Louis Tozer completed a B.A. in History graduating in 2014 from The University of London, Goldsmiths College. In 2016 he secured a post – Graduate M.A. History from University College London, The School of Slavonic and East European Studies. From his post-Graduate study, a text he wrote titled ‘The Significance of the Role of Religion in the Bosnian Conflict of the 1990s: The Town of Foča as a Case Study’ was selected for publication, by Dr Paul Mojzes of Rosemont College, Philadelphia in the journal Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe. He was lucky enough to have been invited to fulfil the role of Intern at the University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in 2017, during which he wrote a text titled “Gender, agency and the construction of a rape victim: The ICTY and the prosecution of sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina” and gave a lecture on the topic. The text was selected for publication by Routledge in the volume Re-writing Women as Victims From Theory to Practice in 2019.
This text aims at discussing narratives about Bosnian women as rape victims and how this influenced and affected the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It contends that Bosnian Muslim women came to represent a victimised narrative of a sexualised war policy. The topic came to receive great attention from the international press and was also discussed within academia and feminist discourse. The chapter will argue that the depiction of Bosnian women during the conflict as vulnerable, traumatised and uniformly as sexual assault victims is deeply problematic. Such a degree of orientalism can have wider consequences, and how this affected the way in which the ICTY treated and protected witnesses giving testimony at the ICTY is examined. The chapter will show how this narrative dehumanised women and delegitimised their ICTY courtroom experience, thus, demeaning what could have been an empowering and emancipatory experience.