The Bosnian women’s stories are similar: all talk about men with automatic weapons and flashlights that entered their houses at night, at the break of the war in Bosnia in April 1992.
After Bosnian men were taken prisoners or killed, Muslim women and girls were repeatedly raped, for weeks or even months, by Serb soldiers, until they managed to escape in the summer of 1992.
The traumas that the women in Bosnia had to endure were brought back into the public attention, after Angelina Jolie said that she will make a film about the love story between a Serb and a Muslim.
In mid-October, the Ministry of Culture of the Muslim federation in Bosnia canceled the filming of this feature, which marks the directorial debut of the famous actresses.
Bosnian authorities acted at the request filed by the local Women Victims of War Association (WVW) from Sarajevo, which criticized the script of this film, saying that it evokes the romance between a Muslim woman raped during the war and her abuser, a Serb military. Later, Jolie obtained a new filming authorization for the project.
However, the victims of these mass rapes said that the idea that their stories will be exhibited again is a “torture”.
One of them, Hasecic Bakir, aged 55 years, leader of the Women Victims of War organization (WVW), said that the tragedy of the women in Bosnia can not, under any circumstances, become the topic of a film.
“What we have gone through cannot be filmed,” she said, adding that she has dedicated her life to finding her and other female’s aggressors and bring them to justice.
“I’m doing all this to prevent our ordeal from ever happening again… but revenge leads nowhere”, she told The Independent.
Ninety percent of the women raped during the war were Muslim, aged between 12 and 80 years.
Most still do therapy, not only because of the rapes, but because they had their children, parents, husbands or brothers killed, and because their homes were destroyed.
Hundreds and even thousands of victims became pregnant with their abusers, but some had abortions shortly after they fled the country in areas controlled by Muslims.
About 200 babies were born, but they were offered for adoption or sent to orphanages. Only a few women kept their children, hiding the truth about their fathers.
The International Criminal Court in Hague, as well as the Sarajevo courts, have, until now, sentenced Serb soldiers and civilians who have committed mass rape during the war in Bosnia to 500 years in prison.
The war in Bosnia resulted in approximately 100,000 dead people and several thousand women raped during the conflict, according to international organizations.