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OSCE Broadcast 14 November

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• U.S. Embassy disappointed with new border commission’s report (All monitored broadcasters, TV21)
• Çitaku: Nobody will veto Kosovo Army (All monitored broadcasters, Klan Kosova)
• Fungo: KFOR will stay in Kosovo until conditions have been met (Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Prosecution refutes allegations related to Lumezi’s bar exam (Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Ten percent of north Serbs supports Kosovo’s EU integration (RTK2, KTV)
• CDHRF calls on citizens to pay only 70% of their electricity bills (Klan Kosova)
• CEC decides to recount 440 ballot boxes (RTK2, KTV)
• Law on Use of Languages not sufficiently implemented (RTK2)
• Kosovo Chief Imam to testify against suspected imams of inciting terrorist acts (KTV)
• Vehbi Kajtazi’s assaulter released (TV21)

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U.S. Embassy disappointed with new border commission’s report

(All monitored broadcasters, TV21)

The U.S. Embassy said it is disappointed by the new border commission’s report to the Assembly Committee on European Integration on Monday, adding that assertions of this commission are unsubstantiated, misleading, and wrong.

“In 2015, the State Department confirmed that the original agreement accurately reflected the boundary that has existed between Kosovo and Montenegro since 1974.  Questioning the agreement and dragging out the process of ratification threatens Kosovo’s relationships with its neighbours and the EU, and leaves Kosovo and its citizens isolated,” the U.S. Embassy statement reads.

It urges Kosovo’s politicians to look beyond their personal partisan interests and party politics and focus on the needs of their citizens by ratifying the existing agreement as soon as possible.

Çitaku: Nobody will veto Kosovo Army

All monitored broadcasters,

Kosovo Security Force (KSF) members were mentioned at the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, which discussed Kosovo. At the meeting, Kosovo Ambassador to United States Vlora Çitaku highlighted that on Monday in Kosovo, five non-majority community members were promoted in KSF. She pledged that the Kosovo Army would be modern, and no one can veto it.

Çitaku denied statement of the Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic that since 1999, 200,000 Serbs left Kosovo.

According to the Kosovo diplomat, Prishtinë/Pristina authorities will implement all the agreements reached with Serbia in Brussels, because they are committed on those matters.

Speaking about Kosovo’s statehood, Çitaku said that it is indisputable and it has been confirmed by international mechanisms.

The UNMIK Chief Zahir Tanin mentioned integration of 40 judges and 13 prosecutors into Kosovo’s judicial system.

Fungo: KFOR will stay in Kosovo until conditions have been met

(Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)

The outgoing Commander of KFOR Giovanni Fungo spoke about transformation of Kosovo Security Forces into an Armed Force.

He reiterated the stance of NATO Commander that KSF will transform into an Army only through constitutional changes.

As far as the presence of KFOR in Kosovo is concerned, he said that it will stay until all the conditions have been met.

“Security situation in Kosovo is very good. I do not see any threat from Serbia or terrorism. We have an excellent cooperation with security institutions, which will continue to be the same,” Fungo stressed.

Asked about his frequent meetings with the Chief-of-staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Ljubisa Dikovic, who is accused of killings of Albanians, Fungo said that these meetings are of political level and it is not up to them to deal with Dikovic’s past.

Prosecution refutes allegations related to Lumezi’s bar exam

(Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)

Basic Prosecution in Prishtinë/Pristina has refuted allegations that the bar examination file of Kosovo’s Chief State Prosecutor Aleksandër Lumezi was forged.

After a thorough examination of all evidence and statements from all the official persons who at the beginning of 90s were in charge of administering the bar exam and of issuing certificates for passing this exam, Basic Prosecution concluded that allegations of the former University of Prishtina rector Enver Hasani are not true, as they are not based on facts and do not match with the collected evidence.

Ten percent of north Serbs supports Kosovo’s EU integration

(RTK2, KTV)

Residents of four municipalities in Kosovo north do not see their future in the State of Kosovo.

While economic situation was their key concern last year, presently they are concerned about security.

The third survey published by AKTIV indicates that 78 percent of respondents do not trust any Serb politician, while the mistrust increases to 96.4 percent when it comes to Albanian politicians.

The survey shows that trust in Brussels and deriving agreements remains low. In the following discussion, it was said that hardly anything is being done in improving human relations.

Another finding of the survey is insecurity of half of residents in northern municipalities, who publically express their political views.

Around 80 percent of respondents think that the EU takes sides with Prishtinë/Pristina in the  Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, while another finding is that almost every second respondent does not see his/her future in Kosovo in the coming years.

Sixty-five (65) percent out of 800 respondents believe that Russia should be the main partner to lobby for protection of rights of Serbs in Kosovo.

