Flora Brovina is a prominent Kosovar Albanian pediatrician and poet, and a champion of women’s rights. As of December 9, 1999, she’s also a convicted terrorist.
After seven and a half months of detention, a Serbian court sentenced Brovina to 12 years in prison for committing terrorist acts against Yugoslavia. Brovina denied the charge that she had assisted the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and said her work was purely charitable. The doctor ran a clinic for women and children who were unable to get medical care during the NATO bombings in spring 1999. “As a humanitarian and a poet, it was my duty to join in the emancipation of Albanian women in Kosovo,” she reportedly said at her trial. “I will always fight for women’s rights.” She provided food, shelter, and medical care to those who remained in Kosovo, regardless of nationality, and her poems speak to women and men across ethnic and national borders.
After Brovina was arrested on April 20, 1999, police allegedly coerced a confession out of her. The prosecution’s case centered around that confession and a photograph of Brovina with a KLA member–evidence that activists and lawyers believe was fabricated to support her severe sentence.
Brovina is one of about 2,000 Kosovar Albanians arrested during the bombing campaign and incarcerated in Serbian prisons. Many of them have reportedly been tortured and unfairly tried.