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Serbian Rape Camps: A Testimony

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Serbian Rape Camps: A Testimony

30,000 Croatian and Bosnian women have been impregnated and forced to near Serbian children.

As details of "ethnic cleansing" have emerged from the Serbian war against Croatia, and now against Bosnia,a widespread pattern of rape, including concentration camps specifically for that purpose, has shocked the world. Croatian women's groups estimate that approximately 35,000 Muslim and Croatian women and children are now being held tn rape/death camps, and that 30,000 women have been impregnated and forced to bear Serbian children. These crimes against humanity are properly described as genocidal

What follows is taken from testimony which came to AGENDA by way of Natalie Nenadic. a U-M Law School research scholar. Nenadic, who was in Bosnia and Croatia as recently as October, has been working with women's groups documenting widespread and systematic crimes against women in that region. The story is from a 17-year-old Bosnian Muslim student, who is now a refugee in Zagreb, Croatia. Her village was captured by Serbian paramilitary forces (called "chetniks") in April 1992. She was held for three months, at which time she escaped.

We asked "where are you taking us," and they said "just wait and you'll see soon enough." With automatic machine guns they immediately shot the elderly women and men who did not want to leave. They threw the rest of us into a former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) truck. There were many trucks. There were 24 of us in the truck I was thrown in, among whom were girls of around 12 years of age. Otherwise there were only women in that truck - only women up to the age of 25.

We went through some woods on the way to the occupied part of the city. I didn't recognize any of these chetniks - they wore uniforms of the former JNA. In those woods they took us out of the truck and began taking us to some rooms which were for the most part dug out of the ground, resembling mining areas or spaces. There was no light. There were over 100 of us in this space. Here, I saw only women. There were elderly and younger women here.

Here they began beating us and said that they are taking revenge against Croatians and Muslims. One young woman asked: "But you're not taking revenge against the Serbs?" and they said: "No, they are our people." They killed that young woman, who was called Sandra and was around 19 years of age. They took her outside and executed her by random firing squad. I know that there were more women from other rooms who were taken out for execution by firing squad.

During the entire time of our captivity we were in those closed spaces. It was always dark in the rooms while a light bumed in the hall. During my entire stay in the concentration camp they gave us bread and water. Usually they gave it to us twice a day , that is, one slice of bread each time, and water. We didn't get any other type of food. There was no exit from those rooms, nor the possibility of having any medical care delivered to us. Often we heard screams, shrieks and cries for help coming from the other rooms.

After my arrival in the concentration camp, they raped me right away, that is, the concentration camp guards and other chetniks who came in from the outside, which means that they weren't among those stationed in the concentration camp. They raped me in the room in front of all of the rest of the women and that was repeated many times over, and there were many chetniks there when they were raping me. The rest of the women were yelling and defending me, but they were beaten.

The chetniks said: "You will give birth to a Serbian child" and "We're doing this out of revenge." Among the chetniks who were rapists , there were old and young men. With some of the women, the chetniks tied their hands with rope before raping them. They beat them with their feet and with their hands, with everything and anything which was at hand.

Now I am 4 1/2 months pregnant.


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