REPORT NO. 481
ON THE SITUATION OF
THE HUMAN RIGHTS
AND FREEDOMS IN KOSOVA
FROM JANUARY 16
UNTIL JANUARY 23, 1999
on the situation of the human rights and freedoms in Kosova from January 16 until January 23, 2000
Between January 16-23, 6 persons were killed (3 Serbs, 2 Albanians and one person whose identity could not be confirmed). In the vicinity of the village of Shurdhan near Gjilan, local Albanians detected and killed a Serb commando from Zajeçar (Serbia). The commando had confessed of having been ordered to destroy 2 schools. An Albanian prisoner died in the prison in Pozharevc. An Albanian was sentenced by the court in Nish.
January 16 – at about 3.30 p.m., 3 Serbs from the village of Partesh aged
30, 32 and 54 were killed in the village of Muçibaba near Gjilan.
The perpetrators are unknown. It is believed that 2 Serbs from the very
same village were kidnapped as well. The assaulted Serbs were returning
from Serbia. Later on, hundreds of Serbs from the village of Partesh blocked
the road between Gjilan and Presheva. They threw stones at the “Kosovatransi”
bus from Gjilan as well as at other vehicles. Many passengers suffered
body injuries and many vehicles were damaged.
- at about 9 a.m., an Albanian was killed in Gjilan.
- an unidentified person was wounded in Ferizaj. KFOR troops took him to the local hospital where he succumbed to the wounds.
On January 17 – the corpse of Ajet Istogu (1940) from the village of Polluzha, living in Çikatova e Re was found in the village of Gllobar near Gllogoc. Ajet was shot dead in the vicinity of the local cemetery in the center of the village. UNMIK police believes that 3 unidentified persons perpetrated the crime.
MALISHEVA: While cleaning the water wells in the village of Lubizhda, German soldiers found human bones in the wells of Bajram and Qazim Kilaj. A mine was found in the water well of Brahim Kilaj. During the war, Serb forces were stationed in the vicinity of their houses.
Disappearances and kidnappings
Since June 15, 1999, there are no information on the whereabouts of Mirvete
Xhakolaj from Skënderaj (mentally ill). She was last seen leaving
the home for the aged in Prishtina.
On January 19, UNMIK police reported that about 1 p.m., a team of the “UN Mine Action Centre” comprised of Michael Dufor from Canada and Jan Roberts from Sweden, disappeared in the vicinity of Ferizaj while on the way to Prishtina. The team was traveling in a “Toyota Land Cruiser” PBH 428 with the inscription the “Swedish Rescue Service”.
PODUJEVA: On January 19, the sub-CDHRF in Podujeva reported that the UNMIK police in Klina had found Besime Potoku (1984) from the village of Potok near Podujeva. Unidentified persons kidnapped her on January 15.
- The District Court in Nish (Serbia) sentenced Adrian Haxhaj from the village of Gllareva near Klina, a student of the Philological Faculty of the University in Prishtina and a journalist of the “Bota e Re” student’s magazine, to 3 years of imprisonment. Adrian was arrested on September 1998.
PODUJEVA: Serb forces have laid mines in 25 hectares of arable land belonging to the “Drita” Agricultural Combine in the village of Sveçla.
Ill-treatments, attacks, provocations
VUSHTRRI: The night between January 15-16, unidentified persons stole DM 35.000 from the safe deposit box in the “Llamkos” Factory in Vushtrria. Several offices on the first floor of the factory were demolished.
GJAKOVA: On January 16, at about 8.15 p.m., a bomb was thrown at the warehouse of the “Mother Theresa” branch in Gjakova. Considerable material damage was caused.
On January 16, a group of children detected a bomb in the vicinity of the
Media House in Prishtina. The children informed KFOR soldiers who deactivated
On January 19, at about 7 p.m., a group of some 70 Serbs from the village of Uglar surrounded a KFOR patrol that was about to search a Serb house. The patrol received reinforcements from the UNMIK police in Prishtina and Fushë-Kosova. Despite all, the soldiers did not manage to search the house.
On January 22, at noon, Sveta Atiq assaulted a group of children in front of his building in the “Aca Maroviq” st. in Prishtina. He stabbed Valdrin Gashi (15) causing him injuries on the hand.
On January 16, at about 8 p.m., a powerful blast was heard in Rahovec.
