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Kosova Daily Report #1524, 98-08-17

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1524
Prishtina, 17 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Agani Replies to Markovic Regarding Prishtina-Belgrade Negotiations
  • [02] Serbs Are Torching Albanian Houses in Loxh&
  • [03] Names of Three Other Albanians Killed in Peja Revealed
  • [04] 39 Out of 54 Abducted Kosovars Released after 23 Days in Serb Prison on Routine 'Terrorist' Charges
  • [05] 10,000 Albanians Live in the Open in Gjakova Area
  • [06] 70,000-80,000 Albanian Refugees Concentrated in De^an Villages, in Appalling Humanitarian Situation
  • [07] Albanians Tortured in Serb Jails and Wounded Are Being Treated in Prishtina Hospital
  • [08] Thousands of Refugees Living Rough in Malisheva Forests Appeal for Help
  • [09] Albanian Detainee, Tortured to Death in Serb Jail, Dies in Hospital

  • [01] Agani Replies to Markovic Regarding Prishtina-Belgrade Negotiations

    An end to Serbian violence and the pulling out of units used to repress civilian population as pre-requisites PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - On behalf of the Kosova negotiating team appointed by President Ibrahim Rugova last week, Dr. Fehmi Agani responded today to a letter by Dr. Ratko Markovic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, regarding the possibility of resumption of talks between Prishtina and Belgrade.

    Following is the text of Agani's letter: (Begin text) "We have received your letter. We, too, wish to see as soon as possible a resumption of the negotiations, which have been interrupted in the wake of the escalation of violence against the Albanian civilian population.

    We want (expect) to see an end to violence and a pulling out of the units used against the civilian population, as demanded by the Contact Group.

    The timing and manner of the resumption of negotiations will, I hope, be arranged through Ambassador Hill, who is in permanent contact with Belgrade and Prishtina."

    (End text)

    [02] Serbs Are Torching Albanian Houses in Loxh&

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - Albanian houses in the village of Loxh& and the Dardania III neighborhood of Peja ('Pec') are in flames today.

    LDK sources in Peja said the houses that have not been destroyed or burned during the Serb shelling over the weekend, are being today doused with gasoline and set ablaze.

    [03] Names of Three Other Albanians Killed in Peja Revealed

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - Sources in Peja have confirmed the identity of three other Albanians killed in the villages of Loxha and Grabovc during a huge Serb offensive last weekend.

    The LDK information Commission in Peja said Ahmet Shala (30) from Loxha and Ahmet Mekaj (31) and Hysen Gashi (70) from Graboc were killed by Serbs.

    The LDK named the following Albanians as wounded in the two villages: Rexhep Kelmendi, Agim Berisha, Abaz ^aka, Ruzhdi, Zek& Hoxha, Burim Hoxha, Osman Shala, Halit Shala, Isuf Shala (all from Grabovs; Valbon& Shala, 22- year-old pregnant woman, Ms Ruk& Shala, 70, Abedin Morina (23).

    Earlier on Sunday, sources in Peja reported of four other Albanian women killed during the Serb offensive against the villages along the Peja-De^an roadway, naming them as Xhev& Hulaj (80) from Hulaj, who had found refuge in Dabiq; Hatmane Xhemaj (83) from Strellc i Ep&rm, sheltered in Prapa^an; Ajshe (Halit) Aliaj (75) from Kodrali, sheltered in Krushec; and Xhylshahe Mazrekaj (48) from Prejlepi, sheltered in Strellc i Ul&t.

    Around a dozen villages of De^an and Peja - Strellc i Ul&t, Isniq, Prapa^an, Dobovik, Krushec, Broliq, Raushiq, Loxh&, Grabovc, Kotradiq, Vranoc were subject to air and ground bombardment during the whole course of Saturday.

    The LDK information Commission in Peja said today that it could not yet determine the exact casualty-toll in the latest Serb offensive as the population has been scattered and the many houses affected by the Serb attack turned into rubble.

    [04] 39 Out of 54 Abducted Kosovars Released after 23 Days in Serb Prison on Routine 'Terrorist' Charges

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - 39 Kosovars - of whom 36 Albanians, one Turk and three Slav Muslims - held hostage by the Serb regime for 23 days under routine charges of terrorism, were released on 11 August, the Prishtina- based Bujku daily reported today.

