29 March 1993

Doc. 6799

REPLY

from the Committee of Ministers

to Written Question No. 349

by Mrs FLEETWOOD

on the flagrant violations of human rights and the

treacherous assaults on women and children in the

territory of former Yugoslavia


I.       Question (18 February 1993, Doc. 6776)

      Mrs FLEETWOOD,

1.       Considering the massive and flagrant violations of human rights in the territory of former Yugoslavia and the perpetration of crimes against humanity such as the murder of innocent victims, torture and the systematic rape of women belonging to minority groups;

2.       Recalling the statements in plenary sittings on 2, 3 and 4 February 1993 by Chancellors Kohl and Vranitzky and Prime Minister Brundtland condemning this practice;

3.       Considering that rape of women has become a weapon for the deliberate destroying of minority groups;

4.       Recalling the strong condemnations by international organisations and at national level of the violations of human rights,

5.       To ask the Committee of Ministers,

      Whether it envisages taking urgent measures without delay aimed at the prevention of continued treacherous assaults and rape of women and crimes against children in the territory of former Yugoslavia.

II.       Reply by the Committee of Ministers (19 March 1993)

1.       The Committee of Ministers recalls that at its Special Ministerial Meeting in Istanbul on 11 September 1992, and at its 91st Session (Strasbourg, 5 November 1992), it adopted declarations on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, in which it condemned "ethnic cleansing" and the brutal violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

2.       With regard more particularly to treacherous assaults on women and children, on 9 December 1992 the Committee of Ministers adopted a declaration in which it deplored the systematic gang-rape of women and children, in particular those belonging to the Moslem population, and stated that those who perpetrate such crimes must realise that they shall not go unpunished.

3.       Moreover, in response to a message addressed to the Chairman of the Ministers' Deputies by the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG), the Committee of Ministers adopted on 18 February 1993 a declaration on the rape of women and children in the territory of former Yugoslavia. (This declaration appears in Doc. 6782.)

4.       The Committee of Ministers is at present examining the possibility of undertaking a study of the legal aspects of the question raised by the Honourable Member.

5.       Finally, the Committee of Ministers recalls that it is following the situation in former Yugoslavia closely, and that it will keep the Assembly informed of any further action that it takes with regard to this situation.