Letter: The fruits of others' suffering

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The Independent Online
Sir: Might I make an observation on the Government's proposal (report, 4 January) for British couples to be permitted to adopt the offspring of Muslim women raped in the Bosnian conflict? These women have been subjected to systematic mass rape, accomplished with a degree of savagery and brutality that are exceptional, even by the standards of the Second World War. Such rapes are war crimes and must be viewed as such.

It is reprehensible that a government which campaigned vociferously for the passing of its own War Crimes Act of 1991 should seek to enable British couples to benefit from such appalling crimes. Britain has no right to help itself to the fruits of others' suffering when it has remained so lamentably inactive in the face of these Muslim women's plight.

We have yet to be told what efforts the Government has made to liberate those women who remain unlawfully detained and routinely assaulted. Who will bring them humanitarian aid?

Yours in despair,


London, WC1