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Kosova News 1998
Chronicle of the week 6 Dec - 12 Dec

6 DECEMBER, 1998

Witnesses say that at around 18.30 CET, huge police forces, stationed in Malisheve town opened fire from snipers in the direction of OSMAN R. MAZREKAJ (35) and his cousin SINAN A. MAZREKAJ (38). They were lucky and managed to escape. The presence of these forces in Malisheve is presenting a big danger for the residents of the municipality, especially for those attempting to return home from camping.

In the village of Kashice of the municipality of Istog, at around 11.00 CET, while one police vehicle ran after the Albanian driver at another car, started to shoot on him and on sites around. By the moment the Albanian driver started to shoot back, police reinfocement arrived and the raid on the whole village started chasing the person with weapons. Innocent residents incurred by being harassed and several were arrested, among them ADEM IBRAHIMAJ (46) and ILMI IBRAHIMAJ (26), both from Kashice village, and the IDP - RAMADAN SHALA (48) from Loxhe village. OSCE verifiers visited the place.

7 DECEMBER, 1998

While the Kosova President, Ibrahim Rugova is departing for France to meet with the President of France, Jacques Chirac, the Kosova negotiating team rejects US Ambassador Hill's new draft plan on Kosova, with the very simple explanation that it foresees Kosova to remain within Serbia, and without any atributes of a state or even a republic.

Snipers are reportedly in action. The 50-year-old BRAHIM MUSLIU was killed yesterday in his village of Kline e Poshtme of the municipality of Skenderaj.

The mutilated body of RABISHE ZENELI (67F) from Mazhiq village of Shale e Bajgores of the Mitrovica municipality was found today by the UCK troops. She had remained in her house together with her brother RIFAT ZENELI (85) who went missing since the Serb offensive in September.

HAXHI BINAK BOSHTRAJ (40M), was found in his bed in the town of Decan. His body was mutilated, he was charred. He was considered missing since late May, during the attack on Decan.

8 DECEMBER, 1998

The already burnt and destroyed villages of Prekolluke, Irzniq, Gllogjan, Shaptej, Dubrave, Gramaqel and Baballoq of the municipality of Decan were shot at. Anyhow these villages are submitted to a great police repression, suffering from serials of ill-treatments. Shooting comes from the village of Irzniq, where the Serb forces are stationed at the police station, at the local health station and the school building.

Rracaj village of Gjakove is lately undergoing a great police pressure. Number of houses of this village are being reportedly raided. Meanwhile witnesses say that heavy police forces headed towards it, although Rracaj has not been the target of attacks during the Serb offensive.

9 DECEMBER, 1998

The US Secretary of State Madeleine Albraight said at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels that Kosova is a critical test not only for NATO, but for Europe's larger security structure, recognizing the problem of the still present excessive Serb police forces.

Human Rights Watch said on its statement that being an Albanian in Kosova "is enough to merit an arrest and torture". Holly Cartner, Executive Director of the HRW's Europe and Central Asia Division said "The Serbian government's military offensive may have slowed for the winter, but the legal offensive is in full swing, despite the government's promise to grant an amnesty". In addition to this we can state that another flow of political trials will be starting next week in Prishtine.

Fresh troops are reported to be arriving from Serbia in Kosova. Eight buses of militaries passed through Podujeva. Fifteen other buses and two landrovers accompanied by two armored vehicles arrived in Kosova travelling the North-Eastern highway linking Nis (Serbia) and Prishtina. Meanwhile two police cars stopped passengers at Penuh village of Podujeva searching and checking their identities. Witnesses report that some 20 policemen were sent to Orllan village to reinforce the Serb police station. Twenty other soldiers and policemen were deployed in the Baice village of Istog.

FEHMI GASHI (22) from Kopiliq village and SHEREMT MAILIQI (53) from Prekaz i Eperm of Skenderaj were arrested and taken to the police station in Mitrovice; they had gone to Mitrovice for merchant purposes, but police accused them of being attached to UCK, beating them and threatening with liquidation; they were seized off 2,100 DM. SABIT R. HASANI (44), FADIL R. HASANI (40), HAJDIN M. UKA (37), HASAN S, HASANI (44) and JETON S. HASANI (18) all from Mitrovice, were halted by police and physically ill-treated; there was no reason for the halt, they were simply beaten up because they are Albanians.

10 DECEMBER, 1998

The Finnish forensics were finally given a visa to come to Kosova, but they were obstructed to their work. As Helen Rantta, pathologist stated they could not proceed with their work to investigate the Serb massacres in the village of Obri e Eperme of Skenderaj, namely the exhumation of the graves of the 22 members of the Delia family. This family was massacred by Serb forces on the 26 September. According to the BBC Albanian Service, the Finnish experts refused the Serb police request to accompany them in areas controlled by UCK.

Around 500 Serbs marched from Rahovec to Dragobil village of Malisheve protesting the fate of alleged kidnapped Serbs by Albanians during the summer fighting in South-Central Kosova. Serb police was accompanying them, and highly grave situation is reported in Rahovec. Meanwhile, "I Care" group of 280 Italians in joint with Albanian students had a protest in Prishtine calling for peace. Police awaited students at the side streets after the protest and used truncheons on them. Those who managed to escape at the Bregu i Diellit quarter linking with "Dubrovniku" road said they were beaten by Serb police in plain clothes.

