36 Kosovo prisoners on hunger strike in Mitrovica: UNMIK
MAY 12 -- The number of prisoners on hunger strike at the Mitrovica detention center in Kosovo currently stands at 36, a spokeswoman for the United Nations mission in Kosovo said today in Pristina.
31 Serbs and five Roma are protesting the delays in their trial proceedings and have refused all food since Orthodox Easter on 1 May, said Nadia Younes, spokewswoman for the United Nations Interim Adminsitration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Ms. Younes said that in response to the hunger strike, and at the urging of the UN mission, the President of the District Court of Mitrovica has rescheduled their trials, the first of which will start on June 6. Meanwhile, the hunger strikers are being cared for by four doctors to monitor their health during the ongoing strike.
A panel of judges, including Mr. Karphammar, the international judge in Mitrovica, will conduct the trial, the spokeswoman said. UNMIK will provide the district court of Mitrovica with additional security. The Department of Judicial Affairs will also ensure that ethnic Serb judges who have already been appointed are sworn in and start working as soon as possible, she added.
Ms. Younes said that yesterday and again today, UNMIK police had reported peaceful demonstrations being held in front of the detention center.
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