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Kosova Communication, 306, 97-07-15

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. 306, 15 July 1997


CONTENTS

  • [01] FYROM police kills two Albanians and wound 138
  • [02] Albanian MPs in FYROM write to International Institutions
  • [03] President Berisha condemns police actions in Tetova and Gostivar
  • [04] Note of protest of Albanian Foreign Ministry addressed to FYROM
  • [05] Kosovar Political Parties Denounce FYROM Crackdown on Albanians
  • [06] Serb court sentences 15 Albanians to 264 Years in Prison
  • [07] President Rugova meets Italian officials
  • [08] Sweden and Former Yugoslavia fail to reach an agreement
  • [09] Report on the violation of human rights and freedoms in Kosova during June 1997

  • [01] FYROM police kills two Albanians and wound 138

    Gostivar 11 July - On the morning of 9 July special police units of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) removed the Albanian flag from municipal assemblies in Tetova and Gostivar, two municipalities with an overwhelming Albanian population. The FYROM Interior Ministry said it was removing the "flag of a foreign country", referring to the ethnic (national) Albanian flag as the flag of Albania. On the previous day, FYROM parliament adopted a law which restricts use of the flags of nationalities, despite the disapproval of Albanian deputies.

    10,000 Albanian citizens gathered in front of the municipal assembly building to peacefully protest against the actions of the FYROM police and to defend the Albanian flag. FYROM police replied by using fire arms, killing two and wounding 138 demonstrators. Shpend Hyseni (32) a doctor and Nazmi Salihu (17) were killed. Over 700 people were arrested and many houses were searched.

    Chair of the municipal assembly in Gostivar, Rufi Osmani, and Ernad Fejzullahu , spokesperson of the Albanian Democratic Party in FYROM, were among 20 arrested political activists. Later Mr. Osmani was charged with "refusal to execute the court orders, organising a resistance and instigating national, racial and religious hate, division and national intolerance".

    The town of Gostivar has been under a state of emergency since 9 July. The situation in Tetova was also very tense when special police forces also removed today the Albanian flag from the Tetova municipal assembly building. The town hall of Tetova has been sealed off by heavy FYROM police forces, according to reports.

    Reports speak of damage to the Gostivar and Tetova Town Hall buildings. A state of emergency has also been imposed in Tetova.

    The Mayor of Tetove, Alajdin Demiri, has pressed charges against the FYROM Ministry for Internal Affairs for attacking and destroying the property of Tetova Town Hall.

    Latest report state that in the Clinical Centre in Skopje on 14 July the third victim of the riots in Gostivar from the 9th July. Miljam Dauti succumbed his wounds and died.

    [02] Albanian MPs in FYROM write to International Institutions

    Shkup, 11 June - The Parliamentary group of the Albanian Democratic Party in FYROM, wrote to UN,CSCE, European Council, European Parliament, US State Department and to the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

    In a letter that explains the discriminatory position of Albanians in FYRO, they call upon the international institutions to do their utmost to halt the violence and mediate in re-establishing a dialogue between Albanians and the FYROM government

    [03] President Berisha condemns police actions in Tetova and Gostivar

    Tirana, 10 July 1997 - Sali Berisha, president of the Republic of Albania expressed his deep concern about the situation in FYROM and condemned the use of violence by the police, the killings of at least two Albanians and the wounding of tens of others in Tetova and Gostivar.

    Berisha called upon the FYROM authorities to show restraint and to withdraw from the course of violence for the solution of political problems with the Albanians in this republic. He expressed his conviction that the consolidation of the equal rights of the Albanians with other citizens of FYROM would be the best contribution towards the strengthening of the state itself.

    [04] Note of protest of Albanian Foreign Ministry addressed to FYROM

    Tirana, 10 July 1997 - Mr. Arian Starova, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Albania, summoned on 10 July 1997 the ambassador of FYROM in Tirana, Nikola Todorcevski, and expressed his deep indignation of the Republic of Albania at recent events in Tetova and Gostivar. He handed him a note of protest of the Albanian Foreign Ministry adressed to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    Starova stated, that the Albanians in the FYROM had to be provided with the necessary space for the realisation of their rights and that any attempt to crush their protests and their demands through violence would endanger the stability in the region. He further stated that events such as those in Tetova and Gostivar could have been avoided and demanded that the ambassador transmits to the authorities of FYROM the Albanian request that such events be not repeated in the future.

