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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Campaign launched to delist fmr torture centre now hotel from Google02:45

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Campaign launched to delist fmr torture centre now hotel from Google

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Visegrad
October 1, 2020 at 13:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

A campaign has been launched demanding Google stop allowing the promotion of a hotel in Visegrad that formerly served as a torture centre during the Bosnian War.

University of Sarajevo guest lecturer Amela Trokic spoke on Thursday about her campaign which asks Google to delist Vilina Vlas, a former rape and torture camp, from their services in the town near the the Serbian border.

"I began this petition when I first heard about Vilina Vlas being used as a more or less getaway or a retreat. And I couldn't believe it," explained Trokic.

Trokic says that her campaign, which has gathered over 25,000 signatures online, looks to create awareness about the history of Vilina Vlas so that visitors can make an informed decision before booking a room at the site.

"If the institutions were trying to hide it. If nobody else were talking about it, at least let people know. Let them have a place where they can read about what actually occurred," she added.

The hotel was one of the primary detention facilities in the area during the war and was the scene of the torture, rape, and execution of Bosniak women and girls by Bosnian Serb paramilitaries.

In 1994 a UN Special Committee reported that around 200 women were raped in the Vilina Vlas complex in 1992, with some victims subsequently being killed, while others committed suicide.

The hotel was recently added to a list of resorts that could be visited at a discount through a state voucher scheme intended to boost the tourism industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The move by the Republika Srpska authorities sparked further criticism from survivors who have urged for years that the site be transformed into a memorial.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Campaign launched to delist fmr torture centre now hotel from Google02:45
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Description

A campaign has been launched demanding Google stop allowing the promotion of a hotel in Visegrad that formerly served as a torture centre during the Bosnian War.

University of Sarajevo guest lecturer Amela Trokic spoke on Thursday about her campaign which asks Google to delist Vilina Vlas, a former rape and torture camp, from their services in the town near the the Serbian border.

"I began this petition when I first heard about Vilina Vlas being used as a more or less getaway or a retreat. And I couldn't believe it," explained Trokic.

Trokic says that her campaign, which has gathered over 25,000 signatures online, looks to create awareness about the history of Vilina Vlas so that visitors can make an informed decision before booking a room at the site.

"If the institutions were trying to hide it. If nobody else were talking about it, at least let people know. Let them have a place where they can read about what actually occurred," she added.

The hotel was one of the primary detention facilities in the area during the war and was the scene of the torture, rape, and execution of Bosniak women and girls by Bosnian Serb paramilitaries.

In 1994 a UN Special Committee reported that around 200 women were raped in the Vilina Vlas complex in 1992, with some victims subsequently being killed, while others committed suicide.

The hotel was recently added to a list of resorts that could be visited at a discount through a state voucher scheme intended to boost the tourism industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The move by the Republika Srpska authorities sparked further criticism from survivors who have urged for years that the site be transformed into a memorial.

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