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Kosova Communication 303, 97-05-26

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Communication Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Centre - London <kic-uk@kosova.demon.co.uk>

Kosova Communication
Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova
6th year, No. 303, 26 May 1997


CONTENTS

  • [01] Trial of 20 Albanians Opens in Serb Court in Prishtina
  • [02] Kosova Government condemns Prishtina trial
  • [03] Helsinki Watch condemns the trial of Albanians
  • [04] Amnesty International: Unfair trial could risk aggravating political tensions
  • [05] Another Serbian trial of Albanians to begin soon
  • [06] PPK is for peaceful policies
  • [07] Montenegrin government targets Ulqin
  • [08] UE pressurises Belgrade for an office in Prishtina
  • [09] Three political activists arrested
  • [10] A Serb breaks into a flat of an Albanian
  • [11] Serb Policemen Rename Albanian School in Prishtina
  • [12] Chronicle of violence

  • [01] Trial of 20 Albanians Opens in Serb Court in Prishtina

    Prishtina, 19 May - A trial of 20 Kosova Albanians, charged with "planning acts of terrorism" and affiliation with the National Movement for Liberation of Kosova, opened today (Monday) at the Serb-run District Court in Kosovas capital Prishtina.

    The names of the Albanians standing trial are : Avni Klinaku, Muj Prekupi, Liburn Aliu, Dylber Beka, Gani Baliu, Nebi Tahiri, Shaban Beka, Hajzer Bejtullahu, Enver Dugolli, Emin Sallahu, Shukrie Rexha (f), Naser Tahiri, Dulah Sallahu, Ragip Berisha, Burhan Hasani , Majlinda Sinani (f), Arsim Ratkoceri and Baton Ratkoceri. Fatmir Humolli and Agim Kuleta will be tried in absentia. Until the beginning of the trial Arsim Ratkoceri and Baton Ratkoceri were not mentioned at all and no one new of their arrest.

    According to the charges, the defendants are accused that since December 1992 until the day they were arrested, they had formed a "gang" to endanger "the territorial integrity of the FRY" and to secede Kosova and other Albanian inhabited areas and join Albania. They have been indicted also for allegedly publishing a magazine called "lirimi" (Liberation),and providing weapons and ammunition, and having committed "terrorist acts" and planed the assassinations of Members of the Serbian Ministry for Interior.

    Nicholas Hill, Second Secretary of the US Embassy in Belgrade, Ivon Terlingen, a UN human rights commissioner, as well as representative of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund, were also attending the Mondays court proceedings.

    Defence lawyers requested that the defendants statements made during the investigations proceedings be excluded, for, as they argued, they were made exclusively during or after exhaustive torture, interrogated without the presence of their lawyers etc. Statements of the defendants did not conform with the Law on Penal Procedure and some of the statement didnt even have signatures of the defendants.

    The defendants whose hearing took place yesterday pleaded not guilty.

    They told the court they had been brutally tortured during the investigations and were forced to make self-incriminating confession.

    The defendants refused to present their defence, for as they stated, they did not recognise the Serbian court. In addition, they said it was but in vain to attempt to defend themselves before another Serbian regime staged trial - its outcome having been decided in advance, outside the courtroom.

    [02] Kosova Government condemns Prishtina trial

    Bonn, 22 May - In a communiqu regarding the staged trial that recently started in Prishtina against 20 Kosova Albanians the Government of the Republic of Kosova states that the Belgrade authorities have always tried to stigmatise the movement in Kosova twith terrorsm, therefore it needed to invent and try enemies. The Government of the Republic of Kosova highly appreciates the stand of the falsely charged people, those who stand for our national freedom, and their refusal to recognise this farce of a trial. The Government offers its strong support to the freedom loving innocent citizens and apologises to them for its insignificant support through its policies of non-resistance, patience and humiliation.

    "The Government is of opinion that this day to day Serbian scenario was realisable because it was not opposed by the International Community nor by Albanians itself. Our people have been continuously beaten, tortured, sentenced and killed as we were repeating our monotonous refrain, never disturbing the criminal Serbian regime yet damaging our national aspirations.

    We had never practically made it known to Serbia that we do not accept its regime. This can be done by protests, demonstrations, non-payment of taxes, resistance. If necessary, there is no other alternative but to protect the rights of the nation by force" concludes the statement of Kosova Government and calls upon all political forces in Kosova to urgently analyse the situation and their engagement in the practical realisation of the Kosovas independence.

    [03] Helsinki Watch condemns the trial of Albanians

    New York, 20 May - Human Rights Watch/Helsinki condemned today the Serbian governments torture and maltreatment of 20 ethnic Albanians from Kosova who went on trial yesterday on charges of terrorism.

    Human Rights Watch/Helsinki said in a press release issued today that in "this case, there is ample evidence that both Serbian and international law have been violated, most egregiously with the use of torture".

    The press release further says: In April, while these abuses were taking place, the European Union granted Yugoslavia preferential trade status.

    Such concessions to President Milosevic demonstrate the international communitys indifference to human rights violations, and remove any leverage the international community has to improve human rights conditions in Yugoslavia. "Incidents of torture and political trials after the agreement with the EU are evidence that the policy of positive encouragement has not stopped Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic from committing abuses," said Holly Cartner, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch/Helsinki.

    [04] Amnesty International: Unfair trial could risk aggravating political tensions

    London, 16 May - Prior to the beginning of yet another trial of Kosova Albanians for alleged terrorism, Amnesty International (AI) issued a press release calling on the Yugoslav authorities to ensure a fair trial in accordance with international standards which explicitly ban torture or other ill-treatment and the use in court of evidence obtained by torture.

    "Any failure in this respect risks aggravating political tensions in the province" concludes Amnesty.