    [05] Kosovar Political Parties Denounce FYROM Crackdown on Albanians

    Prishtina, 10 July - Albanian political parties, in Kosova denounced today in the strongest terms yesterdays crackdown by the troops of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) the Albanian community in the republic.

    LDK

    A statement issued by the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) states: The chauvinist-nationalist forces in FYROM see Macedonian statehood as a license to rule over the Albanians and the others, the LDK said, adding that in this, they have traced the policies of Milosevics Serbia. Such Macedonian circles "cannot accommodate with the normal and legitimate requests of the Albanians to freely use their national flag, equal usage of Albanian language, as well as an Albanian-language University, the LDK noted. The newly emerged independent Macedonia, after the demise of former Yugoslavia, has not marked a new stage in Albanian-Macedonian relations, according to the LDK. "Acceptance of Macedonian statehood by Albanians has been misconstrued and misinterpreted by the Macedonian national chauvinists, for they cannot understand that Albanians can accept as their own state only a Macedonia which would be a common state of Albanians and the Macedonians", the LDK said.

    PPK

    The Parliamentary Party of Kosova (PPK) is of opinion that the intervention of FYROM police once more verifies that the anti-Albanian wing of FYROMs authorities is becoming harsher, strongert and ready to escalate the conflict which would have tragic consequences for Albanians and Macedonians. The PPK states that it is appalled international monitors in FYROM failed to react in accordance with the new circumstances and that the CSCE office in FYROM ignored this crime.

    PSDK

    The Social-Democratic Party of Kosova (PSDK) expressed its admiration for Albanian population in FYROM. By standing up for our national flag they proved that they will not allow subjugation of their national being. "Regardless of current circumstances, the unsolved Albanian is one and indivisible. The Albanian nation in situations such as the one in Gostivar would not hesitate to act as a nation".

    PSHDK

    Meanwhile, the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosova (PSHDK) denounced the "vandalism of the Macedonian special police forces against the Albanian population".

    The PSHDK calls on the international community to step in so as to prevent the escalation of the conflict in FYROM. It calls on the FYROM government to give up its discriminatory policies against Albanians. "Usage of the national flag is an inalienable right for all the peoples", the PSHDK said.

    PLK

    The Liberal Party of Kosova (PLK) said the attack on Albanians in Gostivar was "a premeditated act of the FYROM police units" The FYROM crackdown on Albanians comes after a meeting of the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic with FYROM Prime Minister Crvenkovski, the PLK said. The FYROM behaviour towards the Albanians is evidence of the fact that this newly emerging independent state has been "prematurely recognised by the world", the PLK concluded

    [06] Serb court sentences 15 Albanians to 264 Years in Prison

    Prishtina, 11 July - Fifteen Albanians were sentenced yesterday (Friday) by a Serbian regime court in Prishtina to prison sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in yet another staged political trial.

    The trial of Albanians on charges of hostile activities and terrorism- commenced on June 3 in the Serb-run District Court in Prishtina.

    Only three of the accused stood trial (Besim Rama, Idriz Asllani and Avni Nura), the remaining being tried in absentia.

    Besim Rama, the first defendant, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, Idriz Asllani to 15 years, whereas the third defendant Avni Nura to 4 years imprisonment. Adem Jashari, Jakup Nura, Fadil Kadriu, Nuredin Lushtaku, Sahit Jashari, Rafet Rama, Sami Lushtaku, Ilaz Kadriu, Rexhep Selimi and Zenun Kadriu were sentenced to 20 years in prison each. Ali Jonuzi received 15 years, whereas Hashim Thai 10 years of imprisonment.

    Most of the defendants are from two municipalities in central Kosova, Skenderaj and Vushtrri (in Serbian: Srbica and Vucitrn). The first three defendants, Besim Rama, Avni Nura and Idriz Asllani, have been held in Serbian custody since last autumn. When the verdict was announced Friday, the presiding judge Sladjana Petrovic said nothing about whom did the accused kill or wound or when and how, Bujku newspaper noted today (Saturday), adding that she did not offer any evidence on which the verdict was based. Self-incriminating confessions the defendants had made during the pre-trial period was the only evidence the Serb regime court had in support of the draconian sentences.

