Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp

One of the most outrageous and heinous hoaxes and Hitlerian Big Lies perpetrated by the US and Western media during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 was that Bosnian Serbs had used rape as an “instrument of war”. In order to discredit the Bosnian Serbs, they were accused of committing mass rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, in “rape camps” and “rape motels”. Even the United Nations commander in Bosnia, Canadian Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, a veteran of eight UN peacekeeping missions, was accused of committing rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, four Bosnian Muslim teenage girls. The rape hoax or rape “big lie” was manufactured to undermine the Serbian side in the Bosnian civil war, a three-way civil war between Orthodox Bosnian Serbs, Roman Catholic Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Sunni Muslims, and to enflame emotions against Serbian Christians in the Muslim countries. It was morally disgusting and reprehensible. It demonstrated the real moral character of the New World Order. It was a Big Lie. But as Adolf Hitler correctly noted in Mein Kampf (1925), the Big Lie works regardless of whether it is true or not. In short, the Big Lie works. It is effective. People still believe there is a worldwide Jewish or Zionist conspiracy even though The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was shown to be a hoax. People still believe in “Hun atrocities” and the “rape of Belgium” even though many of the accounts were fabricated by British and French propaganda. Most Americans, seven out of ten, still believe there is a link or connection between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attack. No link has ever been shown. People still believe there were concentration camps in Bosnia. People still believe Serbian forces committed mass rapes of Muslim women in Bosnia. The lies and deceptions endure. How does the Big Lie work? Here is how Hitler put it:

“…[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.”

The residue of lies and deceptions remains behind. This shows the resiliency and unmistakable power of the Big Lie Technique. We all remember the lies, not the actual facts, even when they are proven to be lies, as Hitler noted:

“At first the claims of the propaganda were so impudent that people thought it insane; later, it got on people’s nerves; and in the end, it was believed.”

In order to manufacture the Serbian “mass rapes” hoax, the US and Western media had to carefully suppress and censor the evidence that Bosnian Muslim forces had committed rapes against Bosnian Serb Christian women by Bosnian Muslim forces under the direct command and control of Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic and the Bosnian Muslim “government”. It is similar to the US censorship and suppression of mass rapes committed by US forces in Europe and Okinawa during World War II.

The US and Western media suppressed and covered-up any account of the Bosnian Muslim-run detention camp at Celebici in Bosnia-Hercegovina and suppressed and censored all accounts of the murders, tortures, and rapes committed there by Bosnian Muslim forces. Specifically, the rapes committed by Bosnian Muslim forces were suppressed and deleted in the US and Western media.

The ICTY tried three Bosnian Muslim commanders of the Celebici camp for murder, torture, and rapes against Bosnian Serb civilians. This trial was ignored, censored, and suppresssed in the US and the Western media. In counts 18 to 20 of the indictment, Bosnian Muslim camp guard Hazim Delic was accused of subjecting Bosnian Serb prisoner Grozdana Cecez to rape and torture beginning around May 27, 1992 and continuing until the beginning of August, 1992. Bosnian Muslim Hazim Delic and other Bosnian Muslim personnel of the camp subjected Grozdana Cecez to “repeated incidents of forcible sexual intercourse. On one occasion, she was raped in front of other persons, and on another occasion she was raped by three different persons in one night.” By committing these rapes, Hazim Delic was guilty of war crimes according to the ICTY prosecutors.

A second Bosnian Serb victim of rape at the Bosnian Muslim-run Celebici camp was Milojka Antic, “Witness A” in the indictment. The incidents of rape were alleged in counts 21 and 22 of the indictment. Beginning on June 15, 1992 and continuing until the beginning of August, 1992, Hazim Delic was accused of subjecting the prisoner Antic to “repeated incidents of forcible sexual intercourse, including both vaginal and anal intercourse. Hazim Delic raped her during her first interrogation and during the next six weeks she was raped every few days.”

Antic lived in Idbar near Konjic in Bosnia-Hercegovina. On May 9, 1992. Bosnian Muslim forces in camouflage uniform came to the village and took away nine Serbian men, which included Antic’s brother. All Serbian men had been rounded up and taken to and incarcerated in the Bosnian Muslim-run camp at Celebici. Bosnian Muslim military and paramilitary forces rounded up the Bosnian Serb men and imprisoned them merely because they were Serbs. Their only crime was that they were Serbian Orthodox Christians in an ethnic and religious civil war.

