Batons and Blood: The Bosnian Music School That Became a Brutal Jail

Anto Vrvilo had to watch every word he uttered while he was being interrogated in the presence of military policemen who held him in detention for two months in the basement of the Music School in the central Bosnian city of Zenica.

Between April and June 1993, Vrvilo was interrogated and beaten at the Music School, which had been turned into an unofficial wartime detention centre. He lost 19 kilogrammes while in captivity.

"Any word that did not suit them made them hit you on your back straight away," he said.

He didn't know the names of most of the military policemen who beat him up, except for one of them.

"He gave me quite a beating down there in the dining room once. His name is Nasid Delalic from Suhi Dol, near Han Bila," Vrvilo recalled.

Delalic still lives in Suhi Dol, a village near the city of Travnik, with his family. He is one of at least five members of the Bosnian Army whose names are mentioned in the only verdict handed down by the Hague Tribunal that partially concerns the crimes against Croat and Serb detainees that were committed in the Music School in Zenica.

Delalic told BIRN that he never took part in interrogations of prisoners of his own free will, only "on someone's command, if they called on me". He said that "everyone got called upon [to help with the interrogations] - whoever was free".

He said that he did not willingly participate in any violence against detainees: "I wasn't involved in that of my own free will." He also insisted that the detainees were not actually beaten up, although they were coerced to make statements.

However, in the detainees' testimonies, they insisted that they were subjected to cruel treatment at the Music School.

According to testimonies at the...

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