REPORT ON THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IN KOSOVA DURING JANUARY 2000
The killings, woundings and disappearances
continued during the month of January. The cycle of violence was
extended with the killing of Albanian citizens as well as that of
other nationalities. According to the available data at the CDHRF, 17
citizens were killed, among whom, 6 Albanians, 4 Serbs, 4 Bosniacs and
3 unidentified. An Albanian citizen was wounded. An Albanian prisoner
died in the prison of Pozharevc. A 10-year-old child was kidnapped in
Prizren. Unknown persons kidnapped Salih Hysen Emini from Reēak (Shtime),
whose corpse was found in Petrova (Shtime) on 3 January. The Serbian
courts went on convicting the Albanian citizens, whereas a very small
number of them was released. During the month of January, a minefield
was identified in the Suka quarter in the vicinity of the
village of Bllaca (Suhareka). There were explosions in several towns
Killings during the month of January 2000
There were many killings in Kosova during the
month of January under different circumstances.
On 11 January, in the Tusus quarter,
unknown persons killed 4 members of the Skėnderi family, a Bosniac
family, of whom spouses Sezair (52) and Anife (50), their daughter
Ardiana (21) and Sezairs mother Gjyla (78). The Council for the
Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Prishtina has strongly
condemned this violent act.
On 13 January, the corpse of Merita Hamdi Shabiu
(12) from the village of Debėlldeja, living in Vitia, was found in
the outskirts of Vitia. Merita went missing on 12 January. The victim
was raped. The American soldier Frank J. Ronghi (36) was accused of
the crime. The officer was kept in detention in the prison of the
Bondsteel Camp in Sojeva (Ferizaj). Later on, he was transferred to
the prison in the American military base in Manhajm in Germany. There,
military prosecutors will investigate him.
Killings under unknown circumstances
During the very same period, killings under
unknown circumstances were very common. On 4 January, at about 9.30
am, Mėhill Binak Ukaj (1962) from the village of Zhub was killed in
the vicinity of the Zef Lush Marku Primary School in the village
of Brekoc near Gjakova.
On 7 January, the corpse of an unidentified male
was found in Prizren. After the investigation, it was confirmed that
the killed was a Serb and that he had been shot on his head.
On 14 January, at about midnight, two
unidentified corpses (shot with fire arms) were found by a KFOR
On 16 January, unknown persons killed three
Serbs from the village of Partesh (Gjilan). The very same day, an
Albanian was killed in Gjilan. In Ferizaj, a person was wounded. KFOR
took him to hospital, where he died.
On 17 January, unknown persons killed Ajet
Istogu. The corpse of Sali Lutolli (40), a KLA soldier from
Llapashtica e Epėrme, was found in Llapashtica e Epėrme (Podujeva).
CDHRF based in Prishtina is very concerned
regarding the increasing number of killings and has condemned these
acts of arbitrary killings. It has also appealed to the international
community for a concrete and urgent engagement in order to prevent the
spread of the cycle of violence, whereas to the Kosovar citizens, it
appealed for self-restraint highlighting that it is a duty of each
citizen to contribute to the prevention of crime and in catching the
Mass gravesites exhumations and the
identification of the killed
In the beginning of January 2000, according
to different clothing items and other personal belongings of the
killed, which were exhibited in the building of the Municipal Council
in Skėnderaj, families could identify 8 more Albanians, who were
killed on 28 March by the Serbian forces in Izbica (Skėnderaj). The
number of the identified in this massacre is 40 so far.
KFOR French soldiers found several corpses in
the Ibri River in the vicinity of the village of Serbovc. Fahredin
Ramė Sokoli (59) was identified among them. He and a group of 14
Albanians were arrested by the Serbian militaries
and paramilitaries on 8 June 1999 and ever since
there are no information on their whereabouts. It is believed that all
of them were executed.
