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First Tribunal on Wartime Sex Crimes Opens

The first United Nations trial focusing solely on sexual crimes against women during wartime opened yesterday in The Hague.

The trial resulted from accusations that during the war in Bosnia, soldiers committed gang rape and forced women into positions of prostitution and individual servitude.

Ten women from Foca, Bosnia will testify on the abuses that they suffered while they were held captive in 1992. Prosecutors presented maps of the area along with photographs depicting "rape camps" and "quasi-brothels," where widespread atrocities reportedly occurred.

Research groups estimate that at a minimum, 20,000 women, most of them Muslim, were raped during the break-up of Yugoslavia. In a show of support, representatives of women's groups as well as female attorneys gathered in the public gallery during the first day of the trial.

Media Resources: The New York Times - March 21, 2000



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