Rape Camps During The Serbian War

1992-5: Serbian rape camps - fact and fiction.

This is a difficult subject and one the horror of which should not be minimised.

Many far worse horrors happen in war-time, death on a colossal scale, the maiming of soldiers and civilians alike. And there is the classic statement that truth is the first casualty of war which makes it difficult and at times impossible to distinguish fact from fiction.

The Bosnian War of 1992-5 was particularly vicious, and if it did not actually spawn the phrase ethnic clensing, it certainly popularised it.

Whether or not camps were set up specifically for the rape of women, there was organised, systematic rape, which resulted in indictments for rape being added to the other charges faced by the defendants when they stood trial at the International Court in The Hague.

Having said that, an Associated Press report dated April 15, 1997 published here from The Florida Times-Union points out that Milojika Antic told investigators in 1996 that she was raped repeatedly over a six week period at the Čelebići camp in central Bosnia, but at The Hague claimed to have been raped only three times, by Hazim Delić.

Under cross-examination, Antic said:

“I was in a state of shock. I did not even know what I was saying.”

That is a poor excuse, more likely she wanted to exact revenge on the people who had held her captive and mistreated her. That is understandable, but the law views things differently.

On November 16, 1998, Delić was convicted of violations of the laws and customs of war, murder, cruel treatment, torture and pillage...

That first one always gets me - rules of war - throw a six to start, and if you land on a snake, go to the bottom of the ladder. Seriously?

He received a twenty year sentence - reduced to eighteen on appeal - and was released in 2008, which was rather lenient for the crimes concerned, but who am I to judge?

Doutless there were many other women who exaggerated the extent of their suffering, including rape, and a few who claimed they were raped who were not raped at all. Having said that, and having no way to assess its veracity, I proffer this document without comment.

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