Talk:Rape during the Bosnian War/Archive 2

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Recent edits

I'm just deleting stuff for now, but if someone can come along and work on this constructively, I'll be happy to help. I don't know too much about this aspect of the war, but I can recognise unsourced propaganda when I see it.--Киро (talk) 19:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

One source (a newspaper article) is not available. Other source is just a simplified list, presumeably worksheet for students. It's blatently wrong in a few things - claims 150,000 victims of the war, but research accept by all sides shows 100,000. If it's wide of the mark 50% on this, no reason to take it seriously for anything else. Also claims Yugoslavia was part of A-H and: "Serbs (the good guys back then) fought with Allies (See movie Underground). Tito led Serb communist resistance in mountains." A schoolchild in Yugo cannot take this seriously. (Like saying Ireland is part of UK and America fought Nazis alone, so obviously wrong it is.) Just not credible.--Киро (talk) 20:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Cleared the low hanging errors. Will work more on the article later.--Киро (talk) 20:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


The first sentence of the lead says, "[d]uring the Bosnian War, many women of both sides were raped." The rest of the lead, and indeed the article, proceeds to only talk about the Serbs' raping of Bosniaks... Shouldn't both sides be covered? —Ed (TalkContribs) 03:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

The article is about Mass rape as a strategy of the war, which was just related to the Serbs, according to ICTY, alhough there were examples of individual cases on all sides. Emir Arven (talk) 17:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It sure doesn't seem that way to me; it seems to document the raping that went on more than the strategy. Also, your statement above contradicts itself; if there were individual cases on all sides, it was not just related to the Serbs. The article should reflect what happened on all sides. —Ed (TalkContribs) 18:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
You didn't understand me. I said mass rape, not individual cases of rape, was related just to the Serbs. Mass rape in complete view of Serb authorities. That wasn't the case on Bosnian or Croatian side. This article is about mass rape, not rape. Check this source out: Hague tribunal finds Serbs guilty of systematic enslavement and torture of Bosnian Muslim women -> Mass rape and sexual enslavement in time of war will for the first time be regarded as a crime against humanity, a charge second in gravity only to genocide, after a landmark ruling from the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Hague yesterday which sentenced three Bosnian Serbs to a combined tariff of 60 years in jail. Emir Arven (talk) 20:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
This article has some rather drastic POV issues. If they can't be worked out through editing, the article will have to be rewritten from scratch. So, Emir Arven, I suggest you assist rather than obstruct anyone, especially outside editors, who is working on this article. Prodego talk 20:49, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

(out) - Emir, I get what you mean now. However, you have reverted my copyediting twice now; could I politely ask you to stop? I know that you are reverting to remove the {{POV}} tag, but you shouldn't do that anyway until this is resolved.
Also, perhaps (to avoid creating multiple articles on what are virtually the same subject) the name of this article should be "Rape in the Bosnian War" and its scope be directed towards all of the rapes that ocurred. —Ed (TalkContribs) 00:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Prodego, could you please state which "drastic POV issues"? All the sources here are very very relaible.
  • Ed, I thought we have resolved this, that's the reason I've removed the tag. I disagree with your comment about renaming the article. This article is specific because of the subject it covers. And the subject is very important. It cannot be just renamed. It would be as if you would rename war crime to crime. Those are different subjects. Mass rape is specific because it is for the first time defined as crime against humanity. Emir Arven (talk) 20:34, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
You can have 100% reliable sources and still have a POV. Prodego talk 20:37, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
You said drastic POV issues. I see nothing like that in this article. Could you be more specific? Emir Arven (talk) 21:36, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


I've boldly redirected this to the main Bosnian War, which contains all the necessary info. This article was an unnecessary POV fork. Please consult with me before reverting. Thank you. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:50, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I think you made a mistake. As you can see above, there is discussion going on, not finished yet. I've seen no argument for your action, it's just your personal feeling. If we used your logic, there is a hundred articles related to Bosnian War that could be just like that boldly redirected to the main Bosnian War. The same thing for Croatian war, Kosovo war, Israeli-Palestinian conflict etc. Emir Arven (talk) 19:52, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for consulting with me! –Juliancolton | Talk 22:30, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

List of those convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal

It is not possible to list all the individuals that committed crimes. Thus, "Serb" is used, and whenever possible, distinctions such as "Serb authorities". Ottava Rima has made clear on the Articles for Deletion page, on this mainspace, that he find the article 'racist' because it names a race rather than individuals.