4 of the 6 corpses found in the graves in Bresje
(Fushė Kosova) on 6 December 1999, killed by the Serbian forces in
March 1999, were identified after the expertise done according to
Serbian Courts convicted 12 Albanians to
63 years of imprisonment
Muhamet Ukė Miftari (1948), arrested on 28
May 1999, died in the prison of Pozharevc. During the very same
period, Serbian courts went on convicting tens of Albanians.
During January, these courts convicted 12
Albanians to 63 years of imprisonment. In the meantime, a small number
of Albanians was released from the prisons.
On 4 January, the District Court in Prokuple
(Serbia) convicted the following: Hajredin and Ylber Zyberaj as well
as Qazim Morina to 5 years of imprisonment; Sylė Morina, Reshit
Morina and Xhemė Berisha to 3 years of imprisonment; as well as
Amrush Hoti to 2 years of imprisonment.
On 26 January, the District Court in Nish
(Serbia) convicted Adrian Haxhaj from Gllareva (Klina), a student and
reporter with the Bota e Re newspaper, who was arrested in
September 1998, to 3 years of imprisonment. The very same court
convicted Musli Rexhepi (44) from Podujeva to 1 year of imprisonment.
On 27 January, the following were sentenced by
the District Court in Pozharevc (Serbia): Safet Kabashi and Sead
Kabashi from Opterusha (Rahovec) to 14 years of imprisonment and
Kapllan Mazrreku to 10 years of imprisonment.
Demė Ramosaj from Carrabreg i Poshtėm, who was
arrested on 20 June 1998 by the Serbian forces, was released from the
prison of Mitrovica e Sremit. Dema was a witness of the massacre of
the Serbian forces in the prison of Dubrava in Istog in May last year.
Dema stated that he and a group of three Albanians were ordered by the
Serbian forces to gather the corpses of the 173 Albanians killed by
Serbian policemen, guardians, paramilitaries and prisoners.
The situation of human rights in the
municipalities of Presheva, Bujanoc and Medvegja
The situation in this region continues to be
very grave due to the frequent interventions of the Serbian police
forces and after the killing of brothers Isa (1964) and Shaip Saqipi
(1968) from the village of Dobrosin (Bujanoc), while they were on
their way back from the forest (where they had gone to cut wood).
After this incident, many inhabitants fled their homes. On 5 January,
the District Court in Bujanoc started the trial against Sevdail Hyseni
for the 22nd time. He is accused of insulting the Serbian people
and the other nationalities of Yugoslavia in his poem With
Saikaca (a Serb cap) towards Europe from his book When fate is
on you side. The trial was postponed for later on the suggestion of
the defendant of the accused party. On 4 January, at 12, the District
Court in Presheva continued the trial against Riza Halimi, the mayor
of Presheva and chairman of the Party for Democratic Action, for the
8th time, under the charges that during the peaceful protests against
the Serbian massacres in Drenica on 5 March 1998, he had prevented
officials to carry out their work.
Many drivers are looted at the Serbian police
checkpoints on the border with Kosova. They are forced to give money,
petrol and food to the policemen in order to pass the checkpoints
without any trouble. Otherwise, they cannot pass; they are insulted on
a national and family basis and are physically ill-treated.
Attacks, ill-treatments, provocations
Since the arrival of KFOR troops in Kosova,
the Sub-CDHRF in Mitrovica reports on ill-treatments of the Albanians,
who remained in the northern part of Mitrovica, which is currently
controlled by the Serbs. According to the witnesses in the northern
part of Mitrovica, armed Serbian paramilitaries walk freely in the
streets and continuously torture and terrorise the Albanian
inhabitants. Members of the peacekeeping force do not prevent the
violence. Furthermore, they take part in the ill-treatments of the
population. Many cases and facts prove on the events, which take place
in Mitrovica, Graēanica, Obiliq, Vitia and Kamenica, as well as in
all other Serbian enclaves, which have become a permanent source of
On 2 January, Serbian paramilitaries in
Graēanica attacked the Pėrparimi bus from Kamenica. During the
recent holidays, the Alpescomerc and Kosovatransi buses
travelling between Gjilan and Prishtina were attacked as well.
