. In other cases, they hold even higher-ranking positions in the Republika Srpska or Bosnian government. In these positions they may have been identified by international observers as responsible for protracted noncompliance with the provisions of the Dayton Accords, as well as systematic human rights abuses in the post-war period.