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Kosova Communication 255

From: kosova@gn.apc.org (Kosova Information Centre)

Kosovo News Directory

Kosova Communication

Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova

5th year; No. 255 , 11 march 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] Rugova meets Berisha

  • [02] EU on recognition of Serbia

  • [03] Smith Urges USIA to establish Kosova Office

  • [04] Recognition of Serbia and Montenegro should be conditioned with Kosova

  • [05] Albanian rights abused

  • [06] Amnesty International on ill-treatment of a student

  • [07] A PLK delegation in London

  • [08] 'Doctors of the World' to fight tuberculosis in Kosova

  • [09] Albanian Journalist Faces Serbian Trial

  • [10] Five Returnee Kosova Albanians held hostage at Belgrade Airport,

  • [11] Albanian Charge DAffairs in Belgrade Visits Presheva

  • [12] News in Brief


  • [01] Rugova meets Berisha

    Tirana, 5 March - The President of the Republic of Albania, Sali Berisha, received yesterday in Tirana the President of the Republic of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova. They discussed regional issues and Kosova problem. Both reiterated the need for dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade, under mediation of a third party, as a necessary means for a solution of the conflict.

    [02] EU on recognition of Serbia

    Prishtina, 27 February - Answering a question on the eventual recognition of Serbia by the European Union at a press conference following the 1903rd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European, Susana Agneli replied: As we have stated on previous occasion the recognition of the Republic of Serbia by the European Union is conditional on the mutual recognition of Skopje and Belgrade and respect of human rights in Kosova.

    [03] Smith Urges USIA to establish Kosova Office

    Washington, D.C. , 23 February - Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, and chairman of the Congressional Helsinki Commission, urged in a letter yesterday to Joseph Duffey, director of the U.S. Information Agency, that the USIA devote the necessary resources to ensure the establishment of a USIA office in Prishtina, on an urgent basis. The opening of a USIA office in Prishtina would be a clear signal to Kosova Albanians that they have not been forgotten , wrote Rep. Smith.

    [04] Recognition of Serbia and Montenegro should be conditioned with Kosova

    Vienna, 5 March - In an UN, EU and OSCE round table organised by the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna, human rights issues in the former Yugoslavia were discussed. In her speech, Ms. Elizabeth Rehn, Special Repporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, stated that while the attention of international communit was focused on the success of the Bosnia-Herzegovina peace agreement, the tense situation of the Albanians in Kosova has been forgotten. Kosova is a hot potato; anything my happen there she added. In this context she mentioned the European Parliament Resolution which conditions recognition of Serbia with a long-lasting solution of the problem of Kosova. This is the only mean of the international community to pressure Belgrade concluded Ms. Rehn.

    [05] Albanian rights abused

    Geneva, 6 March - U.S. State department published today its Human Rights Report for 1995. About 20 pages are dedicated to flagrant abuses of human rights, especially of Albanians in Kosova, by the Serbian and Montenegrin authorities.

    The report states that the United States and the international community does not recognise Serbia-Montenegro as the successor state to the former Yugoslavia and does not permit the participation of the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (FRY) from participation in the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and other international organisations.

    The report condemns killings, torture and ill-treatment of Albanians as well as arbitrary arrests, searches etc. The report also denounces violence on Albanian religious Catholic and Muslim institutions and building of orthodox churches on pure Albanian settlements. The report condemns the attempts of the Serbian authorities to settle Serbian refugees in Kosova and forcing Albanians to emigrate.

    [06] Amnesty International on ill-treatment of a student

    London, 5 March - Amnesty International recently issued a statement demanding urgent action for the protection of Sejdullah Rashiti. The statement reports that Mr. Rashiti from Velekinca near Gjilan, high school student, has recently twice been arrested and physically ill-treated by a police officer, who has threatened to take further reprisals against him. The police officer is one of two officers who are charged with the 1991 killing of Zejnullah Rashiti, Sejdullahs brother. In March 1995 the two officers were brought to trial on charges of murder, after Rashitis family started criminal proceedings against them. The trial was postponed, however, after the familys lawyer filed a request that a third officer, the commander of the patrol, be included in the indictment.

    Amnesty states that at least one of the officers remains in active service and he is now threatening Rashiti family, demanding that they withdraw charges against him. Amnesty also reports that police officers in the former Yugoslavia are rarely convicted, or indeed prosecuted, for serious human rights abuses. In most cases charges are never brought, or criminal proceedings are unduly prolonged.

    Amnesty International calls for the protection of Mr. Sejdullah Rashiti and his family from further ill-treatment and suspension of the officer from the duty.

    [07] A PLK delegation in London

    London, 6 March - Mr. Gjergj Dedaj, the chair of the Liberal Party of Kosova (PLK) and Mr. Bujar Pira, member of the Presidency , were received today in the British Parliament by Sir Russell Johnston, Chair of the Liberal group in the European Council and member of the British Parliament.

    The PLK representatives informed Mr. Johnston about difficult situation of the Albanians in Kosova and stated the importance of finding a just solution for the issue of Kosova according to the will of its people, based on the referendum on independence and self-determination of the Albanian nation. They stated that presence of the international community, and specially Great Britain, in Kosova would increase chances for stability in the region. They also said that the rump Yugoslavia should not be recognised by the international community without a just solution of the issue of Kosova.

    Sir Russell Johnston expressed his concern about the situation in Kosova, affirming that British Liberal Democrats respected the right to self-determination of the Albanians in Kosova and promised that he would do his utmost in the European Council to block recognition of the rump Yugoslavia before a just solution for the issue of Kosova is found.