Considerable material damage was caused, but luckily no one was
On 3 January, at about noon, a group of Serbs
beat and physically ill-treated Ramiz Xheladin Hoti (39) and his
sister Naxhie (41). The incident occurred in the vicinity of the place
called Polet, in the Ibri quarter, in the northern part of the
town. Ramiz suffered heavy injuries.
During the evening, Serbian snipers from the
northern part of the town opened fire towards the southern part of
Such cases of violence occurred frequently in
Mitrovica during the month of January.
On 7 January, at about 14.00, in Kishnica, local
Serbs blocked the road between Prishtina-Gjilan and in the presence of
KFOR troops threw stones to the bus and vehicles with Albanian
passengers. With the help of KFOR troops, the bus and the vehicles
passed. But, while travelling through Graēanica, the local Serbs
provoked the Albanians, whereas some attempted to attack an Albanian
old man wearing a turf, who had just got out of the car. Yet, they
were prevented by KFOR troops. At that time, some Albanian youngsters
went out of the bus in order to protect the old man. Local Serbs
started to throw stones and bottles on them. The very same were
returned towards Serbs. KFOR troops prevented further fighting.
On 24 January, in front of the checkpoint of the
KFOR Russian forces in Berivojca (Kamenica), local Serbs attacked and
ill-treated passers-by, among whom Fadil Kovani from Koretin (Kamenica).
This was done in the presence of Russian troops, who did not undertake
anything to prevent them.
On 23 January, at about 20.00-20.30, a group of
15 Serbs attacked brothers Bajram and Behram Krasniqi and Behrams
son Gani (16) from Sibovc, living in Obiliq, as well as Ramadan
Rrahmani from Kozarica. Serbs beat several Albanian children, too.
KFOR Norwegian forces came to the spot. The assaulters ran away,
whereas Gani Krasniqi was arrested.
During the very same period, CDHRF registered
KFOR and UNMIK police interventions in some Albanian villages and
houses. They raided, arrested (under different pretext) and
ill-treated people. Such interventions were registered in Malisheva,
Gjakova, Mitrovica, Prishtina, Kamenica, Vitia, Fushė Kosova,
Suhareka, Skėnderaj, Lipjan, Deēan and Gllogoc.
On 16 January, two KFOR Russian soldiers stopped
and provoked Hysen Merovci, chairman of the Sub-CDHRF in Fushė
Kosova, and Shaban Berisha, chairman of the Mother Theresa
branch in Fushė Kosova, even though they had their identification
documents proving that they are workers of certain NGOs.
CDHRF also concludes that the general security
situation concerning minorities did not have any positive change.
Moreover, they are still threatened, insecure and their freedom of
movement is limited. CDHRF thinks that the international community was
not successful in the protection of minorities. On the contrary, it
has created confusion. The approach to the solution of this problem is
wrong by creating ghettos and enclaves.
The Council for the Defence of Human Rights and
Freedoms has drawn the attention on the escalation of violence, the
victims of which are the citizens of Kosova regardless of their
nationality. CDHRF, as an institution dealing with the defence of
human rights and freedoms, sticks to the UN Universal Declaration on
Human Rights, which is the basis of our activity.
During the month of January 2000, CDHRF
-17 killed in different
ways, of whom:
-6 Albanians, 4 Serbs, 4
Bosniacs, 3 unidentified
-2 wounded (one Albanian and
-12 convicted by the Serbian
-31 ill-treated by the Serbs
in the northern part of Mitrovica, who suffered injuries
-4 burned houses and 7 others
shelled by the Serbs in Mitrovica
Explosive devices were
set in Fushė Kosova, Prishtina, Prizren, Suhareka, etc. Apart from
material losses, there were no human victims.
Rr. Zdrini, 38000 Prishtinė-Kosovė;
tel. 381 (0) 549006 fax: 381 (0) 38 549007
Prishtina, 14 February