Two female Kosovar pediatricians are leading the effort for human
rights protection and tolerance in Kosovo. Vjosa Dobruna, MD, (left)
founder of the Center for Protection of Women and Children and Co-Minister
for Democraticization under UNMIK, is internationally recognized
for her bravery and tenacity for the defense of universal human
rights. She is currently working to stop the sexual exploitation
of women and children in Kosovo. In March 1999, Serb special police
arrested her and deported her to Blace refugee camp in Macedonia.
She didnt waste any time and started a womens center,
which still operates there.
We need real open borders where ethnicity doesnt
There must be de-Nazification of Serbs. They must face
the truth of what they did,said Dr. Dobruna. When asked about
Albanian attacks against Serbs, she said, In June 1999, one
million Albanians came running back into Kosovo with nothing but
mass graves. Give people a chance.
In June 2000, she participated in a historic dialogue
between Serbs and Albanians in Airlie, VA, sponsored by the US Institute
for Peace. The two sides agreed to a Pact Against Violence.
Flora Brovina, MD, a pediatrician and a poet, is the most well-known
and revered political prisoner still in a Serb jail. She founded
the League of Albanian Women and the Center for the Rehabilitation
of Women and Children (bottom photo). Her husband, Ajri Begu (below),
an economist and poet, said that the women and children call his
wife Mother Flora. Her center offers schooling to orphans,
widows and refugees.
Brovina was arrested on April 20,1999 and sentenced
to 12 years in prison because Serb authorities claimed that the
wool women were knitting at her center was used to make sweaters
for the KLA. Ajri visited her regularly in prison in Serbia where
he must speak in Serbian. Since her arrest, she has suffered a stroke.
She was finally released from prison in November 2000.
Despite her detention, Flora was recently nominated
Deputy Ombudsperson in Kosovo to investigate human rights violations
and promote ethnic co-existence and reconciliation.