BIRN BiH

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31. January 2020.
BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina is launching a campaign entitled ‘Forgotten Victims’, aimed at highlighting the victims of war crimes for which no one has yet been convicted under final verdicts.

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday begins its ‘Forgotten Victims’ campaign, which intends to enable victims of unprosecuted war crimes and their families to speak about what they went through and draw public and judicial attention to violations that have still not been prosecuted.

The project is intended to encourage the opening of investigations and the filing of indictments against suspects.

Denis Dzidic, the director of BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that there have been fewer and fewer war crimes cases launched in the country in recent years.

“The number of war crimes indictments filed at the state level is in decline each year and witnesses to those events are dying, so it is important to draw attention to crimes for which nobody has been tried as yet, particularly to cases in which suspects live outside Bosnia and Herzegovina and are unavailable to prosecutorial authorities,” Dzidic said.

As part of the project, BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina will publish ten reports about unprosecuted crimes in ten communities.

A photograph of a war victim and their relatives will also be published each Monday over the course of the next ten months, conveying their personal story and calling on judicial institutions to take action.

Although nearly 25 years have passed since the end of the Bosnian war, many victims have still not had an opportunity to testify in court about what they went through and contribute to bringing those responsible to justice.

So far, around 850 people have been sentenced at the state level in Bosnia and Herzegovina to a total of 2,750 years in prison for wartime crimes.

But the state prosecution still has around 500 pending war crimes cases involving identified perpetrators and as many cases against unidentified ones.

The Forgotten Victims project is supported by the government of the United Kingdom and is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, as part of its Regional War Crimes Project.


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14. August 2019.
‘Invisible Child’, a documentary intended to confront the enduring stigmas surrounding children born as a result of rape during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, premieres next week at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

‘Invisible Child’, a film directed by Muhammed Ibrahim Sisman that includes interviews with the daughters of women raped during the Bosnian war, will have its first public screening in Sarajevo on August 19.

Ajna Jusic, one of the interviewees in the documentary, said she believed that the film can help other children in similar situations and encourage them to fight for their rights.

Jusic, who is the president of the Forgotten Children of War association, said that “the film is very important because it provides a completely different picture of the surviving women and children”.

“The film tells how strong women really are, that they were able to build a life after such a crime and trauma, and it sheds light on a topic that has been completely forgotten and squeezed out, both from society and the political system,” she added.

‘Invisible Child’ also features Lejla Damon, who was born in wartime Sarajevo to a mother who had been raped in a detention camp and then adopted by two British journalists.

Damon has given a series of speeches at events in Britain to highlight the plight of Bosnian war victims.

A previous film about the child of a wartime rape victim, ‘An Invisible Child’s Trap’, which was released in 2015, also confronted the stigma which still surrounds the issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is unclear how many women were raped in Bosnia during the conflict but estimates range from 20,000 to 50,000.