BiH: Indictment of war suspect rekindles hope for rape victim

20.04.2017 ( Last modified: 26.04.2017 )

Criminal proceedings will begin against the alleged aggressor of a victim supported by TRIAL International.The victim K., who was raped in 1992, had never stop believing justice could be achieved.

Mr. X (name withheld) has been indicted for war crimes in Srebrenica and Bratunac (Bosnia and Herzegovina). A former Bosnian Serb Army soldier, he is suspected of killing and sexually assaulting Bosniak civilians during the 1992-1995 conflict. Among the victims was K., who was still underage when Mr. X allegedly raped her, along with other soldiers.

A model of resilience, K. has never stopped fighting for justice. In 2016, she told TRIAL International: “Even though it has been 23 years, I do believe that one day perpetrators will be arrested and prosecuted.”

A milestone in a decades-long quest

K.’s case stood at a standstill for years, before she turned to TRIAL International in 2013. The organization lobbied hard for her case to move forward, sending letters to relevant institutions, holding meetings, and filing an application before the BiH Constitutional Court. K. clung to the hope that one day, justice would be served. When I hear stories of victims like myself, who saw the perpetrator convicted it makes me more persistent and confident”, she said.

Her long wait could soon be over. Two decades after her rape, she could see the suspect punished for his crimes. But the confirment of the indictment of Mr. X is just a first step in the procedure after which the trial will start. The accused will be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Read K.‘s full story
Read more about TRIAL’s work for victims’ rights in BiH