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Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Commanding officers bear criminal responsibility for a pattern of gang-rapes by Serbian and Yugoslav forces in Kosovo during the NATO bombing campaign, Human Rights Watch said in a report Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia Kosovo: Rape as a weapon of "ethnic cleasing". Human Rights Watch documented 96 cases of rape by Serbian and Yugoslav forces against Kosovar Albanian women immediately before and during the bombing campaign, and believes that many more incidents of rape have gone unreported. The report said that rapes were not rare and isolated acts committed by individuals, but rather were used deliberately as an instrument to terrorize the civilian population, extort money from families, and push people to flee their homes. Virtually all of the sexual assaults Human Rights Watch has documented were gang rapes involving at least two perpetrators. The page report is the first to combine all credible reporting on rape during the Kosovo conflict, and includes a map in format of all documented incidents of rape in Kosovo.

He threatened to slash her skin in the shape of a crucifix if the Muslim woman refused to have sex. FWS said the drunken men did "whatever they wanted" to her.

One bit her neck until she was covered with blood. But she refused to let the proceedings be adjourned.

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The women, identified only by codes, were among the 16 survivors who testified for the prosecution in the Foca rape trial, named after the southeast Bosnian city overrun by Serb forces at the outset of the ethnic war that lasted from to An estimated 50, girls and women were raped during the conflict.

The proceedings have been going on since March at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, an ad hoc court set up by the United Nations, down the street from the International Court of Justice in this seaside Dutch city of The Hague. Almost every night in the summer and fall ofSerb soldiers would enter the detention centers and select their victims from among the female prisoners lying on gym mats, the witnesses testified.

The women were taken to classrooms and private apartments where they were sexually assaulted, forced to dance nude and then compelled to perform degrading domestic chores. Some were kept as personal sex slaves by former neighbors-much older men whose wives and families they knew. Although rape has been part of warfare since men began doing battle, what distinguished it in the Bosnian conflict was its perpetration in a systematic, widespread manner with official encouragement.

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Rape was used as a tool of "ethnic cleansing" campaigns, prosecutors say. Now, prosecutors in The Hague are trying for the first time in history to make rape punishable as one of the most serious crimes under international law.

The defense case currently is underway. Kunarac, the key defendant, took the witness stand and laund into a long, rambling alibi. He admitted to having sex with only one of the witnesses-and claimed that he was seduced.

A captured Serb soldier in Sarajevo, the capital, has told journalists that men in his unit were ordered to rape. The soldier, Borislav Herak, admitted violating two Muslim women at a "rape motel" Serbs 'enslaved Muslim women at rape camps' A trial at the Hague and a new report show that women were abused as a method of war across Yugoslavia hears how soldiers brutalised girls as young as 12 Serbian girl Branka Djukic was murdered by two Albanians who intercepted her while she was returning home from school. After she resisted rape attempt, she was shot in the head and left in the middle of the road. The way the murder was committed was especially cruel

Several glared at their torturers, one testified with her back to the men. Let the world know what they did! In her book, "War Crimes against Women," scholar Kelly Dawn Askin says Bosnian Muslim women were prized targets because, in their patriarchal culture, communal pride was inextricably linked to their virginity-or their fidelity as married women.

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Because the transmission of identity is patrilineal in both Serb Orthodox and Muslim traditions, the women were taunted about the Serb babies they would bear as a result of the rapes. exchanged, sold or transferred them to other soldiers. As the case began, an adjacent court continued hearing evidence against the Bosnian Serb General, Radislav Kirstic, accused of genocide in the Srebrenica massacre - the most senior officer to face the tribunal.

Kosovo: Rape as a weapon of "ethnic cleasing". Human Rights Watch documented 96 cases of rape by Serbian and Yugoslav forces against Kosovar Albanian Serbian women and girls were raped and tortured in Bosniak-run brothels in Sarajevo. In Doboj, Bosnian Serb forces separated the females from the men and then facilitated the rape of some women by their own male family members. Women were questioned about male relatives in the city, and one woman's fourteen-year-old son was forced to rape her. Men and boys. A lesser known form of rape Emira, who says she was one of the 10 women who escaped rape - she told the Serbs that she had a two month old baby - describes the rapists as both cruel and systematic. 'After the first night

Mr Kunarac, Mr Kovac and Mr Vukovic were at the other end of the Serb chain of command when war came to the Muslim majority town of Foca, in the Drina valley close to the border with Montenegro. Videos showed Foca as it was before springa sleepy town of red-roofed buildings including the Partizan sports Hall, the high school and the Hotel Zelengora - all later used for rapes.

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What happened to the Muslim women of Foca occurred purely because of their ethnicity or religion, and because they were women. Mr Kunarac had his headquarters in a "rape house" to which he transported captive women, the prosecutor said.

Twenty-five years have passed since Rana was raped but she remembers like it was yesterday. It was 6pm on the 9 May when Serbian soldiers attacked her Bosnian village in Brcko District, burnt of Serb women and girls. "Women who were not so many in the camp as men were subjected to brutal torture and humiliated. I can say that they were raped in front of The women, identified only by codes, were among the 16 survivors who testified for the prosecution in the Foca rape trial, named after the southeast Bosnian city overrun by Serb forces at the outset of the ethnic war that lasted from to An estimated 50, girls and women were raped during the conflict

Mr Vukovic, 44, a waiter and driver before the war, repeatedly led gang rapes. Witness 48 was told she would have her throat slashed if she resisted. Mr Vukovic "bit her nipples until they bled and pind her breasts until she fainted from pain".

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Four of the 72 women held in the Partizan sports hall were raped almost nightly for a month. Witness was raped for six months.

Another victim, described as AB, was just 12 when she was sold by Mr Kovac, 8, to a soldier for Deutschmarks ? She is still missing. Witness 50 was raped on the night of August 2, - the night the town's mosque was destroyed - after being taken away by Mr Kunarac. She was raped by a Montenegrin soldier who threatened to cut off her arms and legs and take her to a church to baptise her.

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