DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

11 November, 2010


A 11 July 1995 file photo shows an elderly Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) woman and her husband getting treatment for injuries inflicted on them by Serb military forces as they fled Srebrenica as it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces. The man on the right died shortly after the picture was taken. During the Srebrenica genocide, Serb forces rounded up and killed more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, and expelled thousands of women after abusing many of them. General Ratko Mladic ordered his troops to rape Muslim women and girls. Source: (Getty Images)

Testimonies: Abuse of Women, Children and Elderly in the Srebrenica Genocide

Dramatic events were taking place everywhere. Old men were murdered. Children were snatched out of the hands of their mothers and parents committed suicide because their daughters were taken away and raped.

I saw how the nine year old son was torn out of the arms of his mother. She screamed for help. The Serbian soldiers dragged her by the hair and beat her on the ground. The woman was thrown in the truck. The young boy lay on the ground on his left side. Even after more than eleven years I cannot forget how he cried out for his mother.’ (Zumra Šehomerović)


At one time, I saw how a young boy of about ten was killed by Serbs in Dutch uniform. This happened in front of my own eyes. The mother sat on the ground and her young son sat beside her. The young boy was placed on his mother’s lap. The young boy was killed. His head was cut off. The body remained on the lap of the mother. The Serbian soldier placed the head of the young boy on his knife and showed it to everyone. There were at that moment Dutch soldiers in the vicinity. They stood by and did nothing. They appeared to be entirely indifferent. The woman was hysterical and began to call out for help. A Dutch soldier who was standing there said only, “No, no, no.” I think that it was a Dutch soldier. The Serbs forced the mother to drink the blood of her child. Chaos broke out among the refugees.

I saw how a pregnant woman was slaughtered. There were Serbs who stabbed her in the stomach, cut her open and took two small children out of her stomach and then beat them to death on the ground. I saw this with my own eyes. These Serbian soldiers were followed around by a number of Dutch soldiers. I am convinced that there were Dutch soldiers present. I recognized them. I was not under the impression that they were afraid or forced to be present. I am pretty certain that they were armed. The Dutch soldiers did nothing at all.’ (Ramiza Gurdić)


There was a young woman with a baby on the way to the bus. The baby cried and a Serbian soldier told her that she had to make sure that the baby was quiet. Then the soldier took the child from the mother and cut its throat. I do not know whether Dutchbat soldiers saw that.

There was a sort of fence on the left-hand side of the road to Potocari. I heard then a young woman screaming very close by (4 or 5 meters away). I then heard another woman beg: “Leave her, she is only nine years old.” The screaming suddenly stopped. I was so in shock that I could scarcely move. I could not see the woman because too many refugees were standing in front. I do not know whether at that moment Dutchbat soldiers were there. Dutchbat soldiers actually walked through the crowd all the time. The rumour later quickly circulated that a nine year old girl had been raped.’ (Kada Hotić)


‘Then [Serb General Ratko] Mladic came and everyone was in a panic. The soldiers with Mladic were heavily armed and walked among the people. All this was filmed by a camera crew. Mladic began then to distribute chocolate and sweets among the children there. He let it be known that no-one needed to be afraid and that everything would be fine. As soon as the camera stopped filming this scene changed. He asked a young boy how old he was. The boy told him that he was eleven. To that Mladic said that in six years he could be a soldier and that he had to go with them. The young boy was then grabbed, taken out, and taken away. I told this to my husband and he told it in turn in English to one of the soldiers that children were being removed. The Dutch soldier looked at him and said only, “So what”.

The Serbs began at a certain point to take girls and young women out of the group of refugees. They were raped. The rapes often took place under the eyes of others and sometimes even under the eyes of the children of the mother. A Dutch soldier stood by and he simply looked around with a walkman on his head. He did not react at all to what was happening. It did not happen just before my eyes, for I saw that personally, but also before the eyes of us all. The Dutch soldiers walked around everywhere. It is impossible that they did not see it.

There was a woman with a small baby a few months old. A Chetnik told the mother that the child must stop crying. When the child did not stop crying he snatched the child away and cut its throat. Then he laughed. There was a Dutch soldier there who was watching. He did not react at all.

I saw yet more frightful things. For example, there was a girl, she must have been about nine years old. At a certain moment some Chetniks recommended to her brother that he rape the girl. He did not do it and I also think that he could not have done it for he was still just a child. Then they murdered that young boy. I have personally seen all that. I really want to emphasize that all this happened in the immediate vicinity of the base.

In the same way I also saw other people who were murdered. Some of them had their throat cut. Others were beheaded.’ (Munira Šubašić)


When we were driven out of the factory by the Serbs a group of Serbs came along who said that they were looking for a particular girl. Those Serbs knew that girl from before the war. My mother was scared that it was my sister they were looking for and she covered her head and face with a scarf. Girls were continually being taken out of the group and they were raped. I was very afraid. I knew a woman whose daughter was taken out of the group and was never seen again. That daughter was a year older than me.

