Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Muslim Women Protest Change to Lukic Indictment

(TU No 471, 06-Oct-06)
The Association of Woman Victims of War gathered outside the United Nations building in Nedzarici in Sarajevo on October 5 to demonstrate against the failure to include rape in the indictment either before or after it was altered in June 2006.

The UN building hosts the Hague tribunal’s head office in Bosnia.

Lukic, who was the leader of the notorious Bosnian-Serb paramilitary force known as the “White Eagles” or “Avengers,” is currently charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to the protestors, Lukic raped large numbers of Bosnian-Muslim women while leading the force, which operated in the municipality of Visegrad in south-eastern Bosnia between 1992 and 1994.

One unidentified woman protestor told the local media that she was in Visegrad when the war broke out in 1992.

“I was raped by Milan Lukic in April and May 1992,” she said. “He took me away from the outside of the building where I was staying in Nova Mahala.”

Another protestor told Bosnian state BH Radio 1 that she saw her mother “taken away to be abused”.

“I, a seven-year-old, was forced to take my clothes off,” she said. “We came here to send a message to the tribunal to at least partially relieve us of this pain we are feeling.”

The women’s association has also sent an appeal to the UN Security Council asking for the Hague tribunal to be kept in operation at least until the arrests of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb political and military chiefs, respectively,who are also on the most wanted list.

Association president Bakira Hasecic told BH Radio 1 that “it is obvious that the UN Security Council is denying the tribunal its support”.

Hasecic alleged that the Security Council has been pressuring the tribunal to cut its work short. In doing so, she said, it is ignoring hundreds of raped girls and women.

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