  • "I am 100% sure that the UN tribunal did not say "Serbians" did anything. They may have named individuals, but this is not about individuals. This article is, at its very premise, racist but linking all people based on an ethnicity and not treating them as individuals. Individuals commit actions, ethnicities do not. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:23, 23 June 2009 (UTC)"
  • "Your above statement is completely racist. It does not matter what an individual's ethnicity is as their actions do not apply to the ethnicity as a whole. Once you do so, you are making a racist comment. They are individuals and only individuals. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:31, 23 June 2009 (UTC)"

How, then, do we explain the following deletions of individuals names? They were convicted by the ICT; their arrests, convictions, and sentences are a matter of public record. And their listing aids in distinguishing the fact that not all Serbs are guilty of these crimes. Ottava's deletions:

Ottava, your 'contributions' to this page are conflicted at best. Requiring that the article not name Serbs as a people when it takes a mass of people to commit mass crimes is unwise. Removing mentions of individuals after berating others for not mentioning individuals is questionable. Requiring of other editors that they discuss changes while you yourself are not part of the discussion, although it is all too common, is most irregular. I suggest you take a little time off to reflect on what exactly it is you want from this page, and why. Anarchangel (talk) 00:31, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

What to do about this?

Reads the current article:

"Before the Bosnian war started Bosniaks in Eastern Bosnia had already begun to be removed from their employment; be ostracised and their freedom to move was curtailed. At the outset of the war Serb forces began to target the Bosniak civilian population. Once towns and villages were secured the military, the police, the paramilitaries and, sometimes, even Serb villagers continued these attacks. Bosniak houses and apartments were systematically ransacked or burnt down while civilians were rounded up, sometimes being beaten or killed in the process. They separated men and women and detained many of the men in local camps." The text cites this, FYI.

The source reads:

"Before the armed conflict had started, Muslim civilians were removed from their social and professional lives, their salaries remained unpaid or they were told that their services were no longer needed. Most Muslim men were disarmed. Complete ostracism soon followed with their freedom to move about and to gather critically curtailed." (and then a paragraph later:) "Once towns and villages were securely in their hands, the Serb forces - the military, the police, the paramilitaries and, sometimes, even Serb villagers – applied the same pattern: Muslim houses and apartments were systematically ransacked or burnt down, Muslim villagers were rounded up or captured, and sometimes beaten or killed in the process. Men and women were separated, with many of the men detained in the former KP Dom prison."

Well, that's pretty much taking from the text with some unimaginative playing with words. Excusing the grammar errors in the Wikipedia text, could someone explain to me why Bosniaks = Muslims? We understand that most Bosniaks are Muslim, but it just seems idiotic (for lack of a better word) to refer to Bosniaks in general. Of course, if Bosniaks in general suffered in the way the source describes, then there would be no issue, but that's not what the source says ... am I just being too picky? Also, would there be any objection to me basically cutting down on this and cutting out some of the detail?

Well it may be unimaginative but it is a summary of the UN source in quite significantly changed text to the UN citation. Is that not what wikipedia does best, summarise bits of important information from major sources. Please feel free to alter this if you think you can improve it. If you look up Bosniak (not the same as Bosnian) you will see that is exactly the correct term for the ethnicity that much of the world call Bosnian Muslims Polargeo (talk) 06:24, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Also, in the same section - "Background" - the article reads "During the early investigations by the United Nations, in 1992, it became apparent that systematic rape was not random and had the support of commanders and local authorities." Well, the Bosnian War started in 1992, so how is that part of the background?

Thanks, renamed section to Early stages. if you can think of a better name for the section then that would be good. This article still needs a proper background section. Polargeo (talk)

Me being a picky sort of a person and also someone who is unfamiliar - okay, clueless when it comes to the Bosnian War, I'd really appreciate someone's feedback and advice. Icy // 00:08, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Starting with the beginning

"During the Bosnian War, mass rape and sexual enslavement were conducted by the Bosnian Serb armed forces against Bosniaks (commonly referred to as 'Bosnian Muslims'),[1][2] a rape camp system was used as an instrument of terror.[2] Many women were raped on all sides, but the largest number of reported victims were Bosniaks.[3] Serb forces conducted a sexual abuse strategy on thousands of Bosniak girls and women."

  • I would like to replace the "Serb forces" sentence with a mention of "systematic" in the first sentence.
  • I would like to reword the first sentence to use 'multiple' instead of 'mass', to avoid repetitions, and it seems to go better with 'systematic' to me, as 'mass' seems to me to be a way of incorporating the 'systematic' aspect already. News guys like their soundbites and all, but we have the space to delineate both concepts.
  • I would like to distinguish 'not only members but also leaders of the Bosnian Serb armed forces', to make it crystal clear that it is on the one hand, not a few rogue soldiers, and on the other, there is no proof so far of it being a Final Solution genocide plan.

The new text would read, "During the Bosnian War, multiple and systematic rape and sexual enslavement were conducted by not only members but also leaders of the Bosnian Serb armed forces against Bosniaks (commonly referred to as 'Bosnian Muslims'),[1][2] a rape camp system was used as an instrument of terror.[2] Women on all sides of the conflict were raped, but the largest number of reported victims were Bosniaks.[3]" Note, once again, the deletion of the last of the three sentences, replaced by the word 'systematic' in the first.