On January 19, Bashkim Deva (1977) from the village of Deva near Gjakova was caught stealing the tractor of an Albanian villager in Xërxa. Later on, his brother Xhemajl was caught as well. The criminals were caught by members of the TMK from the village of Ratkoc. They confessed of having committed many robberies in the municipalities of Gjakova and Rahovec. The two were handed to the UNMIK police authorities in Rahovec.
MITROVICA: On January 18, at about 11.15 a.m.,
5 Serbs stopped and severely ill treated Ismet Beqir Tahiri (36), living
in the “Tavnik” quarter. Ismet was ill treated until he fainted. The incident
occurred in the vicinity of the metal bridge over the Ibri River. Ismet
suffered severe body injuries – the assaulters used knives to scar his
face and neck. Ismet was on his way to visit his brother in the northern
part of the town.
In the evening hours, the Albanian families in the “7 Shtatori” quarter were left without electric power as Serbs cut the power lines.
On January 20, at noon, a number of Albanians were attacked by a group of Serbs in the vicinity of the Medical Secondary School in the northern part of Mitrovica. Merita Mustafë Venhari (28), living in the “Kodra e Minatorëve” quarter, and a friend of hers, were badly injured. Later on, a group of 100 Serbs paraded through the town chanting to the Albanians to leave their houses in the northern part of the town and to go to the South.
At 5.30 p.m., a group of Serb paramilitaries threw a “Zola” 80 mm grenade at the S-2 apartment building. Considerable material damage was caused in the flat of Safet Sokol Mustafa (38). The flats of the following were damaged as well: Sheshivar Shefki Begu (54), Rasim Selim Hajdari (50), Ferit Faik Boletini (68), Muhamet Shaban Shabani (42), Behxhet Zymer Mehmeti (62), Rrahim Hetem Nimani (48) and Halit Bala (65). 8 apartments belonging to Serbs were damaged as well. The grenade was fired from the flat of Vladica Rasha Jakovleviq, which is opposite to the damaged building.
On January 21, at noon, Idriz Adem Thaçi (71), living in the “Bair” quarter, was physically ill treated by a group of 8 Serbs. The incident occurred in the vicinity of the Mining Faculty in the northern part of the town.
KLINA: On January 18, at 2.15 a.m., a hand grenade was thrown on the “Shqiponja” restaurant in Klina, owned by Hamdi Thaçi. Considerable material damage was caused. Ramadan Thaçi’s car (which was parked in the vicinity of the restaurant) was damaged. Windowpanes were broken in the buildings on the other side of the road.
GJILAN: On January 18, Danilo Borivoje Gjorgjeviq (43), a commando from Zajeçar (Serbia), was killed in the vicinity of the village of Shurdhan, 4 km from the border between Kosova and Serbia. The killed was carrying a considerable amount of explosive, binoculars, a knife, detonators, rope, a map as well as other items. In the vicinity of the village of Shurdhan, the commando came across an Albanian villager. During the fight, the Albanian villager was assisted by a fellow villager of his and the commando was killed. Before dying, the commando confessed that he had been ordered to destroy the schools in the villages of Shurdhan and Zhegra. The corpse of the commando as well as his equipment were handed to KFOR.
FUSHË-KOSOVA: On January 19, at about 7 p.m., there was a blast in the house yard of Metije Obërtinca (85) in the vicinity of the crossroad in Fushë-Kosova. Many families, especially children were distressed.
GLLOGOC: On January 19, the ICRC informed the Miftari family from the village of Shtrubullova that Muhamet Ukë Miftari (1948), who was arrested by the Serbian forces on May 28, 1999, had died in the prison in Pozharevc (Serbia). Muhamet was arrested in his house.
PODUJEVA: On January 19, Vehbi Rushiti (60) from the village of Gllamnik was released from the prison in Pozharevc (Serbia). Xhevat Tahiri, an engineer from Podujeva, was released from the prison in Mitrovica e Sremit (Vojvodina). The two were arrested between April and May 1999.
