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Kosova Communication 299, 97-04-21

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. 299, 21 April 1997


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kornblum
  • [02] Albanian Political Leaders at the State Department
  • [03] Shehu demands self-determination for Kosova
  • [04] UN Human Rights Commission resolution
  • [05] Serb University Rector: No University in Albanian
  • [06] Six Albanians Reported in Custody in Belgrade Since Last Friday
  • [07] Serb Authorities Prevent Kosova Albanians from Entering Country
  • [08] Petition to expel an Albanian family
  • [09] Chronicle of violence

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kornblum

    Prishtina, 12 April - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today (Saturday) in Prishtina John Kornblum, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State who was accompanied by the new U.S. special envoy to former Yugoslavia, Robert Gelbard.

    President Rugova briefed the U.S. delegation on developments in Kosova, noting that the situation has continued to be grave and volatile amidst permanent Serbian regimes repressive practices. Speaking on a possible solution to the problem of Kosova, President Rugova stated that an independent and neutral Kosova, with all guarantes for local Serbs and their interests was a viable solution.

    Rugova demanded that the United States take a leading role in mediating talks on the future of Kosova.

    Mr. Kornblum stated that the US was very concerned about the difficult situation in Kosova, and went on to state that he had a lot of respect for the peaceful policies of the people of Kosova . He underlined the strong American commitment for a peaceful solution to the Kosova issue.

    "We have put forward ideas, we have used our influence, and, as I said, we have made it clear to the Serbian authorities that if they wish to develop relationship between our countries there must be progress here", the U.S. official stated.

    Following the meeting, Mr. Kornblum held a press conference at the USIS Office in Prishtina. At the conference Mr. Kornblum stated that the future of Kosova was possible in Serbia and that would be a major contribution to peace in the region.

    Mr. Kornblum went on to say that "the drive now for independence does not contribute to a pragmatic step by step achievement of this goal".

    Kosova needs now to make progress in education, in relation between peoples, restoration of human rights - that was our aim and this should be achieved in pragmatic ways concluded Mr. Kornblum.

    [02] Albanian Political Leaders at the State Department

    Washington DC, 15 April - Four Kosovar Albanian political leaders discussed Kosova on Monday in Washington with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Rudolf Perina.

    Dr. Fehmi Agani and Hydajet Hyseni, vice-chair of the Democratic of Kosova (LDK), Dr. Mark Krasniqi, chair of the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosova (PSHDK), and Adem Demai, chair of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova (PPK), said they discussed ways to address the Kosova issue.

    In a statement to the Voice of America Hydajet Hyseni stated that a solution to the issue of Kosova should be sought in democratic principles. Democracy is the condition for the solution of Kosova. There can be no democratic Serbia as long as the Kosova issue remains unsolved", Dr. Fehmi Agani stated that: "We cling to independence, despite the current position of the international community for it, is the declared will of the people", concluding that, naturally enough, assistance from the international community was needed to see "our goals fulfilled".

    "The discussions focussed mainly on the roundtable meeting held last week in New York", Dr. Fehmi Agani told the VOA, adding that more could have been made of the roundtable discussing. "Yet, such discussions are a step forward, and we hope that in the future they will be more fruitful", he said.

    Mark Krasniqi stated that they pressed in the meeting for the U.S. to alter its position towards the Kosova issue. "They, however, reiterated that they could not recognise independence for Kosova", he added.

    PPK leader Adem Demai said there was a greater understanding of the Kosova problem by the Americans. "I cannot say, though, that they have understood it to the bottom of its essence", Mr. Demai told the VOA, adding that there was a need for U.S. to maintain the outer wall of sanctions on Belgrade, and support the democratic movements in Serbia and Kosova, as well as support for the "national and political rights of the Albanians".

    [03] Shehu demands self-determination for Kosova

    Tirana, 16 April - Speaking at a press conference in Tirana , Mr. Tritan Shehu, chair of the Democratic Party of Albania, stated that the people of Kosova should have the right to self-determination like other people of former Yugoslavia: "no one can deny this right to two million Albanians living in Kosova".

    [04] UN Human Rights Commission resolution

    Geneva, 15 April - The UN Commission on Human Rights has adopted during its fifty-third session in Geneva a resolution on the situation of human rights in the territory of former Yugoslavia, in which Kosova features highly as a country in which human rights are violated. The resolution refers to the findings of the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Elisabeth Rehn, who has presented periodic reports on the situation, after visits to the countries of former Yugoslavia, including Kosova.

