Last week, widows and mothers of Bosnian Muslims murdered by Serb forces in the town of Srebrenica filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights. These relatives, also known as the "Mothers of Srebrenica," want to sue Netherlands over a Dutch Supreme Court verdict in April this year that granted Dutch UN peacekeepers absolute immunity from prosecution. They feel that Dutch UN peacekeeping forces should be held accountable for not protecting Srebrenica citizens and are also partially responsible for the July 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian men and boys.
The stories of these women and their relatives' murders at Srebrenica appear in Selma Leydesdorff's book Surviving the Bosnian Genocide. Leydesdorff interviewed 60 female survivors—many of whom still live in refugee camps—to learn about their lives before the Bosnian war, the events of the massacre, and the ways they have tried to cope with their fate. Drawing on their memories, though fragmented by trauma, the women tell of life and survival under extreme conditions, while recalling a time before the war when Muslims, Croats, and Serbs lived together peaceably.
By giving them a voice, this book looks beyond the rapes, murders, and atrocities of that dark time to show the agency of these women during and after the war and their fight to uncover the truth of what happened at Srebrenica and why.