  • I would like to move the second sentence to another place in the article. It is a clarifying sentence, but it doesn't belong in the lede because 1. there is far better evidence of the rapes being systematic and large in number, and 2. The lede is not for introducing evidence in any case, that is what the rest of the article is for. You state the facts as known in the lede and then back them up with evidence in the rest of the article.

At the very least I would like to reword it to: "Women on all sides of the conflict were raped, but the largest number of reported victims were Bosniaks.[3]" Anarchangel (talk) 06:04, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


Let us just get this completely straight up front. This article will never be neutral in the sense that it will give equal coverage to rapes on all sides, unless some amazing as yet uncovered evidence emerges. However, that said it does need some coverage of rapes by other sides. The openning section should be changed away from the current bias, which I will do shortly. I have already removed an entire section that was still tagged as not neutral. I will rewrite the header so at least the article does not start off not neutral. If anyone wishes to contribute by adding material to the article to make it more balanced then that would be good. It would not be constructive if contributions are to delete large amounts of well sourced material in the hope of getting rid of the artilce. I am not in favour of changing the name of the article. Anyone who wants to change the name of this article should jointly argue this with changing the name of the section in the Bosnian War article. I can produce so many highly reliable references that say there was mass rape I think a name change is unnecessary. If you wish to change the title to sexual enslavement then as far as I am aware only Serb forces were convicted of this so the article only stands to become less neutral. This is not an article on the UN court cases, it is not a legal article. Yes it covers this as a major part but it is not restricted to this. The arguments on the title seem to have been along the lines of, that is not the specific crime. That is nonsense this is not an article on specific individual crimes. Let us call it what it is and what CNN, BBC, US Senate, ICTY President etc. have all called it. Please be constructive. Polargeo (talk) 06:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I have completely neutralized the lead section. I will put much of this back into the article but the lead section just needed a fresh start so the article can in no way be accused of starting off with a NPOV bias. Polargeo (talk) 06:21, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Move to 'Rape in the Bosnian War'

I am proposing an article move to 'Rape in the Bosnian War'. This is an inclusive title that should be able to meet all needs of this article and be a clean break from the previous POV. It can include mass rape, sexual enslavement and all other aspects. I will give this a couple of days but as I was the only person who objected to a change of title I hope this will meet with agreement from all. Polargeo (talk) 16:47, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps "Sexual abuse in the Bosnian War" would be a better title for what the article encompasses? —Ed (TalkContribs) 02:38, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely not. As 20,000 to 50,000 women were raped, it is a bit weak putting this under the title 'sexual abuse'. The crime 'sexual enslavement' does not mean the women were imprisoned and felt up a bit. It means they were made sex slaves and raped multiple times, often by multiple people. Polargeo (talk) 07:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
My initial reaction is that it gives no indication as to the number and systematic nature of the rape, nor the Tribunal verdicts. I would be in favor of a move in the other direction, toward Rape, systematic rape, and sexual slavery during the Bosnian War. I feel as though your thinking is being influenced by the rhetoric of those who argued in AfD against the article. They did so without supporting evidence and occasionally without reasons, surely their perception of what is PoV is somewhat lacking. I also have misgivings about the deleted section; I have kept a copy of it, and I don't see any PoV. If the quotes in the citations had checked out, I would have said something about it already. As it is, I am going to have to hunt down the rest of the info, because a word search for the quote phrases found nothing in the sources. Anarchangel (talk) 05:31, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Anarchangel. I too have kept a copy of the whole article as it stood and was looking to put some of it back in at some point in a better format, both the stuff from the lead section and the removed section. Of course if you would like to do this please do, I am quite busy at the moment. I think the thing about the title is it must be descriptive of what is in the article but need not be a full description. There can be redirects from 'Sexual enslavement in the Bosnian War' 'Systematic rape...' and even 'Mass rape ...' if we choose to move the article. Then if any one of these individual sections gets too large in the future it can be split. We can then have all of these things in bold at the top of the lead section here. That way we will be able to be all inclusive in this article, the article title comes away from forcing the article to consider rapes by only one ethnic group and we can address every one of these aspects in detail. As the evidence of systematic rape is largely by Serb forces this will probably have the biggest section in the article. Polargeo (talk) 07:11, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I will give this another day (1 week from the start of this discussion section) but if nobody objects to the move I would still like to go ahead and move the article as I originally suggested. Of course I know Anarchangel and Ed both have different opinions and if pushed one way or the other I would go with Anarchangel's solution.Polargeo (talk) 10:56, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you're right. We'll get more hassle from editors claiming that mass rape isn't within the scope of the title and other such nonsense, but it is good to be inclusive and neutral. Anarchangel (talk) 11:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
As I have some agreement here and no objections to my responses I have gone ahead and moved the page. Thankyou everyone for the input which has improved this article. Polargeo (talk) 14:37, 6 July 2009 (UTC)