Milojka Antic was arrested and taken to the Celebici camp on June 15, 1992, accused of hiding a radio transmitter in her hair. Her first interrogation in the camp was conducted by Hazim Delic, Bosnian Croat Zdravko Mucic, and Zejnil Delalic, the senior Bosnian Muslim military commander in the Celebici sector.  They asked her where her husband was. She replied that she was unmarried. Mucic then turned to Delic and told him: “Right type for you.”

Delic admitted he sent camp guards to bring Antic to the camp headquarters, where he ordered her to undress. Antic started to cry and pleaded with him to leave her alone. the defendant Delic then pointed a gun at her and told her he would kill her. Antic stated: “I was scared and I did what he wanted.” ICTY Prosecutor Giuliano Turone relied on the details of “penetration” and “ejaculation” to establish his case for rape.

Antic described two other rapes, in one case, Delic attempted anal penetration, but stopped when the victim began to scream and bleed. When the ICTY Prosecutor asked if Delic also undressed during the rapes, Antic answered that he only removed his belt with his handgun and grenades and lowered his pants down to his boots. Delic remained in Bosnian Muslim military uniform during the entire time of the rapes in

During the rapes, Delic cursed and made threats repeatedly. The day following the first rape, when he noticed that Antic was in tears, he said: “Why are you crying? It won’t be the last time.”

In a RFE/RL report, the rape of Antic by Bosnian Muslim camp guard Hazim Delic is described in detail:

“One rape victim, Miljoka Antic testified against Delic. She described multiple occurrences of rape and sexual assault during her imprisonment at the Celebici camp during the summer of 1992. In one account, she testified that Delic raped her at gunpoint.

Antic said: ‘He pointed the rifle at me. I got scared. I was afraid he would kill me. So I had to do what he asked from me. I had to take my clothes off as he pointed the rifle on me, on the upper part of my body. Then he threatened me. He ordered me to go into the bed and to lie down. He ordered me to take my tracksuit off. I had a jumper, which I also had to take off. Then he took his belt off. On his belt he had a pistol. So he took some of his clothes off and climbed into the bed and then he started to rape me. He cursed me and he threatened me, saying that I would be killed. After that he got off — got up and got off the bed. He put his trousers on, went out of the door and told me to get dressed. ‘”

Delic and the other Bosnian Muslim guards also used starvation against the Serbian Christian prisoners at the Celebici camp. Antic pleaded with Delic to “either to let us go, or to kill us, or to give us something to eat.”

Delic dismissed the complaints, comparing the starvation to the Islamic festival of Ramadan: “Never mind. Now you know what it is like to fast in Ramadan.”

Milojka Antic was released from the Bosnian Muslim-run Celebici camp on August 31, 1992.

Bosnian Muslim Hazim Delic, the deputy commander of the Celebici camp, was found guilty of rape and murder and given a sentence of 20 years in prison. Bosnian Muslim Esad Landzo, who had admitted some crimes, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The senior Bosnian Muslim military commander of the Celebici area, Zejnil Dalalic, was acquitted on all charges. His conviction would implicate the Bosnian Muslim “government” and Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic, who was known to have toured and inspected the Celebici camp.

The Celebici case was essentially ignored and suppressed in the US because it undermined the US characterization of the civil war as a Manichean conflict between “aggressors” and “war criminals” on the one hand and innocent “victims” on the other. The propaganda technique employed was Emphasis. By ignoring the Celebici case completely, the US media and government could let it die on the vine. The benefit of this approach was that it precluded any rebuttal of the case because that would only garner more attention to the case. Moreover, the charge of censorship and suppression could not be leveled at the US government and media because information on the Celebici case was readily available. The case was being ignored as if it did not exist at all. This is the subtle advantage of employing the Emphasis technique. The bottom line was that the Celebici case was ignored and the simplistic, biased, one-sided US characterization of the Bosnian civil war was allowed to stand.