''RAPE: WEAPON OF WAR'' [Written by Angela Robson, a London-based freelance journalist specializing in human-rights issues.]

Excerpts from The New Internationalist [posted to pnews-L]:
"RAPE: WEAPON OF WAR" [Written by Angela Robson, a London-based
freelance journalist specializing in human-rights issues.] 

"...The sexual abuse of women in war is nothing new. Rape has long
been tolerated as one of the spoils of war, an inevitable feature
of military conflict like pillage and looting. What is new about
the situation in Bosnia is the attention it is receiving - and the
recognition that it is being used as a deliberate military tactic
to speed up the process of 'ethnic cleansing'. According to a recent
report by European Community investigators, rapes are being committed
in 'particularly sadistic ways to inflict maximum humiliation on
victims, their families, and on the whole community.' [The Warburton
Report, European Community, 1993.] In many cases the intention is 
'deliberately to make women pregnant and to detain them until pregnancy
is far enough advanced to make termination impossible'. Women and girls
aged any[where] between 6 and 70 are being held in camps throughout
the country and raped repeatedly by gangs of soldiers. Often brothers
or fathers of these women are forced to rape them as well. If they
refuse, they are killed...." 

"....Governments must face up to the fact that rape in war can no
longer be tolerated. Women's groups from all over the world are
campaigning vigorously for the prosecution of rape as a war crime
and, as the World Conference approaches, petitioning the UN to
recognize women's rights as human rights. If human rights are to
be universally respected and protected, they say, then they must
apply to the lives of over half of the human race - women...."


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