Subject: [yugoslaviainfo] Crime, Slavery The Fruits Of NATO's First
Year Of Kosovo Occupation
Date: 10 июня 2000 г. 18:35
[Just ignore the good guy (us)/bad guy (them)
dichotomy in what follows; an obligatory fixture in
all official media reports.]
A year after NATO-s bombing
campaign and occupation saved Kosovo-s Albanians from
persecution and death,a new kind of human abuse has
emerged: forced prostitution, organized by the
Albanian mob. More than 1,000 women have been smuggled
into the war-ravaged region to serve as sex slaves.
THE WOMEN in Kosovo-s sex business ?
estimated by police to number more than 1,000 ? come
from all over Eastern Europe, funneled into the region
by well-organized crime gangs using regular trade
The former Soviet states have become prime
suppliers of women for the multimillion-dollar sex
trade. Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, as well as
Bulgaria and Romania, are the hunting grounds for men
who deal in the seedy business of so-called white
slavery. Many young women, seeking to escape the
shackles of collapsed economies and high rates of
unemployment, are easy targets for the sophisticated
In Bulgaria, for example, women are offered
better lives in Western countries working as nannies
or waitresses. They respond to newspaper ads that
carry a cellular telephone number as a contact. Once
the women accept a job and put their future and
passport in the hands of an ?employer, things go
horribly different than they planned.
?We try to act professionally when we come
here, but it is hard not to be emotional, said Jack
Simmons, a lanky Texas detective on loan to the U.N.
police force in Kosovo. ?This is slavery, and these
are slaves. They are bought and sold at auctions.
They-re treated like property.
FEAR AS A TOOL OF SUBMISSION
Melissa Colten, an American working for the
International Office for Migration, a non-governmental
organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, said
traffickers instill a deep fear in the women.
Usually they are locked in a room for between three
and five days. Maybe they will receive water.
Everything is taken away from them. Usually they are
beaten and usually they are raped repeatedly. In some
instances they are kept awake so they lose all sense
of reality and time, and it becomes very, very
disconcerting for them.
The purpose of the brutal treatment is to break
the women down emotionally so traffickers can control
them. Once this ?training session is over, the women
are ready for sale. Prices start at around $500 in
their country of origin. Each time they-re smuggled
across an international border, the price will
increase. By the time a woman is trafficked into
Kosovo, she could sell for as much as $2,500.
There are bolder ways of obtaining women for
forced prostitution. Many have simply been kidnapped
at gunpoint, outside nightclubs, off trains or on
street corners. Once in the hands of the slave
traders, they become ?the disappeared.
They-re paraded. The girls tell us they-re
made to walk around in their underwear while the
buyers from Kosovo examine them, and then they make
their choices. So, it-s pretty much like a cattle
auction, Simmons said.
Officials from Kosovo-s international police
force told NBC News that Valeshta, a town in Macedonia
near the border with Albania, is controlled by the
Albanian mob and where many of the young women say
they were sold. Recently, two Macedonian po