Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mass Rape, Forced Pregnancy, Genocide

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1 Feb 1993

In February 1993, Equality Now sent Feryal Gharahi, a Muslim lawyer and a board member of Equality Now, to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Here are some of her findings:

When the Serbian forces came to Miljevina, they turned the local gymnasium into a rape camp. Families were separated, and women and children were kept in the gym, where all of the women and girls over ten years old were raped in the first few days. In the camp that was set up by the Serbian forces in Miljevina, there was an old Serbian guard, a retired coal miner named Luka-Elez, who particularly liked to rape young children between the ages of 10 and 15 years. A 10-year old girl in this camp was taken away every night to be raped and brought back to her mother in the morning. Women and girls were raped at knife-point. If they resisted, their throats were slit.

There are rape camps all over the country. Thousands of women are being raped and killed. Thousands of women are pregnant as a result of rape. Over and over again, everywhere I went in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatian refugee camps, women told me stories of abomination - of being kept in a room, raped repeatedly and told they would be held until they gave birth to Serbian children. I heard stories of men being raped, of forced incest—fathers forced to rape daughters, brothers forced to rape sisters. There is a deliberate and systematic campaign being carried out by Serbian forces to destroy the sexuality, the family structure, the lives and the spirit of non-Serbian, and particularly Moslem people who live in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

As you read this, women are being raped and killed systematically in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Testimony after testimony confirms that mass rape and forced pregnancy are part of the Serbian genocidal "ethnic cleansing" policy which is carried out under orders. There are individuals directly responsible for these atrocities. They have issued orders to rape and kill and they have the power to stop this genocide at any time. They have names and faces. Radovan Karadzic, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, is one such name and his face is on this poster.

What You Can Do: 

Use the poster below to encourage discussion in the media and elsewhere of the personal responsibility that leaders such as Radovan Karadzic have for the ongoing atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Get the poster published in local newspapers, put it on billboards, hand it out at public events. Send copies of ads or photos of the poster, or the poster itself, to your government representatives and to the Security Council at the United Nations, New York, New York 10017. Call for immediate action to stop the genocidal rape and killing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You can also try to send the poster and other messages of protest directly to Radovan Karadzic by fax at 38-11-235-1213.