    The resolution demand from the Belgrade authorities

    To cease torture and ill-treatment of persons in detention as described in the report of the special rapporteur, and to bring those responsible to justice;

    To take immediate action, in view of the deteriorating situation in Kosovo and the danger of escalating violence there, to put an end to the continuing repression of and prevent violence against the ethnic Albanian population, including acts of harassment, beatings, torture, warrantless searches, arbitrary detention, unfair trials, and arbitrary, unjustified evictions and dismissals;

    To release all political detainees, allow the return in safety and dignity of ethnic Albanian refugees to Kosovo and respect fully all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination in the field of education and information;

    To allow the establishment of democratic institutions in Kosovo and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, and in particular to improve the situation of ethnic Albanian women and children, and to allow the international presence for monitoring of the human rights situations;

    Allow the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union to establish a presence in Prishtina (Kosovo), and to allow visits by the personal representative of the of the Chairman in Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Kosovo;

    [05] Serb University Rector: No University in Albanian

    The "possibility of the return of Albanian students to the University [of Prishtina]" was the topic of a discussion between Nicholas Hill, Second Secretary of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and Michael McClellan, director of the USIS-Prishtina and Dr. Radivoje Papovic, rector of the Serb run University in Prishtina.

    The Prishtina-based Serbian daily Jedinstvo quoted Saturday Dr. Papovic as saying to the U.S. officials that there "can be no parallel University, nor will there be one", referring to the Albanian- medium University of Prishtina. The issue of university in "languages of ethnic minorities" should not be raised at all, Papovic stated, arguing that it "contravenes international standards and norms".

    The Serb community in Kosova, no more than 7-8 percent of the population, is referred to as a majority, whereas the 90 percent Albanian population is labelled the minority.

    The University of Prishtina was a bilingual institution of higher education which offered instruction in both Albanian and Serbian languages till the autumn of 1991, when Serbian authorities declared the Albanian part of the University (75-80 percent of the students body and the teaching staff) non- existent, on the grounds that minorities were not entitled to university level education.

    [06] Six Albanians Reported in Custody in Belgrade Since Last Friday

    Six Kosova Albanians who were detained upon their return from Germany and Switzerland last Friday have been reported as being held in Serbian custody in Belgrade.

    The Prishtina-based Bujku newspaper said today (Wednesday) that 6 Albanians were arrested by the Serbian police at Prishtina airport on 11 April. Bujku has quoted Zeq Tahiraj, the son of one of the detained Albanians, Hazir Tahiraj from Strellc village of Dean, as saying his father and five other Albanians, guest workers in Germany and Switzerland, were initially held at Prishtina airport and was then sent to Belgrade. They are believed to be still held in custody.

    [07] Serb Authorities Prevent Kosova Albanians from Entering Country

    Serb authorities at the Prishtina airport have prevented a Kosova Albanian, Enver B. Mziu (23) from Mitrovica, from entering the country.

    On 12 April while on his way from Germany, Enver Meziu was held for one night at the Prishtina airport and eventually sent back to Germany. He was in possession of required travelling documents.

    The Serb police have told Enver Mzius father that his son was sent back to Germany for the repatriation was not allowed individually but it had to be carried in an organised way!

    [08] Petition to expel an Albanian family

    Peja, 17 April - The Serbian population of the Gorazhdec village near Peja have signed a petition to expel an Albanian family of 12 from the village. Miladin Jovanovic, the Mayor of Peja, promised Serbs from Gorazhdec that he would do his best to expel the Murriqi family from their village.

    [09] Chronicle of violence

    Mitrovica, 11 April - Agim S. Berisha (43) from Kii i Madh village was arrested by the Serbian police today morning. Sources in Mitrovica stated that Agim Berisha was arrested on the street. The police have failed to produce an arrest warrant or explanation about the arrest.

    Kamenica, 11 April - The Serbian police arrested yesterday (Thursday) Ilmi Shkodra local LDK activist from Kamenica under the pretext of illegal arms possession. Mr Shkodra was held in custody until 23:00 p.m., during which he was also subjected to severe physical torture. He was also reported to have been held in custody on 5 and 7 April, together with his brother Gani Shkodra.

    Gjakova, 11 April - The Serbian police arrested Ismet Leka and Ahmet Krasniqi. They are still reported in custody. The reason of their arrest is yet unknown.

    Dean, 14 April - : On 14 April, large Serbian police forces sealed off entrances and exits to Dean, harassing many Albanian passers-by while checking up their identity. The police, reportedly, have also raided three Albanian cafes in Isniq village. Several Albanians were reported ill- treated and ordered to report to the Serbian police station, with no reason whatsoever.

    Gjakova, 15 April - Yesterday (Monday), Serbian police detained Nur H. Bobi from Dev village, under the pretext of arms possession . He was held for over two hours and subjected to physical torture at the Serbian police station in Gjakova.

    Shtime, 17 April - Zeqir Rexhaj, member of Local Finance Council, was arrested on the morning of 16 April. He was held until 16:30 during which he was severely maltreated.


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