foca 19 junWe remember Women of Foča | Drina Bridge, Foča, June 19th, 2018 (Photo: Jelena Diković)

The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 19, was marked by activists of the Autonomous Women's Center, at the invitation of Women in Black, in Foča to remember one of the most systematic sexual violence acts in the Yugoslavian war happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Women in Black, supported by women's organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Association of Victims of the Foca War 1992-1995, Association of Women Victims of War from Visegrad, Citizens' Association of Goražde, Women's Association "Seka" from Gorazde, CURE Foundation from Sarajevo, and Bona Fide from Pljevlja, Montenegro; organized a protest in black in the setting of silence called "Remember women raped in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina" in Foča. Activists and a small number of citizens of Foca visited the Foca Correctional Facility, one of the largest prisons in the SFRY, which was the main detention facility for men, as well as the "Partizan" Sports Hall, which served for the detention of women, children and elders where it is estimated that there were at least 72 detainees. After walking through the city, on the Drina Bridge, a performance with mirrors and a black flower was performed with the words "We remember Women of Foča". After that red carnations were thrown into the Drina as a symbolic way of empathy for the victims. The protest ended in front of Karaman's house, a place that served as a camp for rapes of women, which in August 1992 formed the Miljevinski battalion Brigade for tactical operations from Foča VRS. Karaman's house served for some of the worst sexual abuse of women during the war, and women and girls, some of whom were only 12 years old, were imprisoned there.

The protest was held with messages about the importance of the memory of women survivors of war rape, remembering the places of crime, and the importance of the principles of solidarity and accountability.

We remind that with the judgment of the Foča Three (Kunarac, Kovač, Vukovic) in 2001, was for the first time in the history of international humanitarian law, sexual slavery in the war qualified as a crime against humanity. We also recall that during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, about twenty thousand women were raped, that the most numerous victims were Bosnian Muslims, while among the perpetrators there were the most Bosnian Serbs.

The International Day for Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict was established by the United Nations in 2015.

The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Foča, BiH

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