Meet Baby Emina, Born to Muslim Rape Victim in the Bosnian Genocide
13 January 1993.
ZAGREB, Croatia — She has no official name, but nurses at Petrova maternity hospital call her Emina [Bosnian Muslim name].
The baby was born in November to 17-year-old Bosniak girl who said she was raped repeatedly during three months in a Serb-run detention camp near Teslic in central Bosnia.
“She didn’t want to see the baby after the birth. She just left,” said Veselko Grizelj, the Zagreb hospital’s chief obstetrician. Where she went, is not known. Grizelj said the dark-haired infant has become the favorite of the hospital staff.
Baby Emina was to be transferred this week from the hospital to a home for abandoned children run by the local chapter of Caritas, a Roman Catholic charity.
Accounts of widespread rape by forces fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s civil war began surfacing earlier this year. Serb forces have been blamed most often.
The European Community, in a report issued last week, said some 20,000 women may have been raped by Serb fighters as part of a “deliberate pattern” of terror.
The charities and Croatian officials have received many offers to adopt such babies, but they say their hands are legally tied.
Children born to Bosnian women are technically Bosnian citizens, and thus their adoptions would fall under Bosnian law.
Emina is the second baby born to a raped mother in Petrova hospital, Grizelj said.
Last August, a Croat woman from a village near the Croatian town of Vukovar, gave birth to a boy. The child was adopted by a Croatian couple.