    [08] 'Doctors of the World' to fight tuberculosis in Kosova

    Prishtina, 5 March - The 'Doctors of the World. organization team in Kosova's capital, Prishtina, at the begining of this year launched its second phase of activity to fight tuberculosis.

    In the next nine months "Doctors of the World" will distribute as many as 90 thousand food and hygiene packages to the families affected in any way by tuberculosis. According to the records of the "Doctors of the World" 2,000 persons in Kosova suffer from acute tuberculosis. Distribution of food and hygiene packages aims to raise the living standard of the aptients and their families and to prevent thespread of tuberculosis.

    [09] Albanian Journalist Faces Serbian Trial

    Prishtina, 5 March - Teki Rexhepi, a correspondent from Rahovec with the then Albanian daily newspaper Rilindja appeared yesterday before the Serbian-run District Court in Prishtina on charges of alleged false information. The indictment against Mr. Rexhepi was initiated in 1990, charging him of spreading fraudulent information contained in an article titled Refusal to conscription in the army published in the Prishtina-based womens journal Kosovarja on 26 September 1990. Mr. Teki Rexhepi has appeared before the Serbian court three times so far.

    In yesterdays hearing Mr. Rexhepi said he reported only the truth, namely the position of an Albanian youth association which stood for refusal to be drafted into the former Yugoslav Army (JNA). His lawyer, Fazli Balaj, said his client, as well as many Albanian journalists, has been brought before the Serbian justice system merely because of having told the truth. He said the charges were unfounded, and requested the unconditional release of his client.

    [10] Five Returnee Kosova Albanians held hostage at Belgrade Airport,

    Prishtina, 7 March - Five Kosova Albanians have been trapped at Belgrade airport since Sunday. Ms. Sofie Mirenaj together with her daughters Merita (18) and Ardita (4), Ms. Vjollca Tahiri from Mitrovica, and Muhamet Mazreku from Prizren, were last Saturday sent back on an airplane from Germany to Prishtina. The Serbian immigration authorities did not allow them to leave the Prishtina airport on grounds that the Albanians had allegedley violated Yugoslav laws.

    Mr. Hysni Bytyqi, a lawer, told radio Voice of America that the detained Albanianss had been treated badly, with insufficient food and were sleeping on the airport seats. The Serbian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, in a statement issued Wednesday, denounced the conduct of the Serbian police, noting that Albanians (suspected of having earlier applied for political asylum abroad) have been targeted regularly. The Serbian Helsinki Committee says that authorities are asking Albanians that they produce additional certificates, issued by the Serbian authorities or their embassies abroad, proving that their passports were valid.

    Such moves by the Serbian police and authorities are illegal and discriminatory towards Albanians, and carry elements of ethnic cleansing, concluded the Serbian Helsinki Committee.

    [11] Albanian Charge DAffairs in Belgrade Visits Presheva

    Prishtina, 26 Feb. - Besnik Konci, Charge Daffairs of the Albanian Embassy in Belgrade paid a working visit to Presheva, a small town in southern Serbia mainly inhabited by Albanians.

    Mr. Konci met Mr. Riza Halimi, president of the Party for Democratic Action and president of the Presheva Communal Council who informed him about the situation in Presheva, Bujanovc and Medvegja which described as very difficult with tendencies of deteriorating further. He also pointed out the repressive campaign undertaken by the Serbian regime against political activists in Bujanovc and against the communal leadership in Presheva where Albanian political parties run the local government.

    [12] News in Brief

    Prishtina, 26 Feb. - More than 4,000 Serb colonists have been employed in Kosova up till now, a fifth of the total number of the refugees settled there, writes Serbian newspaper Jedinstvo. 1,000 have been found jobs in Prishtina only. Maby are usurping jobs from which Albanians have been arbitrarily sacked.

    Shkup, 26 Feb. - The Macedonian Republican Court Council propsed recentlu to the Parliament a list of judges for Courts of Appeals. Of the 88 proposed judges, only 5 are Albanian.

    Prishtina, 1 March - Serbian police sealed off all the roads leading in and out of Suhareka on 27th of February and seized considerable ammount of goods from Albanian traders.

    Ferizaj, 6 March - Ali Sadriu, president of the Communal Government in Shtime was tortured severely while under police interogation. After two hours in the police station, he was released on the condition that he would report again at the police station. He was initally questioned about his political activities and about the alleged parallel police forces. During his ordeal, Mr. Sadriu had lost consciousness twice. He received injuries all over his body and there are fears that his kidneys were damaged.

    Mitrovice, 7 March - Around 5 oclock in the morning, more than 20 policemen and three civilians searched the house of Gani R. Voca in the avenue of Tavnik in Mitrovica. The police also looked for Ganis brother, Ahmet Voca, a former employee of the Kosova Secretariat of Internal Affairs. After the search, police took hostage Shyqri Voca who would be kept until Ahmet Voca reported to the police station. This police unit was lead by Dejan Savic. It is reported that memebers of the family were insulted on national basis.

    Prishtina, 7 March - Serbian police together with Health and Market Inspectors undertook a campaign of punishming owners of private cafes claiming that they were employing people without contracts. According to Serbian press, 26 cafes were closed down whereas their owners were fined 10,000 dinars each. Charges were also brought againsts 25 owners.

    Prishtina, 5 March - A delegation of the Independent Students Trade Union of the Prishtina University participated in Balkan conference in Istanbul. The presentation of the Kosova delegation dealt with the existence of the Prishtina University in the period between 1991 and 1995.

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