Survivors of rape and torture won $745 million in a verdict against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. The federal jury in New York came to a decision on August 9th after hearing grueling accounts of the rape and torture perpetrated by Karadzic and his supporters, who used everything from fishhooks, large sticks, and lit cigarettes to brutalize the women. Witnesses also testified that they were forced to clean the blood of the walls from their own and other prisoners’ beatings. “This case established … rape is a form of genocide,” said Maria Vullo, a lawyer for the women.
One woman, who said she was singled out because she was a Bosnian Muslim, fainted on the stand as she described how soldiers wearing photographs of Karadzic raped and tortured her in front of her two children. Karadzic is believed to be hiding in Bosnia, and was indicted for genocide by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.