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When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. I Came to Testify is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. “Witness 99,” who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: “We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman’s dignity.” Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, I Came to Testify also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia’s women war survivors. Narrated by Matt Damon.
More from the Women, War & Peace series:
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
The astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war.
Three women in Afghanistan are risking their lives to make sure women’s rights don’t get traded away in peace negotiations with the Taliban.
The War We Are Living
In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are braving a violent struggle over their gold-rich lands.
The capstone of Women, War & Peace challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, Secretaries of State and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making.