Arkan’s Paramilitaries: Tigers Who Escaped Justice

Friends of Kosovo

Paramilitaries led by notorious Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, alias Arkan, fought their way through Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo – so why were none of them jailed for his unit’s crimes?

by Denis Dzidic, Marija Ristic, Milka Domanovic, Petrit Collaku, Sven Milekic

BIRNBijeljina, Belgrade, Djakovica/Gjakova, Zagreb

Arkan’s Tigers in action in Bijeljina. Photo: Ron Haviv/VII. Arkan’s Tigers in action in Bijeljina. Photo: Ron Haviv/VII.

Jusuf Trbic remembers the first time he saw Arkan, sitting in an army truck loaded with weapons in Bijeljina in eastern Bosnia. It was around 4pm on April 2, 1992, after Serb forces had taken over the town. Trbic recognised Zeljko Raznatovic’s face from television reports; he was already known as a man to be feared.

Trbic had just been captured by Arkan’s Serbian Volunteer Guard, the ‘Tigers’. Over the next few hours, through the night until dawn, he was beaten and tortured, sometimes in the presence of Arkan himself. “They knew what they were…

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