KOSOVO....

 

  THE HIDDEN SIDE OF THE RELIGIOUS CLEANSING

     Page (6)

                       We don't have the Exact numbers of Women who were raped by
                       Serbian Soldiers but the basic exceptions  says they are
                       tens of  thousands.

                       During The Massacres of Bosnia on 1995 a 15 years old girl
                       was  raped  more than once by 5 Serbian soldiers... this girl is
                      dying now in a  hospital in Sarajevo because of the advanced
                      effects of "HIV".
                      We intended to put in this page images of women who  have been
                      killed after they were raped but we believed that those photos
                      may be  misused and  we don't want to cause more pain to the
                      victims' relatives.

                      

                Below is a report of Washington Post :

                                          Washington Post Foreign Service   Tuesday, April 13, 1999; Page A01

SKOPJE, Macedonia, April 12—She told her story in a darkened tent that had
been cleared of family members ignorant of her secret. Her long brown hair
was tied in back, and her body remained exceptionally still, as if she were
afraid to let her limbs express emotion. Her tone was flat and unhesitating.

Less than two weeks ago, the 21-year-old woman was living with her family in
a comfortable home in a hillside neighborhood of Pristina, the capital of
Kosovo. Today, her world has been reduced to a tent in a refugee camp, and
she asked two reporters to protect her privacy by contracting her name to the
single initial B.

While fleeing Pristina on April 1 -- during a mass expulsion of ethnic
Albanians by Serb-led Yugoslav forces -- she said she was torn away from her
family and raped in a garage by four masked soldiers. They then freed her in
time to board a packed refugee train that took her and her family into exile.

Similar stories are starting to emerge from ethnic Albanian refugees who have
crossed from Kosovo into Albania and Macedonia in recent weeks. Western
officials and human rights groups say that scores of women have reported
being raped since the Belgrade government started waging all-out war in
Kosovo against separatist rebels and ethnic Albanian civilians supporting
rebel demands for independence.

Last week, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said that U.S. officials had
received unconfirmed but "very disturbing reports" that ethnic Albanian women
had been raped at an army training camp near the southern Kosovo town of
Djakovica. "This is a very eerie and disturbing echo of documented instances
of rape and killing of women in Bosnia during the Bosnian war," he said.

During that conflict, Bosnian Serb forces carried out a systematic campaign
of rape against Bosnian Muslim and Croat women, resulting in several
indictments by the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague.

So far, the Kosovo violence has produced far fewer such reports, and rape has
not yet become a major focus by human rights interviewers at refugee camps
here and in northern Albania. But some officials say this may be due to the
great reluctance of ethnic Albanian women -- most of them Muslims and members
of a highly conservative culture -- to disclose that they have been raped.

"It's not the best time to be doing in-depth interviewing on this subject,"
said a woman here with long experience interviewing rape victims. "But I'm
sure we will find it, because . . . I don't think there's any conflict where
it hasn't happened."

B. was reluctant to talk about her experience and did so only after being
promised she would not be identified. Her account was corroborated
independently by other refugees, including a sister and two strangers.

She said that at 11 a.m. on April 1, a soldier appeared on the street outside
her home and ordered all ethnic Albanians to leave Pristina -- and Kosovo
itself. "This is our land; go to Albania," the soldier shouted. Other
soldiers were firing guns into the air. B.'s family filed into the narrow
streets with hundreds of neighbors, where soldiers and militiamen waited to
herd them toward Pristina's rail station.

Before leaving their house, B.'s 58-year-old father had asked her, her two
sisters, mother and three brothers -- aged 12, 19 and 23 -- to hide cash in
their pockets. But once outside, two soldiers quickly stopped the family,
seized the two older brothers and demanded $3,000 to spare their lives. Their
father said he did not have that much, explaining that he worked for a
state-run company and offering to show them a document to prove that he
earned only 200 dinars a month -- about $120.

"You have to get the money," B. recalled the soldiers saying. Her father
began to shout on the street, "Does someone please have some money, because
they are holding my sons?" But no one was willing to part with money they
might need to buy their own lives or the lives of their families. Finally,
the soldiers agreed to free the boys for about 300 dinars.

Farther down the street, a soldier motioned to B. to step out of the crowd.
He was wearing a green face mask, a blue flak jacket, a green T-shirt and
green trousers.

Her father asked, "Could you please let her go?" He tried to reassure his
daughter that the man only wanted more cash. "Don't worry," he said. But her
sister sensed something worse was coming and together with her brother's wife
began to protest as the soldier started to lead B. toward a nearby garage.

"I thought that they were going to keep her," the sister said. The soldier
demanded that the family walk farther down the street, but her youngest
brother refused. He dared the soldier to shoot him before his father dragged
him away and walked on ahead with the boy's other sisters. She said she told
the soldier: "I emptied my pockets earlier; I have only this ring." But he
said "Keep the ring and come here."

Although she doubts now that she could identify her attackers, B. recounted
every aspect of the rape in meticulous, searing detail.

The garage had a metal door and concrete walls, and there was an expensive
foreign car in it, she said. At one end was a smaller room filled with
gardening tools. B. said she was terrified to see four or five other men
inside, some wearing black masks and others green masks.

Once the door was shut, the man who had seized her started to take off his
mask, but another man warned him not to do so. That man, too, said he wanted
money, prompting B. to plead that she had already given up all she had. But
he pulled down her pants and pushed her to the back of the garage. She
grabbed the handle of a shovel to steady herself, and he struck her. Then he
and three other men raped her.

All the men kept their masks on, and B., who speaks Albanian but not Serbian,
said she could understand little of what they said. The soldiers then pushed
her back onto the street without allowing her to dress; she said one of their
officers told them to let her "go to Albania."

When she caught up to her parents and siblings, her face bloody, they told
her they had begun to fear she was dead. Her sister remembers her replying:
"I would rather be dead. I would rather they killed me than what they did to
me. . . . I believe God will punish them."

After arriving at the refugee camp in Macedonia, B. submitted to a doctor's
examination so she could obtain a written report explaining the loss of her
virginity -- for the sake of a future spouse, she said. For now she said, she
is worried she might be pregnant.
  

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company


                 
 

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