|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Kosova Communication, 97-08-02
From: Kosova Information Centre - London <firstname.lastname@example.org>
KOSOVA COMMUNICATION W. 31
 21 ALBANIANS FACE DEATH PENALITES IN NEW SERB TRIALS IN KOSOVAPRISHTINA, July 29 (KIC) - Twenty-one (21) ethnic Albanians were put before a Serbian-run court yesterday (Monday) in Prishtina, capital of Kosova. They were charged for forming an underground organization and for committing armed assaults against Serbian targets in Kosova, aiming the independence of the country.
Charges have been brought against Nait Hasani (1965), Agron Tolaj (1970),Arif Vokshi (1965), Hasan Zeneli (1964), Qerim Kelmendi (1966), Adrian Krasniqi (1972), Alban Neziri, Agim Makolli (1962), Hamza Panxhaj (1976), Asllan Selimi (1966), Eqrem Kastrati (1970), Isak Shabani (1964), Bislim Zogaj (1965), Ilir Gashi (1971) , Januz Zeneli (1942), Ali Gjuliqi (1973), Demir Limaj (1973), Agim Hulaj (1960), Selim Lokaj (1948), Hajdin Rama (1938) and Nezir Zogaj (1933).
The Serbian prosecutor stated yesterday that the accused, from early1992 to 1997, "have been members of a hostile organization", i.e. Kosova Liberation Army (UÇK). They are charged for organizing and committing numerous spectacular assaults against high ranking Serbian officers and Serb extremist leaders, as well as against ethnic Albanians suspected for collaboration with the Serbian state security UDB.The statement, published by the Serbian-run Information Secretariat in Prishtina, said that at least three (3) of the suspects were still on the run.
The majority of the defendants were arrested in a round-up during fournights between January and February 1997, together with some 100 other persons, mainly university students. 55 of them have been held in detention and indicted by the Serb regime on alleged terrorist charges. The list is headed by Nait Hassani, 31, who was arrested in March this year under dramatic circumstances. UDB held Hassani in a secret location for several weeks, acting countrary to valid laws of Serbia/Montenegro. Human right organizations revealed the case since UDB was forced to hospitalize Hassani during the course of interrogation.
Internationall NGO's have accused Serbian authorities for usingtorture against almost all detainees during the investigation period. One of the suspects, Besnik Restelica, 30, was tortured to death after being held a month in detention.
The defending lawyers say they are practicly not allowed to defendtheir clients. During the whole course of investigative detention, which lasted for 6 months, the lawyers were denied contact with clients and could not access their files. Adem Bajri, a lawyer, sais he was allowed to meet his client on few occassions. Yet, during 6 months, he was only allowed to ask him one question: "How are you?".
Bajri sais he could clearly see marks of torture on the face of hisclient. His claims are supported by other lawyers. They claim that the Serb authorities are laying down the grounds to extend death penalty for the defendants.
According to the prosecutor, the trial meant "a break-through" in theSerbian campaign against Kosova Liberation Army (UÇK). In a warrious communiqué last week, UÇK pledged it would take revenge by intensifying it's attacks against Serbian targets.
The Albanian establishment has declared that the new Serbian trial hasbeen staged by Belgrade for propagandistic reasons. "This is a fars", say sources within LDK in Prishtina. "They want to damage the peaceful resistance in Kosova with accusations of terrorism".
During the last three months, 35 ethnic Albanians have been sentencedto a total of over 300 years in prison under similar charges. The trails are the the first in 15 years were Albanians are accused for armed resistance against Serbs in Kosova. Between 1981 and 1990, over 2'000 ethnic Albanians were sentenced from 1 to 5 years in prison; 7'000 were sentenced up to 1 year, and over half a million have been interrogated by the Serbian security UDB.
 EU WARNS BELGRADE ON KOSOVABRUSSELS, July 31 (KIC) - "The European Union wishes to convey a message to the authorities of the FRY and to the entire population of the country", sais a letter by the Presidency of the EU, issued today, which, among others deals with Kosova, too.
"Tension in Kosovo has recently been heightened by judgments which runcounter to equitable legal standards. One disturbing factor is the apparent indifference of the FRY's authorities to signs directed towards them".
The letter also sais that it is now essential to stress the risks of apolicy which worsens of the political climate a deteriorates the economic situation by heightering ethnic tension in Kosova and Sandzak. The EU Presiodency letter stresses the importance of negotiations and calls for for authorities to "avoid the use of violence and recourse to force, especially in Kosovo".
 KOSOVA PM MEETS ALBANIAN PRESIDENT...TIRANA, July 28 (ATA) - The Prime Minister of Kosova, Dr. Bujar Bukoshi, met on Sunday with the President of Albania, Rexhep Mejdani. The officials expressed their satisfaction for the meeting. Kosova Prime Minister congratulated his counter-part on the elections results and on his new post as the president of the Republic.
