Unprotected investigates the treatment of those called to testify as witnesses at war crimes trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina by focusing on the experiences of two Individuals: one, a woman who testified at the trial of a man who raped her during the war; the other, a man who committed suicide shortly after receiving a subpoena requiring him to appear as a witness in a war crimes trial.

Although she was supposed to be a protected witness, the woman, identified as Z.R., was denied witness protection measures when she arrived in court in Trebinje, Republika Srpska. Journalists were allowed into the courtroom to film and photograph her, and her face appeared all over the media. She says her life was left in ruins.

The second story is that of Đorđe Đuric, a Bosnian Serb man who was put under so much pressure to testify that he felt he had no way out. His wife and son are left behind to tell his story.

Unprotected was made to complement an Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) special report entitled “Poor Protection for Balkan Trial Witnesses,” which delves into the way witnesses are treated in Bosnia and in Serbia. When witnesses, who may be a traumatized victim or an insider from the armed group accused of war crimes, are denied proper protective measures, it can result in intimidation, public exposure and vilification.

Unprotected was directed by Mirko Pincelli and produced by the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC), Pinch Media and IWPR.

Photography by Mirko Pincelli