© 2002 Friends of Bosnia  

I think we are still not normal…the killings have left us bad consequences. Every day we never forget them. “ Hasan Bilalli (small photo, far right) spoke of the massacre that occurred on January 15,1999 in Racak when 52 civilians, including children and a 99- year-old man, were killed by Serb forces. The massacre was a jolting wake-up call to the West and the decisive event leading to intervention against Serb forces. Hasan was wounded in the leg and a bullet went through his back. Two of his sons were also injured.

“I am now living with 27 members of my family in one room. Everything else burned.”

“Slavs had no mercy… One man was decapitated. They never found his head. I think Serbs took it as a trophy… They said he and others were terrorists. The dead didn’t have guns.”
“Over 2,000 Serb forces came in from the back hills over night, surrounding the town with tanks. There were only 50 KLA soldiers protecting us and they battled with the Serbs for three days until a ceasefire. We saw the OSCE trucks in the pine woods near Cesta Hill and we felt protected. But Serbs didn’t respect the agreement. Soon after, they started the killing. Mutilated bodies were left behind. They shot nine KLA soldiers, including my son.”

“The Hague tribunal never sent anyone to ask us for the names of the criminals… I know where the criminals are — in Lipjan and Gracanica. Why is Mr. Kouchner protecting the criminals and not allowing justice to happen? Why does KFOR search my house and not Serbs’ houses? Children are scared. To them, they are all the same. They can’t tell good soldiers from bad.”

“If Clinton comes here, all of Kosovo will cheer…But don’t forget, you are also enemies of Serbs. In their minds, the US will always be their enemies.”




Top: Farmers await the call to prayer at the Racak mosque. The white cap or plis is traditionally worn by elderly Albanian men.
1) Memorial gravesite on the hillside overlooking the village. Graves are marked with large circular bags filled with pine needles and colorful plastic flowers.
3) Massacre survivor
4) Hasan Bilalli, survivor