Five of the women, including Ziba, were from the eastern Bosnian town of Gacko, the rest from Kalinovik itself. They say that the local Serbian police in Kalinovik knew of the rapes and murders but made no attempt to help them.'They made us clean the rooms in the hotel, made us wash the floors then they gave us food at some tables,' Ziba recalls. At least one of the Kalinovik inmates kept a secret diary in which she recorded each day the humiliations heaped upon the Muslim women.
The populist conservative movement known as the New Right enjoyed unprecedented growth in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
'The Chetniks shouted at us: 'Look at how many children you can have. You are going to have our little Chetniks.' They said they weren't interested in women who were expecting babies because they couldn't make them pregnant.'Ziba, 26, mother of two, was among the first 12 women and girls to be selected by the Serbs at the Kalinovik camp. I asked if I would see Yasmin and Mirnes (her two infant boys) again and one of them said I would. We were all told to clean the hotel again and after we had done this they took us back to the gymnasium. The rapes went on day and night for a month.' The day was 2 August and all but 10 of the 105 women held prisoner in the gymnasium were to be gang-raped over the following 26 days, some of them by as many as seven Serb militiamen.
'They called us 'bitches' and one of them pointed at me,' said Ziba. I was terrified they were going to kill the children while I was in the hotel. He said if I didn't do what they wanted, they would cut my throat. Their suffering was endured by thousands of other Muslim women in August and September of last year as Serbian forces 'ethnically cleansed' the Muslim villages of eastern and western Bosnia.
'My two children were clinging to me and I was forced to leave them. What makes the ordeal of the Kalinovik women so important, however, is the extraordinary detail which is emerging of their mistreatment.
They thought I was going to be killed.' Ziba and 11 other young women - the youngest, Sanela, was only 16 - were driven to Kalinovik's only hotel. After the food they told us to go with them to the rooms. Senad Saric, a gynaecologist from Gacko who has performed seven abortions on the survivors, has compiled a complete list of the names and ages of all the raped women along with those of five girls who were taken away by the Serbs and apparently forced to work as prostitutes. Survivors, living now in shell-damaged buildings in Jablanica and in the ruined city of Mostar on the Neretva river, have also recorded the names of young men who were brutally murdered in their presence and of the fate of at least 71 other women who were machine- gunned to death in a neighbouring village.