News 14 Jul 14

Kosovo Petitions UN to Investigate Wartime Rapes

The Kosovo authorities and rights campaigners launched a national petition urging the United Nations to produce a report about rapes committed during the late 1990s conflict.

Edona Peci
BIRN
Pristina
 

Pensioner Ali Krasniqi signs the petition.

Photo: Edona Peci

 

The authorities set up tents on Monday in towns across Kosovo, excluding Serb-majority areas, where people could sign the petition calling on the UN to finally establish the facts about rapes by Serbian fighters during the 1998-99 war.

“Today we can tell these women that we are with them, that we are their voice and that we want the perpetrators of those genocidal crimes to be brought before international justice,” said Kosovo’s outgoing deputy prime minister Edita Tahiri, one of those responsible for organising the petition.

Around 1,000 people signed the petition in Pristina within its first three hours on Monday morning.

Among them was pensioner Ali Krasniqi, who also called for the perpetrators to be punished.

“Our wives and daughters have really been ruthlessly raped by the Serb occupiers who have never been brought to justice,” Krasniqi told BIRN while signing the petition.

In February this year, the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict launched a report covering 21 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, but Kosovo was not included.

Around 15 years after the Kosovo war, there is still no accurate estimate of the number of women and girls who were raped or suffered other forms of sexual violence.

The Kosovo authorities also haven’t established any official figures on the number of people who were killed, injured or went missing during the conflict.

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