    They were being held in jail in Prokuplje (Serbia) together with 15 more Albanians - that is all the 54 passengers on board of a bus travelling from Slovenia to Kosova, who were kidnapped in Podujeva, on entry to Kosova, on 20 July.

    All the 54 passengers were routinely charged with 'terrorism' and 'association for hostile activity' and were held for a week in Serb-run jail in Prishtina.

    The Serb prosecutor in Prokpuplje, Miroslva Nikolic, dropped charges of terrorism against the 39 passengers on 7 August, whereas the investigating judge, Mijat Bajovic, suspended the criminal proceedings accordingly, Bujku reported, quoting lawyers, Dr. Hysni Byty^i and Bajram Krasniqi.

    The only evidence that the Serb regime had to prosecute the passengers was that they are Albanians, Byty^i said, adding that 15 Albanians are still being held unlawfully in Serb custody and facing charges pursuant to the 'FRY" Penal Code, articles 136 and 125.

    "They cannot be even considered a 'group'. Their sin was to have been together in a bus", Byty^i said.

    If the 15 Albanians are brought to trial, this will be yet another anti- Albanian trial, the lawyer said.

    Bajram Krasniqi, the other lawyer, said the 54 passengers were tortured while in detention in Prishtina in the first week. They - he calls them 'hostages' - were taken to Prokupje on the night of 27/28 July. "While being transported to the Serb town, they were maltreated too. They were beaten up even in the Prokuplje jail initially.", Krasniqi said.

    For eight days, the lawyers were not allowed to contact their clients, in clear breach of the Serbian laws governing criminal proceedings.

    Bajram Krasniqi said the money - 360,000 DM - and the personal belongings the of the passengers seized illegally by the Serb police on 20 July when the Kosovars were kidnapped have not been returned. [Remittances, at a time the banking system is nonexistent in Kosova, have been the only way the Kosovars working abroad have been able to support their kin in Kosova.] The following Albanians are still in the Prokupje jail: Sinan 2Byty^i, Xhavit Ka^aniku, Enver Zogaj, Burim Bllaca, Nuhi Boka, Ramadan Avdiu, Ali Gashi, Qazim Krasniqi, Azem Krasniqi, Ymer Krasniqi, Naim Balaj, Rrahim Aliu, Ferizaj Zabelaj, Hajrullah Samadrexha, and Halit Ndrecaj, Bujku reported.

    The whole matter of the 54 Kosovars kidnapped, ill-treated and robbed by Serb regime, is evidence only to the terrorist nature of the Serbian regime vis-a-vis Kosova, an observer here in Prishtina said on condition of anonymity.

    [05] 10,000 Albanians Live in the Open in Gjakova Area

    Some 50,000 Albanians, displaced from their homes, have found refuge in the town of Gjakova and its suburbs.

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - Reports from Gjakova said people fleeing their villages in the wake of the Serbian offensive were heading towards the town.

    Around 10,000 Albanians - mainly women, children and the elderly - continue living rough in the open, with scarce food and water, and no medication, local LDK sources said.

    These Albanians have been scattered about the mountainous forests of the Dushkaj& region, along the Drini river area, and in the Reka e Keqe region's hills.

    They are living in appalling conditions, being threatened with starvation and by an outbreak of epidemics, the LDK chapter in Gjakova said.

    Some 50,000 Albanians, displaced from their homes, have found refuge in the town of Gjakova and its suburbs.

    There have been reports of three more missing people, Pjet&r Tal Krasniqi and Zef Gjon Krasniqi, both residents of Meq& village and in their sixties, and Jusuf Ahmeti, resident of Stub&ll village.

    Serbian police sealed off the village of Osek-Hyl& today morning and raided Albanian households allegedly for hidden arms, LDK sources said.

    [06] 70,000-80,000 Albanian Refugees Concentrated in De^an Villages, in Appalling Humanitarian Situation

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - The humanitarian situation in the area of De^an and Peja is appalling, a local journalist told the KIC today.

    The Albanian population is being held under 'a hermetic siege', as he put it, from the village of Isniq to the Lugu i Baranit region in the municipality of Peja.

    Many people have been for days in tractors along the Bistrica of De^an river banks.

    Food is running desperately short, and as of tomorrow onwards people may starve, the journalist said. The number of people concentrated in the area is between 70,000 and 80,000, he estimated.