    [05] Another Serbian trial of Albanians to begin soon

    Prishtina, 20 May - A trial of 15 Albanians, accused by the Serbian- installed authorities in Kosova, is expected to begin in Prishtina on 3 June.

    The following Albanians are expected to appear before the Serbian-run District Court in Prishtina: Besim Rama, Avni Nura, Adem Jashari, Jakip Nura, Fadil Kadriu, Nuredin Lushtaku, Sahit Jashari, Rafet Rama, Sami Lushtaku, Ilaz Kadriu, Rexhep Selimi, Hashim Thai, Zenun Kadiu, Ali Januzi and Idriz Asllani.

    The Serbian regime has indicted the accused with terrorism" charges, pursuant to article 125 of the "FRY (Serbia and Montenegro) penal code.

    [06] PPK is for peaceful policies

    Prishtina, 23 May - in an interview given to Tetova based "TV Art", Adem Demai, chair of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova (PPK), speaking on extraordinary living conditions for Albanians in Kosova stated that, one cannot find any other European nation that keeps two governments, the occupying government which with its official mechanisms and financial police, collects twice as more taxes and other levies from Albanians in Kosova then from its people in Serbia and they also fulfil their moral obligation to maintain Albanian education.

    Demai also mentioned the recent Albanian-Serbian talks in New York, which according to him was convened in attempt to persuade Albanians to surrender and force them to participate in Serbian elections. "We presented our arguments in front of US mediators, who are close to the US government, and tried to convince the Serbian opposition to step forward with a unique Albanian platform", continued Demai and went on to say that they refused because once they get the power they will deal with Albanians as does Milosevic.

    Speaking on his Partys stance on Kosovas politics, Mr. Demai stated that although PPK is for peaceful policies it cannot prohibit anybody from trying other ways, but it cannot support any action beyond peaceful framework.

    [07] Montenegrin government targets Ulqin

    Ulqin, 22 May - Speaking at a plenary session of the Montenegrin Parliament, Mehmet Bardhi of the opposition Democratic League, pointed out that there are serious human rights violations, including the national rights, in Montenegro. He also stated that the talks on defining the status of Albanians have not continued yet.

    He also spoke about the problem of discrimination in the Commune of Ulqin, which is inhabited mainly by Albanians. Mr . Bardhi spoke about various pressures put on the only commune in Montenegro run by the opposition. During the last six years the republic did not make any investment. During fifty years of communist rule the state had confiscated all Albanian owned real property without any compensation at all. The Republican government is using various court decrees to keep the towns budget blocked.

    In ending, Mr. Bardhi stated that if ruling Socialist Party (DPS) genuinely wished to protect human rights and freedoms, and national rights (as it claims to), it should primarily respect the constitution, obey laws and discard discriminating ones and adopt new laws conform to high democratic standards.

    [08] UE pressurises Belgrade for an office in Prishtina

    Prishtina, 19 May - The ad-hoc group on former Yugoslavia in a meeting held recently in Brussels concluded that there has not been a single positive step from Belgrade since the approval of economic concessions.

    The EU minister had expected that Belgrade would accomplish Gonzales recommendations.

    The Serbian Government has done nothing to free the media, start a dialogue with the opposition, reform the election law no start a dialogue to solve the issue of Kosova.

    The Belgrade regime has two months to reply to the report made by the Council of Ministers of the EU and to implement the Gonzales recommendations. Diplomatic channels are to be used to put further pressure on the regime to allow the opening of a EU office in Prishtina.

    [09] Three political activists arrested

    Prishtina, 23 May - Serbian police have arrested Musa Berisha, member of the presidency of the LDK branch in Dean and chair of the Council for Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms branch, Ali Laji, member of the Kosova Parliament and Ethem eku , chair of PPK party branch in Peja. Police stopped them while they were travelling, searched them and their car and then took them to a police station in Peja.

    [10] A Serb breaks into a flat of an Albanian

    Fush Kosov, 20 May - The Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (CFDHRF) has reported that a Serb civilian, Sasa Stankovic from Rubovc village of Lipjan, broke into the flat of Teki Jakupi in Fush& Kosova a few weeks while he was away.

    Teki Jakupi, who has retired from Railway and Transportation Company "Prishtina" in Fush& Kosova, where he worked for 42 years, has been using the apartment for 28 years, and has all necessary documentation verifying ownership.

    Mr. Jakupi reported the case to the Serbian police, but they did not bother to disturb Stankovic and told him that he must wait for the local councils decision.

    According to sources in Fush Kosova, the Serb family have been using all the furniture they found at the time they broke into the apartment. He is now homeless and spends the nights at the local train station, or at his friends houses, while waiting for justice to take place.

    [11] Serb Policemen Rename Albanian School in Prishtina

    Prishtina, 19 May - Last Saturday, the Serb-installed management of the "Zenel Hajdini" primary school at Kodra e Trimave neighbourhood of Prishtina and six Serbian policemen placed a parallel board in front of the school building, bearing the name of a Serb writer, Aleksa Santic. The principal of the school, Mr. Ajet Brashori, stated that the school management, teachers and the students of the school, would organise a protest meeting Monday. Teaching in the "Zenel Hajdini" school is conducted in Albanian language only.

    It is a purely Albanian school, for there are no Serbs attending school in the premises of "Zenel Hajdini" elementary school of Prishtina.

    [12] Chronicle of violence

    Pej, 20 May - On 17 of May Lavdim Muriqi from Peja, who was together with his sisters, was beaten unconscious by two policemen. The beating was also witnessed by two forest warders.

    Malihev, 22 May - Musli Kryeziu from Pagarushe near Malisheva was searched for alleged weapons offences. He and his family were severely maltreated. The police also asked for his son Zenel, who lives abroad.

    Kosova Information Centre - London


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