My mother was taken by Serbs from the group of refugees during the night of 12th to 13th July 1995. She was then raped. I cannot speak any more of that. She never recovered from that and a year later died of cancer of the womb. She was then 37 years old.’ (Plaintiff No. 10)


I saw a group of Chetniks hold down a woman of about 65 years old while one of the Chetniks stuck his arm up into the vagina of the woman and tore out her womb. After this happened she was still alive. She survived it. I saw that with my own eyes. Some four or five Dutchbat soldiers were standing in the immediate vicinity. They did nothing. (Sabra Kolenović)

There was a mountain of clothes close to where the Dutch soldiers were. I think that this clothing came from civilians. The clothing was bloodstained. I did not myself see any murders but I did see that the clothing was heavily bloodstained. I certainly heard a young woman scream that she was being killed. I wanted to see what had happened but was held back by some soldiers. I do not know any more whether these were Dutch soldiers or the Chetniks. I later saw a pool of blood at that place. This was close to the fence around the compound. I saw this when I had to leave the compound, on the way to the buses.’ (Plaintiff No. 7)

The above testimonies republished from:

On 18 July 1995, AP journalist Snežana Vukić (of Serbian origin) interviewed several genocide survivors and reported about the rapes of Bosniak women in Potocari-Srebrenica:

"Zarfa Turković says she watched through half-closed eyes, pretending to sleep, hoping she would not be next, as four Bosnian Serb men raped a 28-year old Muslim woman... Two took her legs and raised them up in the air, while the third began raping her. People were silent, no one moved. She was screaming and yelling and begging them to stop. They put her a rag into her mouth, and then we were just hearing silent sobs coming from her closed lips. When they finished, the woman was left there."
Excerpts from the ruling of the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in the case of Radislav Krstic also established that Serb forces abused women and children of Srebrenica in the most horrific ways:

43. Killings occurred.

In the late morning of 12 July 1995, a witness saw a pile of 20 to 30 bodies heaped up behind the Transport Building in Potocari, alongside a tractor-like machine. Another testified that, at around 1200 hours on 12 July, he saw a soldier slay a child with a knife in the middle of a crowd of expellees. He also said that he saw Serb soldiers execute more than a hundred Bosnian Muslim men in the area behind the Zinc Factory and then load their bodies onto a truck, although the number and methodical nature of the murders attested to by this witness stand in contrast to other evidence on the Trial Record that indicates that the killings in Potocari were sporadic in nature.

44. As evening fell, the terror deepened.

Screams, gunshots and other frightening noises were audible throughout the night and no one could sleep. Soldiers were picking people out of thecrowd and taking them away: some returned; others did not. Witness T recounted how three brothers – one merely a child and the others in their teens – were taken out in the night. When the boys’ mother went looking for them, she found them with their throats slit.

45. That night, a Dutch Bat medical orderly came across two Serb soldiers raping a young woman:

"[W]e saw two Serb soldiers, one of them was standing guard and the other one was lying on the girl, with his pants off. And we saw a girl lying on the ground, on some kind of mattress. There was blood on the mattress, even she was covered with blood. She had bruises on her legs. There was even blood coming down her legs. She was in total shock. She went totally crazy.”

46. Bosnian Muslim refugees nearby could see the rape, but could do nothing about it becauseof Serb soldiers standing nearby. Other people heard women screaming, or saw women being dragged away. Several individuals were so terrified that they committed suicide by hanging themselves. Throughout the night and early the next morning, stories about the rapes and killings spread through the crowd and the terror in the camp escalated.

.... ... ...

150. On 12 and 13 July 1995, upon the arrival of Serb forces in Potocari, the Bosnian Muslim refugees taking shelter in and around the compound were subjected to a terror campaign comprised of threats, insults, looting and burning of nearby houses, beatings, rapes, and murders.
... ... ...

517. More significantly, rapes and killings were reported by credible witnesses and some committed suicide out of terror. The entire situation in Potocari has been depicted as a campaign of terror. As an ultimate suffering, some women about to board the buses had their young sons dragged away from them, never to be seen again.
According to the Secretary-General's Report, A/54/549:

389. The same day [17 July 1995], one of the Dutchbat soldiers, during his brief stay in Zagreb upon return from Serb-held territory, was quoted as telling a member of the press that "hunting season [is] in full swing... it is not only men supposedly belonging to the Bosnian Government who are targeted... women, including pregnant ones, children and old people aren't spared. Some are shot and wounded, others have had their ears cut off and some women have been raped.