This is the third survey carried out by this organisation, referring to the municipalities of Zubin Potok/Zubinpotok, Zvecan/Zveçan, Leposavic/Leposaviq, and Mitrovica/Mitrovicë north.

CDHRF calls on citizens to pay only 70% of their electricity bills

(Klan Kosova)

Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) has a request for all consumers of electricity. Its managers called on citizens to only pay 70 per cent of the bills of electricity spent. According to them, the other part should be paid by Serbs who use it.

CDHRF Head Behxhet Shala considers very discriminating the fact that electricity is being billed based on ethnic backgrounds, although a decision was also taken by the Basic and Appeals Court to change this practice.

KEDS spokesperson Viktor Buzhala said that this company has applied all policies and decisions issued by relevant institutions and it will continue to do so. Buzhala said that Energy Regulatory Office is responsible for all KEDS operations and they will apply any decision coming from this institution.

On the other hand, ERO spokesperson Adelina Murtezaj told Klan Kosova over the phone that since the Board of this institution is not functional, enforcement of Court’s decision cannot happen.

CEC decides to recount 440 ballot boxes

(RTK2, KTV)

With the decision of Elections Complaints and Appeals Panel, the Central Elections Commission has sent 440 ballot boxes to recount, following the complaints of candidates for municipal assemblies.

Complaints of a single candidate in the municipality of Prizren have managed to send 89 boxes to recount.

In this recount were also included 70 boxes that were recounted earlier with the CEC’s decision. CEC chairperson Valdete Daka qualified this as regrettable.

On the other hand, other CEC members stated that this fact shows how important the electoral reform is. They requested that all polling stations that ECAP has sent to recount to become a matter of the Prosecution and courts.

Law on Use of Languages not sufficiently implemented

(RTK2)

Law on Use of Languages is not sufficiently implemented in Gjilan/Gnjilane region either. This was the conclusion of the conference of the Consultative Council for Communities, which was attended by representatives of the Office of the Commissioner for Languages in the Kosovo Government, as well as by media and civil society representatives.

There are two official languages in Kosovo, Albanian and Serbian, and all citizens are entitled to use any official language at public institutions. Commissioner for Languages Slavisa Mladenovic said that there are numerous issues in Kosovo concerning use of official languages.

“The reasons can be split into two categories: lack of budget and funds, and lack of willingness and lack of skills in some cases. Thus, we have police officers who always comply with the Law at a satisfactory level, whereas others always violate language rights,” Mladenovic said.

Civil society and media representatives in this part of Kosovo say that on daily basis they face non-compliance with the Law on Use of Languages. They emphasise that they hardly have any kind of cooperation with Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality.

“In most of the cases there are many translation mistakes. In addition, there is politics which is not willing to do it, be it because of the past or because they want to show servility to voters. Consequently, it is difficult to change anything without political will,” Nebojsa Simic of civil sector says.

Language Commissioner Officers say that they monitor implementation of the Law on Languages, and they call on the media and on civil sector to report cases when the Law is violated.

“So far we have resolved most of complaints without any problem, but should there be any resistance, Office of the Language Commissioner has the power to take other steps, such as monetary penalties that can be up to 1,000 euro for institutions, and 30 to 50 euro for natural persons,” Vehbi Klaiqi, legal advisor, said.

“We have taken specific steps, because we know that journalists and civil society more or less depend on the statements they receive from the institutions. We have made a lot of efforts so that our cooperation with institutions is strong,” Arta Pllana, information coordinator, said.

Kosovo Chief Imam to testify against suspected imams of inciting terrorist acts

(KTV)

The Kosovo Chief Imam Sabri Bajgora in December will give testimony in the trial against Fuad Ramiqi and other imams accused of inciting terrorist acts and hatred.

The accused are the LISBA leader Fuad Ramiqi, as well as imams Bedri Robaj, Mazllam Mazllami, Idriz Bilibani, and Enes Goga.

Bajgora’s testimony was requested by Goga’s defence representatives, because of the letter with which Islamic Community replied to the Prosecution.

The accused, in their preaching at mosques and Internet lectures, incited youngsters to join the terrorist organisation Al Nusra.

In addition, Enes Goga and Mazllam Mazllami incited hate against other religious groups in Kosovo and against the LGBT community.

The next trial session resumes in December.

Vehbi Kajtazi’s assaulter released

(TV21)

Fitim Thaçi, suspected of physical assault against journalist Vehbi Kajtazi, has been released.

This was confirmed by Thaçi’s lawyer Gazmend Halilaj. The decision was taken to release him and put him under four-month probation, Halilaj told Express.

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