Poklek

17. April 1999.

The village of Poklek is located in the Municipality of Glogovac, about two kilometers east of the town Glogovac. Members of the Special Police Unit (SPU) of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia killed 53 Kosovo Albanian civilians, including 24 women and 23 children, in this village on 17 April 1999.

Read more

Strictly confidential documents of the Yugoslav Army and Ministry of the Interior confirm the presence of the 4th Company of the 86th Detachment of the SPU in this village on the day of the crime in Poklek; the documents also indicate the presence of the 15th Armoured Brigade and 37th Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav Army.

The document of the Ministry of the Interior entitled "Deployment of the SPU on 17 April 1999", which was used as evidence in the Sainovic et al. Case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), confirms that the 4th Company of the 86th Detachment of the SPU was present in Poklek on the day of the crime, and that another four companies of this detachment were close by.

Descriptions of uniforms, given by survivors of the crime, confirm that the 86th Detachment of the SPU was present in Poklek on the day of the crime. The survivors said that the perpetrators had yellow armbands on their shoulders. On 13 April 1999, the Ministry of the Interior sent the "Instructions on the wearing of distinguishing armbands by the police for April 1999" to the Secretariats of Internal Affairs, which stated that MoI members had to wear blue and yellow armbands on 17 April 1999. The Commands of the 22nd, 36th and 86th Detachments were given 4,110 yellow, red and blue armbands.

At the time of the crime, in Poklek and its surrounding, there was a military-police action involving the 15th Armoured Brigade and 37th Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav Army (YA). The action started on 16 April 1999 and according to the order: "Battle to last 1-2 days."

On 15 April 1999 the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija issued "an order to break up and destroy the STS [Siptar/Albanian terrorist forces] in the Cicavica sector." The 2nd Armoured Brigade and 2nd Motorised Battalion of the 15th Armoured Brigade of the YA were given the task to “establish a blockade on the line . . . V. Belacevac – Krsi Kules (tt.742) – Cica Glava (tt.762) – Poklek.” 

The war diary of 15th the Armoured Brigade of the YA, dated 17 April 1999, stated that the 1st and 2nd Armoured Battalion were carrying out Operation Cicavica.

The 37th Motorised Brigade of the YA was given a specific task in the orders issued: "to support the MoI forces in breaking up and destroying the STF in direction: Chechen-Koruzi- Vasiljevo and to destroy the STF on the western slopes of Mt. Cicavica and in the following regions: villages Dobroševac and Vasiljevo." Poklek is located on the western slopes of Mt. Cicavica at about 2 km from the villages of Dobroševac/Dobroshec and Vasiljevo/Vasilevë (the Municipality of Glogovac/Gllogoc).

One proof that the 37th Motorised Brigade of the YA was in the immediate vicinity of Poklek at the time of the crime is the "Survey of incidents, events and intelligence of security significance recorded in the period 0600 hours on 15 April to 0600 hours on 16 April," which stated that one VJ member from Raška was killed and several were injured on 15 April 1999 in the village of Donji Poklek, the Municipality of Glogovac. The home barracks of the 37th mtbr were in Raška.