Mejdani acquainted Bukoshi with the situation in Albania and presentedthe goals of the government during the period of the economic and institutional renewal of the country. Bukoshi expressed the great interest of Albanians in Kosova and broader in Albania's stabilization and progress. "Without a strong and stable Albania", Bukoshi said, "our efforts for a just solution to the Kosova issue cannot be successful".
Mejdani and Bukoshi exchanged views on different problems in Albania,and on the aid that the Albanian community abroad can offer to encounter the difficult situation in the country.
 ... AND ALBANIAN PMTIRANA, July 27 (ATA) - Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano and Kosova Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi underlined on Sunday the common will to cooperate and establish institutionalization of their meetings Nano and Bukoshi had two-hour cordial talks and discussed the Kosova problem, situation in Albania and the region.
Bukoshi said to the newly-appointed Prime Minister that he had come toAlbania with the aim of greeting him personally and his party for the success in elections and the important post he assumed. We, said Bukoshi, clearly know the difficult situation in which the new government is starting its work. We wish you successes not only in overcoming the crisis but also in carrying out the program of the new government. Your goals aim at making Albania a stabilised and a strong country and a dignified part of the democratic Euro-Atlantic family.
Prime Minister Nano assured his Kosova counterpart of the firm will ofthe Socialist Party and coalition government to stay side by side with the Albanians in Kosova and all other Albanians living in Albanian territories on the Balkan Peninsula.
Nano and Bukoshi exchanged further on their views on present Albanianand Kosovan policy, as well as on the developments in Serbia and Balkan.
 PRESIDENT RUGOVA RECEIVES AUSTRIAN AMBASSADORPRISHTINA, July 28 (KIC) - President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today H.E. Dr. Michael Weninger, Austria's Ambassador to Belgrade, who is on a farewell visit to Kosova.The current situation and the prospects for a negotiated and political settlement to the Kosova issue were discussed.
 "BELGRADE SHOULD LISTEN TO KOSOVA"PRISHTINA, July 31 (KIC) -"It is very important that there is dialogue there, which is, in turn, a two-way process", British Foreign Minister Robin Cook told the Belgrade-based B92 radio, in response to a question as to how he saw the development of the situation in Kosova. "Politicians in Belgrade and President Milosevic should listen to what the people in Kosova tell them", Mr. Cook said, according to today's Nasa Borba.
 "NO! TO SERBIAN COLONIZATION"PRISHTINA, Jluly 21 (KIC) - Local associations and political parties in Deçan, Southern Kosova, have addressed a petition to the UNHCR, International Helsinki Federation, UNICEF, and OSCE, protesting against the planting of Serbian settlers in this district.The Serbian regime began implementing in 1991 colonization schemes to relocate Serb refugees to the Deçan municipality, initially by bringing 1,236 Serbian refugees from Albania, and then a large number of Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia (among them notorious war criminals) and sheltering them in Deçan. They express their concern that the Serbian regime has recently began giving them shelter in Albanians`private property, too. The Deçan political and human rights associations list a number of cases of provocations conducted by the Serbian refugees against the local Albanian population, among them the murder of the Albanian brothers Ali Demë Shabani and Ibrahim Demë Shabani, and the 23-year-old mother of two, Violeta Dervishaj.
 JOURNALIST ILL-TREATED BY F.Y.R.O.M. AUTHORITIESPRISHTINA, 28 July- Last Friday, July 25th, the Macedonian border authorities at the FYROM-Albanian border crossing of Qafë e Thanës, stopped Nuhi Bytyçi, journalist, and held him for interrogation for over four hours. Mr. Bytyçi was interrogated about the political situation in Kosova, and his journalistic work. The FYROM security seized three video tapes dedicated for the satellite program of the Albanian TV, recorded in Kosova.
 SERBIAN STATE TERROR IN KOSOVA CONTINUESPrishtina: On 28 July, heavy Serbian police forces raided on the home of Xhevdet A. Berisha at Rufcë village of Peja, ill-treating him and demolishing home furniture. Mr. Berisha, a school principal, was accused of being in alleged possession of weapons and required to turn in a gun. Though he denied being in possession of arms he was beaten-up in the presence of family members. The police arrested Mr. Berisha and he has not yet been released.
Mitrovica: On 24 July, the Serbian police raided on the home of Muharrem H. Kurti, at Vllahia village. Since Mr. Kurti was not at home, the police ill-treated his father Hajriz Kurti.
Mr. Kurti was later on arrested and taken to the police station. Thepolice beated Mr. Kurti up severely, accusing him of beeing in possession of weapons.
Gjilan: Xhelil Pajaziti, local political activist in Gjilan, was held 29 and 30 July at the Serbian police station in Gjilan.While in detention, he was told to turn in an automatic gun he had allegedly bought recently. Later on, Mr. Pajaziti was tortered severely by Serbian policemen.
Shtime: Around 14:00 hrs yesterday, under the pretext of arms searches, the Serbian police raided the home of Heset Baftiaj and arrested him. He was realeased on condition that he finds BekimBaftijaj and turns him in to the police station.
Local sources in Shtime say both Heset and Bekim Beftiaj have beensubjected to police torture in several occassions during the past months.