File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1999/avant-garde.9905, message 62

Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 16:02:14 -0700
Subject: Msf forwarded from Adam Jones

I am just forwarding this as part of my responsibilities as co-moderator of
the list.  This does not imply support of the content of the msg, on my part
or on the part of the other moderators.

Peace, Catia Confortini
femisa co-moderator

21 May 1999
To FEMISA members:

Human Rights Watch has just released its most stomach-churning accounts
of the gendercide in Kosovo (Human Rights Flashes #39 and 40),
reporting the systematic gender-selective slaughter of civilian males
at Vucitrn and Izbice.  I understand that CNN has also aired footage of
the massacre at Izbice.  Yesterday's New York Times reported the
comments of US human-rights spokesman David Scheffer, raising the
estimate of males unaccounted for from the 100,000 cited in the State
Department's recent report on ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, to a
staggering 225,000.

My own estimate, based on the fragmentary sources I have been working
to compile since 25 March, is that the number of civilian Kosovar males
separated from women and children, then murdered, is in the tens of
thousands, and may well exceed 100,000.  It is very likely the worst
gender-selective slaughter in human history.  The electronic editions
of the New York Times and Washington Post, among other major media,
have yet to run *a single story* focusing on the gendercide (that is,
with a headline and lead on the gender-selective killing and detention
of Kosovar males).  Shockingly, Amnesty International has also failed
to produce a single bulletin on the subject.  In this light, the
efforts of Human Rights Watch, though in many respects inadequate, are
nothing short of heroic.  Needless to say, the subject has attracted no
discussion on FEMISA, everyone apparently being too preoccupied with
the subject of Girl Scout Cookies.  Two of my own attempted postings to
the list in April were rejected, one because it was a request for a
research assistant to help me keep track of the flow of information,
another because it was deemed a "call to action."

The following account of the Izbice massacre, from a 20-year-old woman,
makes clear the ruthlessly systematic, gender-selective character of
the carnage:

"They took the men away and lined them up about twenty meters away from
us.  Then they ordered us to go to Albania.  They said: 'You've been
looking for a greater Albania, now you can go there.' They were
shooting in the air above our heads.  We followed their orders and
moved in the direction we were told, walking away from the men.

"About 100 meters from the place we started walking, the Serbs decided
to separate out the younger boys from our group. Boys of fourteen and
up had already been placed with the men; now they separated out boys of
about ten and up.  Only very small boys were left with us, one old man
who had lost his legs, and my handicapped brother, who can't walk
because of spinal meningitis.

"So they took the ten to fourteen-year-olds to join the men.  The boys'
mothers were crying.  Some even tried to speak to the Serbs, but the
Serbs pushed them.  We were walking away very slowly because we were so
worried about what would happen to our men.

"We stopped moving when we heard automatic weapon fire. We turned our
heads to see what was happening but it was impossible to see the men. 
We saw the ten to
fourteen-year-olds running in our direction; when they got to us we
asked them what was happening.  They were very upset; no one could
talk.  One of them finally told us: 'They released us but the others
are finished.'

"We stayed in the same place for some twenty minutes. Everyone was
crying.  The automatic weapon fire went on non-stop for a few minutes;
after that we heard short, irregular bursts of fire for some ten
minutes or so.  My father, my uncle and my cousin were among the men
killed. [...]

"Then ten Serbs caught up with us.  They said lots of obscenities and
again told us: 'Now you must leave for Albania -- don't stop, just go.'
 We had to leave.

"My father had given me his jacket because I had been wearing another
jacket that said 'American Sport' on it and he was afraid; he wanted to
cover that up. Because I was pushing the wheelbarrow and wearing a
man's jacket, they thought I was a man.  They told me to stop and then
to come over to them, but I was too afraid.  It was the scariest moment
of my life.  Then they shined a flashlight in my face and saw that I
was a woman.  One of them said, 'let her go.'" [...]


The Human Rights Watch reports can be accessed through the HRW website
at (  For more on the gendercide, including
extensive background materials, see the links on the index page of my
website: (

Adam Jones
Barcelona, Spain



     --- from list ---


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005