Doboj Genocide, Serbs Raped 2,000-2,500 Bosniak & Croat Women & Children
Excerpt from “Mass rape: the war against women in Bosnia-Herzegovina” By Alexandra Stiglmayer, Marion Faber
“I saw about seven or eight little girls who died after they were raped. I saw how they took them away to be raped and then brought them back unconscious. They three them down in front of us…”
The Rape Camp in Doboj
According to the statements of three women, there was a women’s camp in the northern Bosnian town of Doboj in which approximately 2,000 Bosniak and Croatian women as well as a few children were detained in May and June 1992 (three years before the Srebrenica genocide. Note that Doboj Genocide is another legally validated case of genocide in Bosnia.). This number is very high, and I have discussed it at length with the women. They insist it is correct and say that the gymnasium of the Djure Pucar Stari school in which they were housed was very big, that international handball tournaments were held in it previously, that it even had tiers of seats, and that it was “completely overcrowded.”
“We couldn’t move without stepping on somebody,” says forty-year-old Kadira.” “There might even have been 2,500 women.”
Up on the ceiling there were glass blocks, like little windows. They really should’ve turned the lights on in the gym, but we were in the men, “at the same time,” says Ifeta, pointing to her mouth and backside. “And while they were doing it they said I was going to have a baby by them and that it’d be an honor for a Muslim woman to give birth to a Serbian kid.”
After that, rapes were a part of Ifeta’s daily life. During the next five weeks that she had to spend at the camp, she reports, she was raped every second day on the average by two or three men. It was always a gang rape, they always cursed and humiliated her during it, and the rapists very frequently forced her to have oral sex with them. “For them the camp was like a fruit salad … or to put it better, a livestock stand. Anyone could pass by and just take whatever he wanted, just do whatever he wanted. The serbs had the power.”
Kadira [Bosnian Muslim woman]
Kadira and Ziba were brought to the camp somewhat later, at the beginnign of June . They too had been arrested during the Serbian army’s invasion, but they first spent three weeks in a “decent” internment camp in the neighboring village. The horror began when they arrived at the women’s camp in Doboj. Kadira relates:
“It was a camp of abuses, humiliations, rapes … I don’t know how to put it into words. Everything, everything, the very worst thing there is, that’s what they did there. Sometimes they’d be coming back from the front, where they suffered some losses. Then they’d be completely out of control. They’d just run through the hall, pull us out by our hair, and beat us.”
It is hard for her to speak about what she experienced. “You know, you can only talk about it with someone who’s gone through the same thing. You can’t describe it with words.”
“After a while: They pushed bottle necks into our sex [organs], they even stuck shattered, broken bottles into some women … Guns too. And then you don’t know if he’s going to fire, you’re scared to death, everything else, the rape, becomes less impotant, even the rape doesn’t seem so terrible to you anymore.”
Haltingly Kadira tells what was done to her. Once she was forced to urinate on the Koran. Another time she and a group of women had to dance naked for the Serbian guards and sing Serbian songs. Sometimes the rapists put their cigarettes out in her hair. She has forgotten how many times she was raped. “They said that each woman had to serve at least ten men a day.” She herself was raped abotu every other day, always by several men.
“God, what horrible things they did. They just came in and humiliated us, raped us, and later they told you, ‘Come on now, if you could have Ustasha babies, then you can have a Chetnik baby, too.'”
Kadira reports further:
“Women who got pregnant, they had to stay there for seven or eight months so they could give birth to a Serbian kid. They had their gynecologists there to examine the women. The pregnant ones were separated off from us and had special privileges; they got meals, they were better off, they were protected. Only when a woman’s in her sevent month, when she can’t do anything about it anymore, then she’s released. Then they usually take these women to Serbia.”
Kadira thinks she knows of few women who got pregnant in the camp, but none of them has been seen again since.
“They beat the women who didn’t get pregnant, especially the younger women; they were supposed to confess what contraceptives they were using.”
She herself had an IUD, which she of course had not revealed. And she was tortured, says Kadira and shows a red scar over her breast..
“That’s where they wounded me with a knife. I refused to get undressed, and then they ripped up my clothes with a knife, and this is where he wounded me.”
Ziba [Bosnian Muslim woman]
Forty-five-year-old ziba, a simple woman, has difficulty speaking about what she has gone trhough. She usually leaves the talking to Kadira, who became her friend after their shared camp experiences and simultaneous release. Ziba just nods in agreement, and when asked what was done to her she replies: “My daughter was raped along with me. First he raped me, and then I had to watch while he raped my little girl.” For months her daughter, fourteen years old, suffered from bleeding and infections. “Now she wants to join the army,” says Ziba, “but I’m not going to let her. She’s still too young.”
The rapists didn’t even shrink back from children, Kadira believes:
“I saw about seven or eight little girls who died after they were raped. I saw how they took them away to be raped and then brought them back unconscious. They three them down in front of us, and we weren’t allowed to look at them; you had to keep looking at the floor the whole time. And then they’d announce: ‘Look, that’s what’ll happen to you too if you resist and disobey Serbian law.’ … If it was in the morning they’d leave them lying there the whole day; if they three them in in the evening they’d stay till the next morning. Then they’d come and collect the bodies. We don’t know where they took them.”
Older women were killed too: “One time they killed a woman who wouldn’t cooperate,” Ifeta reports. “They beat her till she was unconscious, and then they took her away.”
What pains the women more than anything else is that former friends also took part in the violence….