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5 Hastings Women's L.J. 143 (1994)
The Civil Lawsuit as a Remedy for International Human Right Violations against Women

handle is hein.journals/haswo5 and id is 151 raw text is: The Civil Lawsuit as a Remedy for International
Human Rights Violations Against Women
Beth Stephens*
* In the late 1970s, three young Ethiopian women were brutally
tortured by Kelbessa Negewo, an Ethiopian security official. One
of them later recognized Negewo working at the hotel where she
was employed in Atlanta, Georgia.
* In 1989, Sister Dianna Ortiz, a U.S. nun, was kidnapped, raped
and otherwise tortured by security forces in Guatemala under the
command of General Hector Gramajo. Gramajo then left Guatema-
la to study at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
* Thousands of women in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been raped
and subjected to other forms of sexual assault by Bosnian Serb
forces. The self-proclaimed head of the Bosnian Serbs came to
New York in early 1993, buying time for his troops while he
attended meetings at the United Nations.
Despite these gross human rights abuses, none of the men responsible
for these or for countless similar crimes against women around the world
has been brought to justice in his home country. The perpetrators have
been protected by governments which instigate and condone such abuses
and by the all-too-common acceptance of male violence against women.
If a government actually seeks to hold human rights abusers accountable,
those responsible frequently seek refuge in another country-often, the
United States. When the abuses take place during a war, as in Bosnia-
* B.A. 1976, Harvard University; J.D. 1980, University of California at Berkeley (Boalt
Hall). Ms. Stephens, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York,
is counsel in Doe v. Karadii6, No. 93-0878 (S.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 11, 1993) and several of
the related international human rights lawsuits currently pending in U.S. federal courts and
cited herein.
The author wishes to thank Jennifer Green as well as the many other colleagues who
offered their comments on this and related projects.


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