    There are people from Reka e Keqe region (in Gjakova), from Grama^el and Baballoq villages and Prejlep. It is the area which has been attacked by Serb troops.

    The villages of Loxh& and Raushiq in Peja as well as the outlying area towards De^an is where the people have been effective; trapped, according to the journalist.

    Junik is smoldering, he told the KIC, adding that two or three detonations have been heard from the direction of Junik.

    Although their villages have been turned into rubble, people wish to go back there, he said.

    Yet all routes for people to get out of the siege are sealed off.

    Along a corridor near the villages of Strellc, some 8,000 people have gone to the mountains and hills, he said. "It is virtually impossible for them to cross the mountains to Montenegro. The situation there is also alarming. People are feared starving to death."

    There were heavy rains and people caught cold in the mountains, he said.

    The journalist said there have been visiting journalist and NGO's, more or less examining the situation. Nothing else. No aid brought, he concluded.

    [07] Albanians Tortured in Serb Jails and Wounded Are Being Treated in Prishtina Hospital

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - There are several arrested Albanians, tortured in Serb jails, being treated in the Serb-administered Prishtina Hospital clinics.

    The KIC has learned that Adem Berisha, resident of Buq& village of Opoj&, and Fatmir Duga, both in a serious condition, are in the Prishtina hospital.

    A woman, in her eighth month of pregnancy, has been taken to the hospital today. She is reportedly wounded from shells.

    The KIC has learned that four Albanian patients in the hospital - Mejdi Limani and Arsim Hasani from Shtime, Agim Jaha from Gllarev& village, and Qerim Jetishi from Gjakova, have been taken out by police today.

    Police guarding such patients is no rare occasion, the KIC has learned.

    [08] Thousands of Refugees Living Rough in Malisheva Forests Appeal for Help

    PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - Thousands of refugees from Malisheva and the surrounding hamlets have been still living rough in the hills, on the verge of starvation, witnesses said.

    According to estimates of the LDK chapter of Malisheva, at least 5.000 people have been in the open in the hills around Ponorc, and over 4000 others in the Llap^eva forests.

    Sources in the area said that besides uprooted people from Malisheva, many others who escaped the recent fighting in the De^an and Gjakova area have arrived in the hills near Malisheva. The people are exhausted and many seriously sick, LDK and human rights activists said.

    Reports from Malisheva today speak of a continued Serb campaign of burning of villages and destruction of Albanian-owned property in the municipality. Many houses were reported set afire by Serbs in the village of Bubavec and Drenoc.

    Branches of political parties and human rights organizations in Malisheva appealed again today for the international community to urgently act to help the population facing starvation and epidemics.

    [09] Albanian Detainee, Tortured to Death in Serb Jail, Dies in Hospital

    His lawyer, Destan Rukiqi, has suffered kidney injuries in while in Serb custody PRISHTINA, Aug 17 (KIC) - A Kosovar Albanian detainee, Cen Dugolli, died today in the surgery department of the Prishtina Hospital, after having been subjected to torture in the Serb jail. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Sunday, sources said.

    Cen Dugolli, an activist with the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), was being held in Serb custody since 21 June 1998.

    Sources in the Prishtina hospital said the late Dugolli underwent a surgery yesterday, but the doctors could do nothing to save his life. He had sustained injuries on vital parts of his body.

    Cen Dugolli was arrested on 21 June this year, when Serb police mounted a large-scale campaign of arrests in Ferizaj. Scores of political parties and human rights activists and former political prisoners were rounded up in two days two months ago.

    Another human rights activist from Ferizaj, Rexhep Bislimi, died in hospital on 22 July. He was arrested two weeks earlier and was subjected to outrageous torture before having been transferred to hospital, where he died.

    Destan Rukiqi, a defending attorney of the Cen Dugolli, was likewise subjected to brutal torture because of his involvement in protecting his client from further torture in the hands of the Serb security. The defending lawyer protested with a Serb judge about the way his client was been treated, but saw himself arrested and summarily sentenced to 60 days in prison. Destan Rukiqi was tortured badly himself and was treated for days in the nephrology department of the Prishtina hospital. He suffered kidney injuries and was for days on dialysis. He was later transferred to a Belgrade prison hospital.

    Kosova Information Center

    Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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