War crimes committed in Kosovo recounted before U.S. Congress

Vasfije Krasniqi-Goodman, a survivor of sexual violence during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo, has addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs where she shared her story of how she was raped by Serbian forces in 1999 when she was sixteen.

“Twenty years have passed and justice continues to fail me. My torturer has not been held accountable for his crimes and is still at large. There are twenty thousand women and men who survived crimes of wartime sexual violence in Kosovo. All they want is justice. All I want is justice,” she said.

Krasniqi-Goodman called on the representatives of the U.S. Congress to address the impunity of war crimes and human rights abuses committed in Kosovo by “taking immediate action to seek justice for the victims.”

Ilir Bytyqi, an Albanian-American whose three brothers were killed after being detained by Serbian police in 1999 after the Kosovo war ended, also testified at the committee hearing about his campaign for justice. He accused the Serbian authorities of shielding the killers.

Former president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, also spoke to the Congress and recounted 74 massacres Serbian forces committed in Kosovo between February 1998 and June 1999. “We want to negotiate peace and bring justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Serb state apparatus,” she said adding that this is paramount to securing lasting peace.