    The defendants denied in court their confessions which had been obtained under torture in the hands of the Serbian state security. What became clear during the hearings in the trial was the cruel tortures the Albanians had been subjected to while in detention in order to make them confess to having been involved in hostile and terrorist activities. Besim Rama and Avni Nura had been abducted last autumn and held incommunicado for 16 days.

    The Serb regime court could not substantiate charges that Besim Rama was a member of the so-called Ushtria lirimtare e Kosovs (UK) [the Liberation Army of Kosova], that the defendants had been in Albania and received military training there and that Besim Rama was head of a terrorist gang.

    Mr. Bengt Bondeson , representative ofInternational Federation of Lawyers, who monitored this trial stated that in his 17 years of experience as a judge, he had never seen that any court try 12 people in absentia, charged even for political terrorism. He was appalled by the way the trial in Prishtina Court.

    [07] President Rugova meets Italian officials

    Roma, 9 July - President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova had separate meetings yesterday (Monday) in Rome with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamberto Dini and the Italian Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta.

    During a long and friendly meeting with Foreign Minister Dini and his aides in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the current situation in Kosova as well as the ways and prospects for a negotiated settlement to the Kosova issue were discussed. President Rugova and Minister Dini discussed also about the current developments in the region.

    President Rugova said the situation continued to be grave and tense as a result of the systematic repression and violence the Serbian regime institutes against the Albanian people. The unexplained killings of Albanians, arrests, as well as the Serbian regime engineered show political trials of Albanians had further added to the volatile situation in Kosova, President Rugova said.

    The response of the people of Kosova has been peaceful and democratic, Dr. Rugova said, recalling that an independent infrastructure of political and democratic institutions had been built in Kosova. Open confrontation has been averted owing to this path the Albanians have pursued, though sacrificing much, President Rugova said.

    The Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said his country was concerned about the situation in Kosova and that his government supported an equitable solution to the Kosova problem. Mr. Dini shared an interest in the prospects for a dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade.

    President Rugova said the Kosovar leadership was willing to engage in a talks process with Belgrade, which should be done under the mediation of a third authorized party. He reiterated his call for the United States of America, in close co-operation with the European Union, to mediate the Prishtina-Belgrade dialogue on Kosova.

    Foreign Minister Dini said Italy would insist on securing mediation in the talks process on Kosova.

    President Rugova thanked Mr. Dini for his personal and his governments engagement towards Kosova and called for the establishment of a permanent Italian presence in Kosova.

    President Rugova also met with Italian Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta, Umberto Ranieri, head of the foreign relations committee in the Democratic Party of the Left, and member of the Italian Parliament, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Italian Senate, Gian Giacomo Migone, and the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Deputies in the Italian Parliament, Achille Occhetto .

    [08] Sweden and Former Yugoslavia fail to reach an agreement

    Prishtina, 9 July - The Signing of an agreement between Sweden and the Former Yugoslavia to repatriate over 2,000 Kosova asylum seekers did not take place as anticipated on 4 July 1997. According to sources from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the Belgrade regime at eleventh hour stated that it would not allow the return of Albanians whose application for asylum in Sweden had been refused.

    [09] Report on the violation of human rights and freedoms in Kosova during June 1997

    The situation in Kosova continues to be very difficult and tense. The brutal campaign of arrests and raids followed by demolition, ill- treatment, threats and assaults on a national basis continued during the month of June 1997. During June 1997, 146 persons, including 11 women, 2 children, 45 political activists 6 journalists and 6 repatriated asylum seekers, were subjected to different forms of ill-treatment.

    According to the report released b the Council 1 person was killed; another one was wounded, due to their political activity 3 persons were sentenced to prison terms, 4 others were sentenced for petty- offences; there were 39 cases of physical ill-treatment; 77 persons were arbitrarily arrested; 31 persons underwent routine checking; 61 were taken into custody for "informative talks"; 1 person was dismissed from his job; 3 passports were seized; 17 families were raided; 1 person was taken hostage; 59 cases of ill-treatment for weapons; 49 persons were summoned and searched for weapons; 4 Albanian families were evicted from their flats; and 3 cases of police interference in educational institutions have been reported


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