DEÇAN: On January 19, Demë Ramosaj from the village of Carrabreg i Poshtëm, who was arrested by the Serbian forces on June 20, 1998, was released from the prison in Mitrovica e Sremit (Vojvodina). Dema was among those who survived the massacre over the Albanian prisoners in the prison of Dubrava near Istog, in May 1999. Dema stated that he and a group of 3 prisoners were ordered to line the corpses of the 173 Albanian prisoners, who were killed by the Serbian policemen, guards, paramilitaries and other Serbian prisoners in Dubrava. Dema also stated that he had shared his cell in the prison in Lipjan with Blerim Olloni, a former policeman, who was released from prison on June 7, 1999. Ever since, Blerim went missing. Dema appealed to those whose relatives are imprisoned in Mitrovica e Sremit to send food to them, as the food rations there are insufficient. Recently, the boxes, which are being sent to the prisoners are being opened by the guards. The guards claim that the boxes are being opened by the workers of the post office in Rozhajë (Montenegro). Clothes and cigarettes are stolen.
SUHAREKA: On January 19, Gëzim Xhavit Zyba and Bekim Sylejman Zyba from the village of Bukosh, were released by the court in Pozharevc (Serbia), after serving their prison terms of 18 months in the prisons of Serbia.
Eastern Kosova – (Presheva, Bujanoc, Medvegja)
On January 17, at about 7 a.m., Qemal Mustafa (53) from the village of
Gjergjec, the principal of the “Migjeni” Primary School in Muhoc, and the
vice-chairman of the SPS branch in Bujanoc, was killed on the road between
Muhoc and Gjergjec.
The very same day, at about 2.30 a.m., unidentified persons threw an explosive device at the house of Trajko Dimiq in the village of Levosoja. His mother Blagica (75) was injured and considerable material damage was caused.
The trial against Sevdail Hyseni, who was accused of “insulting the feelings of the Yugoslav people” was postponed due to the fact that the accused, the witnesses and the interpreter did not show at the District Court in Bujanoc. The next session was scheduled for February 10, 2000.
The trial against 15 Albanian workers of the “Svetlost” Enterprise in Bujanoc, who were dismissed from work during the NATO air campaign against the Serbian police, military and paramilitary forces in Kosova and Serbia, began at the District Court in Bujanoc. The next session was scheduled for February 17, 2000.
On January 22, at about 2 a.m., there was a powerful blast in the police station in the village of Bilaç near Bujanoc. The station was considerably damaged as well as the nearby houses. Serbian police searched the houses of Shukri Maliqi and Bedri Hasani. All those who were in the local teashop were interrogated.
On January 16, Hysen Merovci, the chairman of the Sub-CDHRF in Fushë-Kosova
and Shaban Berisha, the chairman of the “Mother Theresa” branch in Fushë-Kosova,
were stopped and provoked by 2 Russian soldiers. The two had presented
the ID cards of the organizations they represent. UNMIK police confirmed
that Russian soldiers have no right to stop and search the passers-by in
On January 18, at about 2 p.m., the following Albanian youngsters were arrested by the UNMIK police and KFOR soldiers: Kushtrim Hajrizi (19), a pupil of the “Hivzi Sylejmani’ Gymnasium in Fushë-Kosova, Shpëtim Avdiu (19), a student with the Faculty of Natural Sciences as well as Xhevdet Krasniqi (20) and Arton Hajrizi (21), students with the Law Faculty. The incident occurred in front of the building in which the youngsters live, in the center of Fushë Kosova. During the arrest Kushtrim was thrown to the ground and Xhevdet was handcuffed. The incident caused anger among the inhabitants of the nearby buildings who gathered in front of the UNMIK police station and demanded their release. The youngsters were released 3 hours later. The youngsters stated that they were psychologically ill treated and accused of having threatened Serbs.
SUHAREKA: On January 18, at about 11.30 a.m., Roberto Valent, the international administrator in Suhareka, UNMIK police and Dutch soldiers, intervened in the offices of Haki Gashi, the chairman of the Municipal Council in Suhareka, under the pretext that the offices should be released for the needs of the international administrator. Ilaz Kadolli, the vice-chairman of the Municipal Council, was physically ill treated and arrested.
SKËNDERAJ: On January 22, at about 3.30 p.m., 6 members of the TMK were stopped by a group of Russian soldiers. The incident occurred between the villages of Rezalla and Likoc. The members of the TMK were insulted for more than half an hour. Many passers-by gathered at the scene of the incident. The Russian soldiers tried to arrest Mehdi Mustafa from the village of Abria, under the pretext that he had insulted them. Yet, the present citizens prevented them in doing so. In the meantime, French soldiers arrived at the scene of the incident making the Russian soldiers withdraw and de-block the road.
Prishtina, January 23, 2000 Information Service