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UN rights expert urges justice for domestic violence victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An independent UN rights expert on Monday urged justice [press release] for victims of domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [OHCHR profile], saying high rates of violence can largely be attributed to war-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, addiction and poverty. The report was offered by UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Rashida Manjoo [official profile], who stressed the urgency for all levels of government to recognize female victims of rape and torture as a result of the Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive] and to ensure that women have equal access to remedies and services, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. At the conclusion of her eight-day mission to the country, Manjoo suggested:

As the government strives to assess and address the impact that the war had on men and how to ensure they do not place women at a higher risk of domestic violence, it should also recognize the experiences that women themselves faced during the war, and their entitlement to justice, reparations, and information and assistance on the missing and the disappeared.
Manjoo will present the Human Rights Council with her final findings and recommendations next June.

BiH is still recovering from the impact of the Bosnian War which was fought from 1992 to 1995. Last week Amnesty International [advocacy website] called for reparations and greater recognition for victims of sexual violence [press release; JURIST report] during the Bosnian Civil War. Bosnian courts have continued prosecuting individuals responsible for human rights abuses, especially surrounding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In June the country's war crimes court sentenced [JURIST report] four former Bosnian Serb soldiers for their involvement in the 1995 massacre. A month earlier the same court convicted [JURIST report] Dusko Jevic and Mendeljev Djuric for their role in the killing of 1,000 Muslim men during the massacre finding that the two Bosnian Serb ex-policemen were guilty of aiding and abetting genocide.

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