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'On the list they had me marked as a nationalist'
Interview with a Serbian woman threatened by the opposition
Interview was conducted the
morning of 10-5-2000, prior to the coup, and posted 10-10
Interviewer: Jared Israel
The following interview was conducted prior to the attack on Parliament and other Yugoslav institutions last week. The interview was conducted in English and is accurate to the word. Mirjana's identity has been withheld, despite her insistence that I reveal it.
Jared: I got an email from [name of mutual friend]. She said you had been threatened or something?
Mirjana: Yes, a man was waiting when I came to work. He threatened to kill me if I went to vote in the second part of the elections. This also happened to many other people, not just to me.
Jared: Can you talk about it?
Mirjana: Of course. You see, Jared, I did not expect this. I think I am always doing right things so I never think that there is anybody in this world who is doing something bad to me. And do you know when he came close to me, in that moment when I realized what is going on I just said to myself, because you know I have experience from the war in Republic of Serbian Krajina [when Croatia attacked this Serbian area] just to look at his eyes all the time. His stayed there three or four minutes and it was so bad.
Jared: You are very brave. Was he young or old?
Mirjana: He was about 40 years old. And you know, I think that I met him several years ago and that he is a Serbian man from Germany. He looked familiar and I had all day yesterday to think. And now I remember that he was coming from U.S. some years ago to complain and give his opinions.
You see, Jared, I am sure that I'm doing very good things, I am really fighter for freedom for everybody in this world. And if God is going to allow that they do me something bad it is no matter. I am not afraid for myself.
They are doing this all around Belgrade. Even in the supermarkets they are telling people that they are going to kill people if they try to vote, that they are not allowed to go to vote. Can you imagine this?
Jared: Isnt that going to turn people against them? The word will spread -
Mirjana: Of course.
Jared: Have you told other people.
Mirjana: Yesterday morning I called my friends of course because first of all I wanted them to know because I am scared for them because they are also people like me, big fighters
But there are so many people they have threatened, even people living on my street, they have been threatened too. Because do you know, people from Democratic Parties, they have all lists with citizens of voters of Belgrade. And one man from DOS he came, you know from this democratic opposition parties, he came to my work to talk to me and showed me that list. In our country it is a crime to have a list of the citizens who are voters. So all the people on the list, they were marked if they were members of the Socialist Party or Serbian Radical Party or Communist Party. I was marked as a nationalist. You understand? So I told him first this is a crime. And second, as want to represent people in government, this is a very bad thing that you have something like this list. So now I know how they can be so well organized, to threaten all the voters. Because they have all informations about people. Especially they are now pressuring people who have never been to any political party. Pressuring them not to go and vote. But a lot of them will go now because they are angry.
You cannot tell me not to go to work or to vote. I want to have my personal opinion. Serbian people hate to be pressed. Especially Serbian women. Can you imagine? To try to scare me! My father he is peasant from Krajina.
[Note: the Krajina is a mountainous section near Croatia and inhabited for hundreds of years almost entirely by ethnic Serb farmers. When Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia in June, 1991, the Croatian neo-fascists tried to subjugate the Krajina Serbs, but were roundly defeated. The West then brokered a peace agreement disadvantageous to the Serbs, who were disarmed. Four years later, the Croatian army, trained by a CIA-connected private military organization called MPRI, and with US air support, drove the entire population of Krajina from their homes - 250,000 people in a few days. These people are now refugees in Serbia. The MPRI is now involved in training the paramilitary forces of the secessionist government in Montenegro.]
Mirjana: We prefer to die before we accept to be a slave. I got so mad. I think these people took the U.S. money and promised something to American government and so they're scared. They are afraid of the Americans so now they try to scare me and other people - and you know most of the people they threatened are women - can you imagine?
Jared: Did you tell your husband?
Mirjana: Of course. You know, he's my best friend. But he knows that I am enough crazy that I can protect myself.
Jared: We're all a little crazy
Mirjana: We're not crazy, we have crazy politicians. If there are people listening to your phone from your country's secret police, let me tell them something: you should stop these stupid people to do such bad things in our country.. If you want an Empire, don't you need women to have children? It is not smart to threaten women and try to scare them. Can you imagine, a new Empire which is trying to run the world by scaring women?
Jared: Kidnapping them too. The Sunday Times says 500 000 women a year are kidnapped out of Eastern Europe, sold.
Mirjana: Can you imagine things like this? But this will not work, no, especially not with the Serbian women because we are very strong. When we get mad we are capable of doing many things.
Jared: Thank you for talking about this. I was worried when I heard you were being harassed.
Mirjana: Don't worry for your friend.
Jared: But I'm going to publicize it. But I don't want to use your name of course and -
Mirjana: Write my name! Why not? Do you want to say where they threatened, the address?
Jared: The address? I don't -
Mirjana: Yes, say it. [Despite her demand I have not published Mirjana's full name or address.-JI] I was a member of Djindjic's party but I am not a member, not anymore. Because they are involved in crime. Racketing. I found this out and you can write it all now. Because now I am mad. I hate when somebody threaten me.