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Edina, a Bosnian who lives near Srebrenica, was only 15 when she was captured along with a relative as they were foraging for food. Her family had fled to a forest. She was held for weeks and raped by five men. She says she survived because as it was happening, “I felt like I was someone else watching what was happening to me.”
In the two decades since those events, Edina has tried to rebuild her life. Today, she is a mother, but she has the air of a broken woman. She sits on a bench in the Srebrenica Memorial and chats with visitors—including Angelina Jolie—with dulled emotions. Although Edina testified in The Hague in 2005, none of the men who raped her have been brought to justice. She says that her rapists walk free—and are living not far from where she now lives.
"I know who they are," she tells Newsweek. "I found them on the Internet on Facebook."
Jolie, the actress and director, has returned to Bosnia with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to promote their partnership directed at preventing sexual violence in conflict. Rape during wartime is often treated as a lesser war crime, and their initiative is an attempt to galvanize political will to uphold international standards of justice.
Remember Ananda Marchildon, that Dutch model we posted about yesterday who was fired because her “fat ass” was deemed too wide? Yea well she just won her lawsuit against the modeling agency. “Oh, I am so relieved,” she told us. “After almost two years of struggling I was finally proven right.”
The federal judge who helped draft Justice Department memos on torture has set up a legal defense fund to pay the costs of defending against possible disciplinary or impeachment proceedings. Jay Bybee, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Las Vegas, quietly set up the fund last July following widespread news reports that he and a former deputy, John Yoo, were the focus of a long-running investigation by the Justice Department’s internal ethics unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), over their role in crafting the memos.
But there were no public references to the fund until this, week when Declassified noticed that a link to the fund had popped up on the website of Keep America Safe, an advocacy group set up last month by Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, that is highly critical of President Obama’s national security policies. The fund is listed as one of Keep America Safe’s “causes we support.”
The defense fund may be about to become extremely useful for Bybee, who anticipates legal expenses “well in excess of $500,000” as a result of the Justice investigation, according to a letter from the U.S. Judicial Conference ethics committee posted on the fund’s website. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that, after a nearly year-long delay and numerous internal reviews, the OPR report into the torture memos was finally slated to be released at the end of this month.