Heavy VJ forces with tanks and heavy guns travelled yesterday towards the Prizren-Krushe e Madhe-Xerxe roadway on both directions. At noon two tanks were deployed between the villages of Bellacerke and Celine. Other tanks were deployed between the villages of Gexhe and Xerxe. There is fear that VJ and police are planning of some attack against the sites around. Population is in panic. Heavy police movements are reported in Rahovec area in the past days also. Meanwhile police arrested ILMI TAHIRAGA (55), FEHMI TAHIRAGA (29) and RAMADAN BULLATOVCI (45) from Rahovec, and MUHAMET BERISHA (45) from Brestovc village; all of them were taken to Prizren prison. Tension is increasing in the area.

Detonation and sporadic shooting is reported in Klina area too. Media Centar, the Serb information centre in Prishtine reported today that two policemen were shot and wounded by Albanian armed groups on the Peja-Prishtina roadway near the village of Dellove of Klina.

Police detained ABDYL HOXHA, local activist with Emergency Humanitarian Council in Peja. As police told his family they were taking him for information talks and did not release him for over 24 hours, his family went to inquire about Avdyl's fate, but the answer was "The person you are looking for is not here!"

Some 40 policemen surrounded the BLLACAJ family compound in Stanovc i Eperm village of Vushtrri. They raided the family.

11 DECEMBER, 1998

The Finnish forensic experts monitored the terrain in Obri e Eperme and completed all the technical details in order to start the investigations on the massacres. But, it seems that the Serb police actions, although they cannot be technically considered as obstructing the activities of the Finnish team, they can however be considered as a sign that the war crime investigations in Kosova are not desirable for Belgrade's government. They are stopped for the time being. Nevertheless, the Finnish team is authorized to conduct investigations in the villages of Gollubovc, Volljake, Obri e Eperme, Gllogjan and Klecke.

VJ military training close to Gjakove, just in the suburbs is disturbing the residents. They are considered as a provocation for the people, especially remembering and following the events that took and take place in the region.

Some 20 armed policemen undertook an operation of half an hour raid in Mitrovice, at the market place. Many passengers were beaten and ill-treated. NEXHAT GREPI, student was arrested.

XHEVDET HARADINAJ (1974), disabled - mentally retarded, from Stanovc i eperm village was tortured in Vushtrri and Rashke (Serbia). His face was covered in blood says "Koha Ditore". While picking him up, police sent him to the police station where they beat him, until started to bleed. Afterwards, Xhevdet was taken by a car to Rashke, where the tortures continued, at the same time swearing at him and offending him. Police put a lit cigarette close to his eyes and a piece of rubber in his mouth. Afterwards, they placed him on a train back to Vushtrri. On the way back, he gets still beaten and kicked by the Serb train conductors, who rob him 30 DM, with which he planned to buy tranquilizers, that the doctor in Vushtrri subscribed for him. Xhevdet's body is covered with bruises.

Gjakova has over 28,000 IDPs still there. Since October there was no humanitarian assistance to the town. It is facing a shortage of flour, oil ans sugar. There are reports that the situation is deteriorating in the area, especially in the villages of Cermjan, Ratishte, Jabllanice, where no humanitarian assistance, food or medicine arrived.

Large presence of Serb police forces in some of the villages of Suhareka is preventing IDPs from returning to their homes. Representatives of IDPs state "We are fed up with wandering around, homeless. We want to return to our houses although they are burnt".

12 DECEMBER, 1998

As feared, it comes true. Yugoslav army attacked the Reka e Keqe villages. Few residents of the villages of Batushe and Molliq, who had returned to their homes, were forced to flee again. Your reporter was three days ago at these sites and when having talks with the Batusha residents together with "Save the Children" (UK) representatives, soldiers surrounded us. After leaving we had grave concern what the future days for the residents will be. Villages of Babaj i Bokes and Duzhnje are being assaulted by the army too.

In Prizren area the VJ is increasing its presence. In the village of Pirane armored vehicles are stationed. Windows and the doors of the local gas station were broken.

Police held hostage for hours the humanitarian activists of "Mother Theresa" heading for Jezerc village of Ferizaj together with the German Cap Anamour nongovernmental organization for reconstruction. After being released, and after delivering the aid to the village, Serb civilians stopped them on their way back, and threatened them they would have to return to Jezerc to negotiate the release of two Serbs, when allegedly were held captive by UCK.

XHAFER QORRI, member of the Serb police and two others IBRAHIM ISUF MUSLIU (1958) and NAZIF MULAJ (1956) all employed at the Kosova Power Plant, were killed in their work place, claims the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms. "It is suspected that Xhafer Qorri was killed by Serb forces themselves, because he was a participant and eye-witness to the massacre of Serb forces when 22 members of the Delia family members were slain in Obri e Eperme village of Gllogovc" says CDHRF, referring to the tragedy of 26 September. Ruud van de Plassche en Tineke van der Brug Sophiaweg 133 6564 AB Heilig Landstichting Nederland tel/fax: (+31) (0)24-3240265

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