Back in 2016, in the identification center in Tuzla, body of Kjasif Smajlovic, a journalist of BH daily newspapers Oslobodjenje, who was murdered on the 9th of April 1992 was identified.
He was murdered immediately after he managed to dictate a report on the beginning of the occupation of Zvornik.
Smajlovic’s body was found in a mass grave “Kazan basca” near Zvornik, and during the identification, family and friends fund out that Smajlovic, who was the first journalist victim of aggression on BiH, was tortured before his death, and killed with shots from firearms.
Nedim Smajlovic, son of the murdered Kjasif, recalled the last conversation he had with his father. They talked, he says, about what they are planning to do in order to save themselves from death.
“He took me in front of the house and I asked him, as a father, what will happen, and he asked me what am I planning to do. I said that I will try to get out towards Kula Grad and he told me that it was a good idea. I asked what will happen with him. He replied: “A lot of things are happening here in Bijeljina, Zvornik and around. The truth will be found out when my colleagues find me.” He hugged me and left. This is the last time I saw him,” said Nedim Smajlovic.
While explaining how painful were almost two decades while they were searching for Kjasif’s body, Nedim said that the then acting municipal communal enterprise in the former Serbian municipality of Zvornik certainly knew where was the body of his father.
“What hurts the most, Zvornik Serbs and friends knew where the body was, but no one wanted to tell me. Nobody wanted to say it for 24 years,” said Nedim.
Sakib Smajlovic, brother of murdered Kjasif, said that he was afraid that they will never find his body, because he got scary information that his brother was thrown into the flaming furnace in Mali Zvornik, in Serbia.
Let’s say, there is something positive in this news. Especially because his whole body was found, with all the parts except the skull that was smashed. An autopsy determined that after being tortured he received gunshot through the chest, and he was shot in the hip bone as well, said Sakib, who saw his brother last time at the Eid lunch, on the 4th of April, after which they spoke on the phone every day, until the murder.
Fellow journalists remember Kjasif as a selfless journalist, who bravely reported the crimes that occurred in northeastern BiH in the first days of the war.
“He never stepped back, he was always there where needed. He knew to remain silent. He was under great pressure in Zvornik. Before the attack he was even threatened. Three to four days before the attack on Zvornik he was with us and we saw each other,” said retired journalist Salih Brkic, adding that after the last task that they did together, Kjasif invited several journalists and cameramen to dinner, but they refused due to fatigue, and promised him that they would come to visit next time.
“There was no second time,” said Brkic. Shot in Kjasif Smajlovic, believe his colleagues, is shot in truth, freedom of speech and journalism.
“Despite that killing of colleague Kjasif Smajlovic is serious crime, his death is also a proof that truth is attacked first in any conflict. So he got killed for reporting what was happening in those days of the war in Zvornik,” said Marko Divkovic, journalist of BHT.