03-08-2013, 09:33 AM #1
Bosnia - The Women who made rape a War Crime
Nusreta Sivic, a judge, and Jadrenka Cigeldj, a prosecutor, were thrown into a concentration camp in 1992 during the Bosnian War. During the day, the women listened to the sounds of men being tortured to death. During the night, the guards would round up the women and rape them over and over again.
Nusreta prayed for the day that a bullet or illness would end her suffering. The women and the other survivors of the camp were unexpectedly freed when a group of journalists discovered the camp, and the images of the inmates were shown across the world.
Both women fled to Croatia and began documenting stories of women who were raped, some in special rape camps, during the war. It became abundantly clear that there was a systematic organized approach to the rape of the women in Bosnia-there is a similar pattern in the current conflicts in the Congo and in Sierra Leone.
They spent years transcribing testimonies, convincing victims to break their silence and putting together legal dossiers which they then presented to the investigators at the International Tribunal for War Crimes in Former Yugoslavia, based in The Hague.
The effort finally paid off in June 1995 when the two traveled to The Hague to take part in preparations for the first indictment by the Yugoslav war crimes court.
Their collected evidence exposed the magnitude of rape which courts could no longer ignore. According to the United Nations, it was a major "turning point" in recognizing rape as a war crime.email me
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