Eleven Bosnian women relayed horrifying tales of rape, torture, forced prostitution, kidnapping, and killing in a U.S. civil trial against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. The victims are seeking millions of dollars, and charge Karadzic with ordering Bosnian Serb military personnel to commit atrocities against Croats and Muslims in a genocide plot in the early 1990s. The women took the stand, telling their stories through sobs and screams, displaying evidence of severe anxiety as a result of the torture. One victim, now 65 years old, reported being raped daily and burned with an electric cattle prod. The trial is expected to end today, but whether the victims will collect damages is doubtful.
The case comes under U.S. jurisdiction through a 1789 law, the Alien Tort Claims Act, which was originally designed to punish acts of piracy and protect U.S. ambassadors in foreign countries. The law gives non-U.S. citizens the right to file civil suits in the U.S. for injuries suffered in violation of international law. It has been applied to cases like this since the 1980s, although most defenders ordered to pay damages have yet to pay. Karadzic has not been present in the NY courtroom to present a defense, and is currently in hiding from a UN tribunal seeking him on genocide charges. The Bosnian women's case was filed by noted feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon, who pioneered sexual harassment law in the U.S.
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .