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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 12, 2020

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 12, 2020

Albanian Language Media:

• “Grenell committed to cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia” (Klan Kosova)
• Thaci meets EULEX chief, discusses measures for overcoming pandemic (media)
• Stricter measures to be introduced if Covid-19 cases increase (Koha)
• Prishtina municipality alarms: Increasing number of cases (media)
• PSD will not be part of an eventual LDK-led government (Ekonomia Online)
• Kosovo, St. Lucia agree on visa-free travel for official passport holders (media)
• LDK keeps the agreement with Serbian List secret (Ekonomia Online)
• Selmanaj: Vjosa Osmani should respect laws and Constitution (RTK)
• Kurti and German Ambassador talk about recovery after pandemic (Kallxo)

Serbian Language Media:

• Botsan-Kharchenko: Russia’s interpretations of Kosovo position have raised doubts (media)
• “Without Russian ‘yes’ there can be no solution for Kosovo” (Vecernje Novosti, Kosovo-online)
• Djuric reacts to Lajcak’s statement; says solution for Kosovo must be within UN SC Resolution 1244 (Kosovo-online)
• No new cases of Covid-19 infection in Serb-populated areas in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
• UNS: We will protect Serb journalist from RTK2, she has right to use term Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo-online)
• SL: Announced dismissal of RTK2 journalist latest pressure on Serbs (Radio Mitrovica Sever)
• Nicic: ”Colleagues in RTK 2 are not free to do their job” (Kosovo Online)
• Pavicevic: Doctor and nurse temporarily halted at Jarninje, then in Pec again (Kosovo, Radio Gorazdevac)
• Beta: ”French Le Figaro says Vucic using crisis to show he is savior” (N1)
• Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM)

Humanitarian/Development:

• In Kosovo, Distrust of Hague War Crimes Court Simmers (Balkan Insight)
• Kon: We clearly show that we do not behave in line with the recommended measures (B92)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • “Grenell committed to cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia” (Klan Kosova)
  • Thaci meets EULEX chief, discusses measures for overcoming pandemic (media)
  • Stricter measures to be introduced if Covid-19 cases increase (Koha)
  • Prishtina municipality alarms: Increasing number of cases (media)
  • PSD will not be part of an eventual LDK-led government (Ekonomia Online)
  • Kosovo, St. Lucia agree on visa-free travel for official passport holders  (media)
  • LDK keeps the agreement with Serbian List secret (Ekonomia Online)
  • Selmanaj: Vjosa Osmani should respect laws and Constitution (RTK)
  • Kurti and German Ambassador talk about recovery after pandemic (Kallxo)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Botsan-Kharchenko: Russia’s interpretations of Kosovo position have raised doubts (media)
  • “Without Russian ‘yes’ there can be no solution for Kosovo” (Vecernje Novosti, Kosovo-online)
  • Djuric reacts to Lajcak’s statement; says solution for Kosovo must be within UN SC Resolution 1244 (Kosovo-online)
  • No new cases of Covid-19 infection in Serb-populated areas in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
  • UNS: We will protect Serb journalist from RTK2, she has right to use term Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo-online)
  • SL: Announced dismissal of RTK2 journalist latest pressure on Serbs (Radio Mitrovica Sever)
  • Nicic: ”Colleagues in RTK 2 are not free to do their job” (Kosovo Online)
  • Pavicevic: Doctor and nurse temporarily halted at Jarninje, then in Pec again (Kosovo, Radio Gorazdevac)
  • Beta: ”French Le Figaro says Vucic using crisis to show he is savior” (N1)
  • Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • In Kosovo, Distrust of Hague War Crimes Court Simmers (Balkan Insight)
  • Kon: We clearly show that we do not behave in line with the recommended measures (B92) 

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

“Grenell committed to cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia” (Klan Kosova)

The U.S. Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia talks, Richard Grenell, will continue his work on the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, the news website reports.

Asked about Grenell’s engagement after he concludes his mandate in the U.S. intelligence, a spokesman said: “Ambassador Grenell was and remains committed to cooperation with Kosovo and Serbia. We don’t expect this to change”. 

Thaci meets EULEX chief, discusses measures for overcoming pandemic (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci met today Head of EULEX Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and discussed the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a press release issued by the President of Kosovo’s Office, Thaci expressed his appreciation for EULEX’s efforts to help citizens of Kosovo and law enforcement institutions in these circumstances. 

EULEX chief meanwhile is reported to have said that the EU mission has kept its full operating capacity and is focused on supporting the citizens of Kosovo to return back to their homes and also by providing equipment support for judicial institutions.

Stricter measures to be introduced if Covid-19 cases increase (Koha)

Officials from the Ministry of Health warned about the possibility of stricter measures being introduced in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus if the citizens disregard current movement measures. 

Faik Hoti, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said after a meeting of the parliamentary committee on health and social welfare that the citizens should respect the measures in place so that the second stage of relaxation measures can kick in on 18 May.

“If the number of infections increases, institutions will be forced to further restrict measures so therefore we are calling for respect of measures so that the country can proceed towards the second stage,” Hoti said.

Prishtina municipality alarms: Increasing number of cases (media)

The municipality of Prishtina in a Facebook post today, called on the citizens to continue to stay at home in order to prevent the further spread of COVID – 19, several news websites report.

“After the first week of the relaxation of measures, we are witnessing an increasing number of cases with COVID – 19. This reminds us that we need to carefully implement all protective measures according to the instructions of the National Institute for Public Health. Stay at home so that we can soon go out and enjoy the spring full of sun in Prishtina,” the post noted.

PSD will not be part of an eventual LDK-led government (Ekonomia Online)

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) will not be part of an eventual new government led by the Democratic League of Kosovo, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo and NISMA, the news website reports.

PSD spokeswoman Natyra Kuci said her party is waiting for the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the coalition. “We’re waiting for the decision of the Constitutional Court if the decision to form a new government is in line with the Constitution. We cannot comment on the coalition until we see what their program contains … the moment we see it we will make our assessment of the coalition or a possible government,” she said.

Asked if they received an offer to join the LDK-led coalition, “we haven’t received an offer, but our position is that even if we do, we will not join this government”.

Kosovo, St. Lucia agree on visa-free travel for official passport holders  (media)

Kosovo and Saint Lucia have signed an agreement enabling holders of diplomatic and official passports to travel without visas.

The agreement was signed in Washington D.C. by Kosovo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Vlora Citaku, and St. Lucia’s Anton E. Edmunds.

The news was announced by Citaku as well as Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Koha reports. 

LDK keeps the agreement with Serbian List secret (Ekonomia Online)

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has not revealed its agreement for coalition government with the Serbian List (SL), nor has it indicated the conditions of this entity and if SL’s permanent request for the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb Majority Municipalities was included.

LDK has nominated Avdullah Hoti for the Prime Minister candidate after the request of the President, however their agreement was not made public on Monday, despite the promises of its officials to do so since 29 April. Ekonomia Online reports that the agreements with Albanian political entities, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the Social-Democratic Initiative (NISMA), were made public after the reach of the agreements.  

“Our expectations are to make them public today, if we do not manage this, then tomorrow,” Avdullah Hoti had said on 29 April, after the reach of the agreement with the Serbian List.

“We can make the agreement with the Serbian List public today, so the agreement will be known to the entire public,” LDK leader Isa Mustafa had said on May 1, the day when the Constitutional Court decided on temporary measure for the decree of the President, prior to the final verdict on 29 May.

The news portal sent the question about this agreement to Hoti and to the LDK Spokesman Besian Mustafa, however, they did not respond.

In all previous agreements, excluding the most recent one with the Vetevendosje Movement, SL’s condition was the creation of the Association/Community of the Serb-majority Municipalities. The 2014 agreement between PDK-LDK-SL, except for the share of power, contained SL’s request to form the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities within three to five months from the date of signing the agreement; special treatment during the privatization process in the municipalities with Serb majority; return of displaced Serbs and other non-Albanians with security guarantees of the government and prime minister; return and protection of usurped property.

Selmanaj: Vjosa Osmani should respect laws and Constitution (RTK)

Kosovo Assembly Committee for Legislation, Mandates, Immunities, Assembly Regulation and supervision of the Anti-Corruption Agency, has treated the case of MP Etem Arifaj. Head of this Committee Driton Selmanaj said they requested respect of the Law which foresees loss of mandate when an MP is sentenced to imprisonment.

He said the request of the Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani is ungrounded.

“It was ungrounded and in contradiction with the regulation addressed by the Speaker of the Assembly. We as a committee, do not address unconcluded court cases. We will submit a response to her, where we told her that she should respect the laws and the Constitution,” Selmanaj said.

He stressed that there was not a single reference in the request of the Assembly Speaker and added that this should not happen.

The same Committee discussed the request of MP Behghet Pacolli on interpretation of the duties and functions of an MP, as well as impediment on commencing constitutional duties.

“The second matter, that of Behgjet Pacolli, in fact is under the mandate of the Committee. We made our assessment that all institutions should enable free exercise of the work of MP Pacolli. No institution should impede a deputy. It is publicly known how Pacolli was impeded.  What is important to us, is not to stop the MPs. They represent the vote of the people and their mandate should be respected. Arrests of MPs can happen in other regimes, but not in democracy,” Selmanaj said. 

Kurti and German Ambassador talk about recovery after pandemic (Kallxo)

Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti met today with the German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt.

According to a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, they discussed recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Kosovo expressed appreciation to Ambassador Heldt and German state for bilateral relations, joint projects, continuous help and support that was and continues to be given by them.

“We see their presence through German KWF and GIZ. Both of these institutions have always been close to our country through strengthening of the rule of law and financial support,” reads the press release. 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Botsan-Kharchenko: Russia’s interpretations of Kosovo position have raised doubts (media)

Russia’s Ambassador to Serbia, Aleksandar Botsan-Kharchenko, said Russia’s position on Kosovo was “crystal clear and well-known”.

Botsan-Kharchenko added that interpretations of his statement appeared in part of the public, which “caused deep doubts”.

He added that Russia will only agree to a solution acceptable to Serbia.

“The question is what was the goal of attempts to twist Russia’s approach and present it as something completely different,” he said, adding that Russia is committed to reaching a compromise solution between Belgrade and Pristina.

According to the Ambassador, the UN Security Council should not pay any less attention to Kosovo because a definite solution should be in line with international law and approved by the Council.

According to him, the attention of the UN Security Council to the Kosovo issue must not be out of focus.

“The definitive solution to the Kosovo problem should correspond to international law. Since it is a matter of ensuring international peace and security, such a solution should be approved by the UN Security Council,” Botsan-Kharchenko said.

He told “Politika” earlier (in its issue dated May 9th) that a definitive solution to the Kosovo issue should be determined in the United Nations Security Council by passing a new resolution that would replace the current Resolution 1244.

“The unchanging attention of the UN Security Council towards the Kosovo issue is one of the preconditions for solving the problem,” Botsan-Kharchenko told “Politika” at the time.

See at: https://bit.ly/3fGNEsQ

“Without Russian ‘yes’ there can be no solution for Kosovo” (Vecernje Novosti, Kosovo-online)

Regardless if Russia gets involved as “a direct mediator” during the continuation of Belgrade and Pristina dialogue or when it reaches the closure point, it certainly remains an unavoidable factor which must ‘bless’ the agreement of the two sides, if it is ever made, Belgrade-based Vecernje Novosti daily writes today.

Moscow pointed out that the end to the Kosovo issue can be made at the UN Security Council only. The vote of this state is necessary for eventual replacement of the UN SC Resolution 1244, the daily continues.

This way the daily interprets a message of the Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko who told Politika daily on Saturday that “a definite solution to the Kosovo issue must be determined at the UN Security Council, by adopting a new resolution that would replace current Resolution 1244.”

The daily continues that for those involved in this matter, US President’s Envoy for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Richard Grenell and EU’s Envoy Miroslav Lajcak, this should be a sign that whatever they achieve during the negotiations, it must be “liked” by Russia to the certain extent or at least Moscow that holds veto power at the UN SC would not mind it.

A diplomat and former head of the Serbian Mission at Council of Europe, Zoran Milivojevic told Vecernje Novosti, that Moscow wants to send a message to the West that the Kosovo issue can’t be resolved without Resolution 1244 as starting point and without Security Council.

“No matter that Grenell, Lajcak and Borell, and also Merkel are there, the Russian message is clear, this is a topic for UN SC, which indicates that Russia cannot be excluded from this story, nor Belgrade’s interests, because Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko said that “the solution should be acceptable to Serbia,” Milivojevic explained.

Former Yugoslav Ambassador to the UN, Vladislav Jovanovic said it can’t be excluded that Russia is in a hurry to close down the Kosovo issue because it would have one problem less in its relations with the West.

“Moscow openly expresses readiness to get involved in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, but it can’t do so without formal invitation from Belgrade. Russia still confirms its support to Serbia, but the announcement of replacing the UN SC Resolution 1244 with a new, modified one, allows possibility to go into direction of West’s exactions that Belgrade makes concessions. Resolution 1244 protects our sovereignty over the entire Kosovo and Metohija, and it is difficult to imagine that by some new document, the SC would give back Kosovo to Serbia,” Jovanovic explained.

It is difficult to predict how Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would further evolve. The first obstacle is 100 percent tariffs Pristina imposed on goods from central Serbia, and then conditionally revoked it introducing reciprocity measures. While it remains in effect and perhaps until the new government in Pristina is established, Serbian side would not agree to continue the dialogue.  

Also political clashes between Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci do not guarantee that anything one of them agrees with the international mediators would imply it was stance of the Kosovo side, the daily concluded, adding that election campaign in Serbia is also a ‘limiting moment’, given that current practice showed dialogue would remain ‘frozen’ during election processes.

Djuric reacts to Lajcak’s statement; says solution for Kosovo must be within UN SC Resolution 1244 (Kosovo-online)

Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Djuric said today that the solution to the issue of Kosovo must be sought within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which specifies that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, Kosovo-online reports.

“Regarding the statement of the EU Special Representative for Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak on the framework for the continuation of work on the normalization of relations, Serbia’s position is that a solution to the issue of Kosovo and Metohija can be sought only with respect to the international law, according to which Kosovo and Metohija is undoubtedly an integral part of Serbia”, Djuric said in a press statement.

The Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director added that “Belgrade, when the conditions are met, will be an active party in the dialogue, protecting the state and national interests of Serbia, and will participate in efforts to normalize the situation in the Western Balkans region”, Kosovo-online portal reported. 

No new cases of Covid-19 infection in Serb-populated areas in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

There are no new cases of Covid-19 infection in the Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Thus far, a total of 115 people were infected with Covid-19, nine passed away and 90 have been cured in the Serb-populated areas.

Here is the breakdown of cases: Mitrovica North 43 patients (three died, 37 cured), Zvecan 25 patients (one died, 22 cured), Zubin Potok 24 patients (one died, 20 cured) and Leposavic 23 (four died, 11 cured).

There are 10 patients at Student Centre Mitrovica North, five patients in Clinical Hospital Centre in Mitrovica North and one patient in the Kragujevac Clinical Centre, the portal recalled. 

UNS: We will protect Serb journalist from RTK2, she has right to use term Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo-online)

Censorship and sanctions that RTK director announced against Serb journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic for using the term Kosovo and Metohija in the RTK2 program, must not happen, because Kosovo is a status-neutral territory functioning in line with UN SC Resolution, and she has the right to use that term, Secretary General of the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) Nino Brajovic told Kosovo-online portal.

“She, but also everybody else, should have the right to use both terms, Kosovo and also Kosovo and Metohija. The Association of Journalists of Serbia will provide legal aid to her if she is exposed to any inconveniences, being it of legal or any other nature,” Brajovic added. He also warned that if the Serb journalist is subjected to the consequences, the UNS will react and address the European and world journalists’ associations.

He also said that Kosovo Constitution guarantees the rights to minority communities to use their toponyms and names.  

SL: Announced dismissal of RTK2 journalist latest pressure on Serbs (Radio Mitrovica Sever)

Serbian List (SL) reacted today to the announced dismissal of RTK2 journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic, Radio Mitrovica Sever reports. According to Pristina-based media RTK Director Ngadhnjim Kastrati said yesterday that Dogandzic would be sanctioned because she used the term “Kosovo and Metohija” in her reporting, which according to him, is not recognized under  Kosovo Constitution.

“The suppression of freedom of expression and ethnically motivated attacks on journalists of the Serbian editorial team of RTK2, and the announced dismissal of journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic is the latest pressure on Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and on freedom of speech, which is systematically taken away from our people,” SL said in a statement.

SL recalled that the journalist of RTK 2 channel in Serbian language is “charged” with violating the rules because she used the term Kosovo and Metohija in the programme, adding that even the Kosovo Constitution that was adopted in Pristina in Article 59.9. guarantees the right of citizens to use “local names, street names and other topographic signs”.

“Albanians use the term Dukagjini for the area of ​​Metohija, so obviously in Pristina they think that Serbs do not have the right to use their toponyms,” SL said.

“To make the irony even bigger, Albanian journalists and editors have broadcasted a large number of news stories on that same RTK, which are full of chauvinism and ethnic hatred, and no journalist was fired for that. The latest example is the linking of bells from Serbian churches and Russian secret services, which were also condemned by international journalists’ associations. Of course, the scandalous reporting of the Radio Television of Kosovo, which was defined by the OSCE as inappropriate because they contributed to the ethnic attacks and the pogrom of Serbs in 2004, remains in memory, for which no one was held accountable for,” the SL added.

At the end of the statement, SL demanded the most urgent reaction of the EU Office in Kosovo, OSCE Mission, UNMIK, the Quint embassies and all journalists’ associations.   

Nicic: ”Colleagues in RTK 2 are not free to do their job” (Kosovo Online)

The president of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo and Metohija, Budimir Nicic, told portal Kosovo Online that he condemns the announcement of the RTK director that he would punish Serbian journalist Aleksadra Dogandzic, because she used the name Kosovo and Metohija in the program, pointing out that it was inadmissible that the director publicly disciplines journalists and threatens them through the media.

“The fact that the director of RTK threatens his workers to sanction them for that expression is nothing new, it is just one of several examples. Our colleagues in RTK 2 are not free to do their job. If there are any regulations in RTK, when the terms are in question, then the director of RTK should deliver this document to all employees, so that people know what they are allowed to say and what not, and not to publicly discipline journalists and threaten them through the media. It’s known how internal things are solved in one company; and not to call for the lynching of certain journalists through the media,” Nicic said.

He pointed out that he was not aware that the Constitution of Kosovo forbade the use of the name Kosovo and Metohija, but he saw that Article 59 paragraph 11 of the Kosovo Constitution clearly states that Serbs in Kosovo must be provided with a frequency for an independent television channel in Serbian throughout Kosovo.

“Serbs have not received that channel until today, although it is a constitutional obligation of Kosovo and part of Ahtisaari’s plan. Some in Kosovo want to present that it is the RTK 2, but that is not what belongs to Serbs according to the Constitution of Kosovo,” Nicic said.

He pointed out to the portal Kosovo Online that an inappropriate campaign was being conducted in this case against journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic, and that the Albanian media “almost called for a lynching”, although, as he stated, “she apologized and said that it was an unintentional mistake”.

“Our association has a lawyer and we are open to legal aid for our members, as well as other journalists who are endangered. We will see if this campaign will stop. We expect the support of both international journalists’ associations and journalists’ association from Pristina,” he specified. 

The director of the Kosovo Public Service, Ngadhnjim Kastrati, announced that he would take sanctions against RTK2 journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic, who used the term Kosovo and Metohija in the program, which, as he stated, was not allowed by the Constitution of Kosovo.

Pavicevic: Doctor and nurse temporarily halted at Jarninje, then in Pec again (Kosovo, Radio Gorazdevac)

The problem of medications’ distribution in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo has existed for many years, however the recent situation created by coronavirus pandemic increased the problem additionally, Radio Gorazdevac reports.

A doctor and a nurse from the Health House in Serb-populated village in Gorazdevac, who entered Kosovo yesterday at Jarinje crossing point, following all agreed procedures, Kosovo police stopped in Pec and conducted additional checking of their vehicle, the Radio said.

Liaison officer in Pristina, Dejan Pavicevic told Radio Gorazdevac that at times when the entire world joins forces to fight coronavirus, things like this one should not have happened.

“I think this is a trend, that we must find a way to stop it. I think this is a joint fight, against a joint enemy and it is a coronavirus. Health workers are the ones who are the greatest heroes in this fight and they are here to help,” Pavicevic said.

“We had yesterday a problem that is somehow ongoing, a patient from Prizren who was transported for medical treatment at the Institute for Urology and Nephrology in Belgrade, the ambulance vehicle (bringing patient back to Kosovo) was halted at Merdare, another vehicle had to come from either Pristina or Prizren, to send the patient home with all the medical supplies she got for her disease, while the driver and the ambulance vehicle were kept at Merdare and didn’t manage to enter Kosovo,” Pavicevic said last night.

Doctor of the Health House in Gorazdevac, Stanislava Radovic said that she and her driver were bringing to the village protective equipment needed to fight coronavirus and were stopped by police in Klina. “They asked us to open the packages, to conduct check up, what are we transporting and following consultations and some phone talks they had we were allowed to continue,” Radovic said.

She said that such restrictions could be an additional problem in everyday work and fight against coronavirus pandemic.

“Time restrictions are not the only problem; the problem is to move across Kosovo. We face a major problem to bring the medications for chronically-ill patients here. Now, there is no bus travelling, this is how we used to get our supplies earlier, and we have to find different ways to resolve this problem,” she added.  

Beta: ”French Le Figaro says Vucic using crisis to show he is savior” (N1)

French daily Le Figaro said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic never stopped campaigning and is using the coronavirus crisis to portray himself as the savior of the nation, the Beta news agency reported.

Beta quoted Le Figaro as saying that the most radical measures were introduced in Serbia without consulting parliament while Vucic “continued his campaign by managing the crisis and portraying himself as the savior of the nation”. “That propaganda was used at news conferences which were held almost daily,” it added.  

The daily recalled Vucic’s statement early in April that he would board a plane and go for medical ventilators himself. “Personal delivery of ventilators, phone calls to patients, expressions of gratitude with tearful eyes to the Chinese brother and friends from the United Arab Emirates… Those are all integral parts of the communication system introduced when he (Vucic) came to power – he is the undisputed leader, father of the nation. He is consulted for everything and decides about everything,” Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU) member Dusan Teodorovic is quoted as saying.

Le Figaro said that Vucic’s tone ranged from concern to threat and added that anyone who dared say that this was a case of abuse of power and brutal political campaign was dismissed or were refused permission to set up a temporary hospital to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

It said that journalists were excluded from daily news briefings when they started asking unpleasant questions and recalled the threats against Vreme weekly journalist Jovan Gligorijevic and the arrests of Nova.rs reporter Ana Lalic and Tatjana Lazarevic who works for KoSSev, the only independent media outlet in the north of Kosovo.

The Paris daily also reported that people across Serbia were staging Noise Against Dictatorship protests which drew a reaction from young football hooligans who are under the control of the authorities. It said that tension between the political opposition and security forces continued in front of the Serbian parliament which, it added, could be an indication of possible violence especially since the election campaign is intensifying.

“Feeling the growing bitterness, President Vucic has called parliamentary and local elections for June 21 … and has hastily started easing the quarantine measures,” Le Figaro is quoted as saying by the Beta agency.

See at: https://bit.ly/2WK8You

Detention of Zlatan Krstic extended for two more months (Radio KIM)

Detention of Zlatan Krstic from Kragujevac suspected by Kosovo Special Prosecution of committing a war crime in Nerodimlje village, near Urosevac, during the conflict in Kosovo, has been extended for two more months, his lawyer Dejan A. Vasic told Radio KIM.

Vasic said that with the latest extension, Krstic would complete one year of being in detention.

Vasic also noted that the health condition of Zlatan Krstic has stabilized now, although he faced a rather problematic period at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

“He feels (Krstic) fine now and he would be able to attend the trial, for which I hope would start soon,” Vasic said. 

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

In Kosovo, Distrust of Hague War Crimes Court Simmers (Balkan Insight)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Kosovo Specialist Prosecution in The Hague has been pressing ahead with work on charges against former Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas suspected of wartime and post-war crimes.

The new court is due to renew its initial five-year mandate at the end of this month. Based on a law adopted by the Kosovo Assembly in 2015, its mandate will continue until Kosovo is notified by the Council of the European Union that investigations have concluded and proceedings are complete – until then, no specific actions need to be taken for the mandate to be renewed.

See at: https://bit.ly/2WOHIoY

Kon: We clearly show that we do not behave in line with the recommended measures (B92)

Epidemiologist Predrag Kon expressed concern over the relaxation of people and non-compliance with the recommendations after lifting the state of emergency in Serbia, B92 reports.

“The numbers are good and everything we see is good, but the behavior is not in line with what the current situation is. We certainly still have the virus in circulation,” Kon said in the morning program of TV Prva.

In the first days after the measures were relaxed, he was satisfied with the situation, especially in public transport. “I am very worried about the political turmoil, seriously, because such public mass gatherings are reliable places where the virus can be transmitted. Whether the gatherings are political or not, it doesn’t matter”, Kon said.

Those who respect the highest measures are the elders who have become aware that they are the most vulnerable.

“We are showing that we do not know how to respect measures and that we should be obliged to wear masks and respect other measures,” Kon pointed out.

See at: https://bit.ly/2Wt3TSN

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