The Bosnian Croat criminal Azra Alešević Bašić -

Period: Yugoslav Wars

Region: Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Bosnian Croat criminal Azra Alešević Bašić

Azra Alešević-Bašić is a former member of the 111th Rijeka Brigade of the Army of the Republic of Croatia (although there is information that it was the 108th Brigade of the Croatian Army), who took part in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s.

She was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the horrific torture of Serbian civilians in camps for Serbs, from Bosanski Brod to Derventa.

Because of her cruelty, she was nicknamed "Bloody Azra" and "Azra - two knives".

She took part in the torture of dozens of Serbian prisoners and was active in at least three camps between April and July 1992.

For many years, she was hiding in the United States under a false identity. She was deported from the United States to Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2016. Her trial lasted a year in Sarajevo, but the verdict was minimal in contrast to the crimes committed.



Azra Bašić (née Alešević) was born on June 22, 1959, in Rijeka near Istria, in the far west of FR Croatia, then part of the former Yugoslavia.

Although her parents were born in the vicinity of Doboj (B&H), in the mid-1950s, they came to Rijeka searching for a better life. 

Her father was a naval captain and traveled all over the world by boat. She didn’t miss out on anything in her childhood. She married in Rijeka (Croatia) and gave birth to a son.

At the beginning of the war in the 1990s, she returned to her homeland as a volunteer. Her son later died of a heart attack, when they found themselves in a conflict environment.

Sometime around March 1, 1994, she remarried Nedžad Bašić from Derventa. She divorced in 2005 when she emigrated to the United States.



The first torture camp for Serbs in Derventa was formed on April 12, 1992, in the House of the Yugoslav People's Army across the town hall which was occupied by members of the Muslim-Croat paramilitary forces. Earlier, the property of Serbs in Derventa was burned and looted.

Azra Bašić always carried two knives in her military boots. She often engraved crosses or four letters "S" on her victims. For a short time, she was captured by Serbian soldiers. After the exchange, she joined the Croatian paramilitary.

Detainees Radojica Garić and Dragan Kovačević, along with twenty other detainees confirmed that Azra Bašić slaughtered (stabbed in the neck) Blagoje Djuraš, who was a calm and introverted man, employed as an accountant in Derventa. Djuraš was illegally arrested and brought to the camp of the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) House in Derventa. He was beaten several times by Croatian and Muslim paramilitaries.

Azra Bašić dragged the other detainees who had been beaten and tied up by their hair and forced them to drink blood from Djuraš. She cut off the sexual organ of one prisoner because he allegedly participated in the rape of a girl.

Before each massacre and torture of Serbs, she laughed out loud. None of the prisoners were allowed to look her in the eye because they would be tortured immediately. She is also accused of the death of Čedo Ćudić.

In her tortures, Azra knew how to use pliers. So she often plucked the inmates' ears or grabbed their testicles. She forced the Serb detainees to strip naked, to lie on the floor full of broken glass, and then she would sit on their backs.

She forced the detainees to drink gasoline, and then she would burn them, to make their pain even greater. This information is in the testimony of Sreten Jovanović.

Detainee Mile Kuzmanović from Derventa testified before the investigating authorities that he remained 100% disabled after Azra's torture. One of the ways she tortured the inmates was by forcing them to swallow a handful of salt. They had to eat coins, she beat them with metal rods, electric cables, she put a hot poker on their bodies. Luka Golub has testified about this.



Azra Bašić and her husband emigrated to the United States to the city of Rochester, in New York, on the east coast of the United States, in the late 1990s. She hid her identity.

She did various jobs in the United States and later, she got divorced. She even became an American citizen and started living with Americans in 2006: Steve Lohmann and his wife Lucy in the small town of Stenon in the southwest near Los Angeles (western United States).

The Luis family described Azra as a stocky, hard-working woman with a big heart, who was always sweaty when she watched war movies or violent scenes. She introduced herself as the "Mediterranean" Izabel Kovačević.

In America she often changed identities and addresses, hiding her dark past.



Azra Bašić was first indicted for war crimes in 1993, and the documentation was compiled by the Prosecutor's Office of the Republika Srpska, according to the indictment of the District Court in Doboj.

In 2004, she was located by Interpol in the American state of Kentucky, and in October 2006, an international arrest warrant was issued. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Prosecutor's Office did not submit a request for extradition until February 2007 with evidence. U.S. authorities requested additional evidence in addition to what was sent. This was done only in April 2010.

On March 15, 2011, Azra was arrested by the FBI - the federal US police and handed over to the Lexington District Court.

A large number of weapons without permits were found in the house where she was arrested, near the Lohmann family. In July 2012, the US Federal Court ruled that there were no obstacles to her extradition to B&H. Yet, she was not delivered until November 2016.

A trial was held in Sarajevo during 2016-2017. The jury ruled that she was guilty of torture, killing, and abusing Serbs in Derventa. She was sentenced to only 14 years in prison, although by the law, she should have been sentenced to at least 40 years of strict imprisonment, i.e. life imprisonment.



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