The trial of Albina Terzic for charges of inhuman treatment of prisoners began Tuesday. Terzic is the first woman tried for war crimes in Bosnia. If she is convicted, she will be just the fifth woman in the world convicted for war crimes. Terzic entered a plea of not guilty in response to the charges.
The trial for Albina Terzic for warcrimes began this week. (Photo courtesy of Radio Netherlands)
Terzic’s indictment, filed in April 2011, states she
used to hit [the detainees] with a police baton on their necks, shoulders and heads, slap them, encouraged dogs to attack them, tortured, abused, humiliated and insulted them in various ways, by, among other things, forcing the detainees into having sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence.
The alleged mistreatment occurred in a school building and a factory from May to July 1992.
Only one other woman from Bosnia has been convicted for war crimes, and she was tried in The Hague. Biljana Plasvic pled guilty to crimes against humanity and was released from prison in 2009 after serving most of her eleven-year sentence. Twenty to thirty women are being investigated for war crimes by the State Prosecutor’s office. Two women accused of committing war crimes were apprehended in the United States earlier this year.
Last April, Rasima Handanovic was arrested in Oregon for helping the Army of Bosnia attack a village in central Bosnia. The attack left sixteen dead and four injured.
A 2010 report from the International Court Tribunal for Yugoslavia reported only 526 female fatalities out of 62,626 total combatant fatalities in the war. About 5,360 of the 90,000 troops serving with the predominantly Bosniak Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were women.
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