Back to Archive Hope on the Balkans   Kosov@ Crisis 1999
Back to Kosov@ Crisis
News archive January-March 2000

Testimonies of rape victims from Kosovo

Women and girls were pulled from lines of refugees and sexually assaulted, sometimes in front of other refugees. B.B., a twenty-two year old woman from Mitrovica told Human Rights Watch:

It happened while I was in line with the people. It was April 14th when we left our house and on the 15th we were walking near Djakovica... We met Serb paramilitaries. ..They approached my uncle and separated him. They took his gold and his money from him. Then they came up to me...He took my hand and told me to get in his car. ... He told me not to refuse or there would be lots of victims. He swore at me and said, "Whore, get in the car..." He told me not to scream and to take off my clothes. He took off his clothes and told me to suck his thing. I did not know what to do. He took my head and put it near him. He started to beat me. I lost consciousness. When I came to I saw him over me. I had great pain. I was screaming and scratching the ground from the pain. Another man came with a car and he got over me. The other man with the car asked the first one why he was treating this whore so good. I was crying from the pain and he was laughing the whole time. The second one got off me and told me to put on my clothes. I couldn't find them. Just as I got dressed another one came and took me to another place a couple of meters away and he started with the same words and did the same things the first one did. He kept me there for several minutes and then told me to wear my clothes so I [looked like I did when I left the line]. He told me not to tell anyone or they would take me for good and shoot my family. The men wore masks. They wore camouflage clothes and they were carrying weapons and knives on their belts. They said that they were paid to do this. I begged him [the first rapist] to kill me but he didn't want to.

Z.T., a twenty-three-year-old woman, was being held in a house in Drenica by special Serbian forces.

I was held in a room full of women. The police came, and gestured for me to come. A policeman made me take off my clothes and he found a note that I was hiding in my underwear on which I had my husband's telephone number in Switzerland. He tore up the note and started swearing at me. I went back to the group of women and the same policeman came back and said, "come here." He took me far away from the other women and did whatever he wanted with me.

A group of twenty-seven women in the Drenica region were held by Serb paramilitaries in a small barn. -V.B., a twenty-one year old, was seven months pregnant when she was gang raped by Serb paramilitaries:

They put us in a small barn with hay in it. Then the four men came into the barn and slammed the door and pointed machine guns at us. They asked for gold, money, and whatever we had. We gave whatever we had. But they were still torturing us. They would take a girl, they kept her outside for half an hour, and after that they would bring one back and then they would take another. Then they took me. I was pregnant. I was holding my son. They took him away from me and gave him to my mother. They told me to get up and follow them. I was crying and screaming, "Take me back to my child!" They took me to another room. It was so bad I almost fainted. I can't say the words they said. They tortured me. Because I was pregnant, they asked me where my husband was... One of them said to another soldier, "Kick her and make the baby abort." They did this to me four times-they took me outside to the other place. Three men took me one by one. Then they asked me, "Are you desperate for your husband?" and said, "Here we are instead of him."

In Pec, six armed and uniformed Serb men entered a house two days before NATO entered the city. Before murdering six members of her family, the men raped one of the women, a twenty-eight year old mother. Her sister-in-law witnessed the rape and the murders:

They were wearing military clothes and had black scarves on their heads. They took my sister-in-law into the front room, and they were hitting her and telling her to shut up. The children were screaming, and they also screamed at the children. She was with the paramilitary for one half- hour. She was resisting, and they beat her, and the children could hear her screaming. I could only hear what was going on. I heard them slapping her. The children did not understand that they were raping her. After they raped my sister-in-law, they put her in line with us and shot her.

Source: Human Rights Watch

Back to Archive | Back to Kosov@ Crisis 1999