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And life goes on!!!...

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    And life goes on!!!...

    This might be too graphic for some...

    Have we done enough??? i remeber so many people coming out to talk about a certain members removal from gupshup... yet very few threads on kosova... may be its time to change our prioritiees

    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > ! READ & DISTRIBUTE FURTHER !
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Kosova Crisis Center (KCC) News Network: http://www.alb-net.com
    >---------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    >UN AGENCY REPORTS ON RAPE, ABDUCTION OF KOSOVO REFUGEES
    >
    >By Judy Aita
    >USIA United Nations Correspondent
    >
    >United Nations -- Kosovar women refugees have told alarming accounts of
    >rape and abduction, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
    >
    >A report released May 26 by UNFPA said that "Gjakova, Pec, and Drenitza
    >were often indicated as places where kidnapping and collective rapes took
    >place. The women were individually raped by many men during a few hours
    >but sometimes even for days.
    >
    >"It is primarily the young women who are rounded up in villages and small
    >cities," the report said. "The soldiers take groups of 5 to 30 women to
    >unknown places in trucks or they are locked up in houses where the
    >soldiers live. Any resistance is met with threats of being burned
    >alive."
    >
    >"Women who were released have lacerations on their chests, evidence of
    >beating on their arms and legs," the report said. "Their backs also show
    >signs of beatings and they were covered in dirt. Agonizing screams could
    >be heard for many hours."
    >
    >The report, the first attempt by a UN organization to verify the accounts
    >and nature of sexual violence among refugees, was prepared by Dominique
    >Serrano, a psychologist who specializes in sexual violence and trauma
    >counseling. She interviewed women refugees and health care workers in
    >camps around Tirana and Kukes, Albania, during the first week of May
    >1999.
    >
    >The information comes from victims and direct witnesses. The women spoke
    >on the condition of anonymity, came forward to talk with Serrano on their
    >volition, and were not recommended or pre-selected by any humanitarian
    >organization.
    >
    >While reports of sexual violence had been circulating for several months
    >the significant upsurge in sexual violence seems to correspond to the
    >first week NATO began bombing, Serrano said.
    >
    >"New women arriving from Kosovo indicate that the violence is
    >increasing," Serrano said. "According to interviews, it seems that the
    >phenomenon, and in particular the abduction of groups of women, is more
    >and more prevalent."
    >
    >Serrano also fears for the women remaining in Kosovo. The daily
    >evolution of the situation and the weight of the evidence collected from
    >the interviews indicate that even though it existed to some extent

    >already, "the politics of terror have proliferated in the last month
    >based on a deep-seated racism," she said.
    >
    >Kosovar men who tried to interfere were killed on the spot, Serrano
    >reported. One woman was beaten to death in front of the house where her
    >daughters were being tortured.
    >
    >"Families are generally turned out of their homes by armed men and
    >sometimes even by their Serbian neighbors. They often have only a few
    >minutes to leave the premises and sometimes their homes are burned,"
    >Serrano said.
    >
    >One victim's husband said that he saw a building in Prizren where the
    >first floor contained weapons, the second floor was for the soldiers and
    >the third floor contained about 30 women. One of the women who was able
    >to escape was shot down in the street, she said.
    >
    >In the city of Berlenitz a group of 30 young girls was forced to follow
    >the soldiers into a house while the mothers waited outside, Serrano also
    >said. "For two hours the mothers listened to the screams of the young
    >victims who then came out one by one. Some were covered in blood, others
    >were crying and their heads were hanging low."
    >
    >Describing other acts of torture, Serrano said that in Berlenitz young
    >boys had their ears and noses cut off before their throats were slit;
    >many pregnant women's stomachs were cut open and the fetus skewered. The
    >torturers sharpened their knives in front of women and terrorized
    >children.
    >
    >All the victims Serrano interviewed were raped or sexually violated in
    >Kosovo, and none of the women interviewed were locked up for more than
    >three days. Some of the kidnapped women who were taken to unknown places
    >have not yet reappeared, according to their families and neighbors.
    >
    >Serrano said that the victims felt that rape was a "concrete
    >manifestation" of the profound hate which the Serbians feel toward the
    >Kosovars. "Judging from the insults and threats of the torturers, some
    >victims were allowed to live so that they could tell other people about
    >the determination of Serbian power, and thus eliminate any desire on the
    >part of the refugees to return," she said.
    >
    >Some of the women described themselves as being forever "dead" to their
    >families after the violation, which carries tremendous stigma in their
    >society.
    >
    >Serrano discussed the difficulty in getting women to admit to rape let
    >alone seek help for fear of social stigma. Many victims fear being
    >divorced, excluded from their community or family, or fear that a husband
    >will try to take revenge. She added that many women will never discuss
    >what has happened and other cases will only be revealed when women begin
    >giving birth.
    >
    >There were also many other women who did want to talk to Serrano about
    >what happened but only under appropriate circumstances and on conditions,
    >including no men or journalists present.
    >
    >Serrano also found reluctance among some medical personnel in the area to
    >discuss incidents of rape and found other aid workers not trained to
    >handle the situation. She told of one aid worker who used a loud speaker
    >to invite women who had been raped to come forward and complete a
    >questionnaire.

    >
    >While there are volunteers and UN personnel in the maternity hospitals
    >and camps in Tirana who are sensitive to the problems of rape,
    >"unfortunately the amount of work to be done, the number of refugees that
    >need assistance and the lack of specifically trained personnel prevents
    >many women from receiving support," Serrano said.
    >
    >In response to the report, UNFPA is providing counselling and
    >psychological support training to health professionals to enable them to
    >offer help to victims of sexual violence in Kosovo. In addition, local
    >Albanian women's groups will receive counselling training.
    >***
    >
    >********************************************** ***************
    >For more information regarding the latest policy statements
    >and other materials related to the Kosovo crisis, visit
    >http://www.usia.gov/regional/eur/balkans/kosovo/
    >

    Mahbubur Razzaque

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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