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Bosnia: Bosnian Muslim Beaten to Death in Serb Police Custody

Sarajevo, August 8 (RFE/RL) -- A Bosnian Muslim man has died after being arrested by Bosnian Serb police. A post mortem indicated he suffered a fatal beating, says the United Nations. U.N. Spokesman Patrik Svensson told reporters in Sarajevo today that the man was taken into custody by Serb police in the northern Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka on July 31 on charges of possessing an illegal weapon. Svensson said the man was expected to be released the following day, but when his wife went to the police station to collect him she was told he had died of "an unexplained accident."

A pathologist, in a report being delivered to a local Serb judge, had concluded that the man was beaten with a blunt instrument and that the injuries he sustained were not self-inflicted as police had originally stated, said Svensson.

The cause of the man's death was massive internal injuries and bleeding. Svensson called the incident very, very serious.

In a separate incident, the United Nations said a Bosnian Serb policeman is in critical condition in hospital today after being hit by gunfire while patrolling a de facto ethnic boundary line in Sarajevo yesterday. The United Nations says the shooting apparently came from a Muslim-held area of the Bosnian capital.