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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, August 8

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• COVID-19 report: 181 new cases, three deaths (media)
• Draft law on COVID-19 pandemic passes first reading (media)
• Ministry of Health licenses private labs for COVID-19 tests (media)
• Hoti reacts to reports of Serbian police patrolling in Kamenica village (media)
• KLA veterans: We did not fight to see Serbian police in Kosovo territory (media)
• Jakupi: KFOR said patrolling was part of joint exercise (Telegrafi)
• KLA values draft law not passed for lack of quorum (Kallxo)
• EU: Draft law on KLA values detrimental to freedom of expression (media)

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  • COVID-19 report: 181 new cases, three deaths (media)
  • Draft law on COVID-19 pandemic passes first reading (media)
  • Ministry of Health licenses private labs for COVID-19 tests (media)
  • Hoti reacts to reports of Serbian police patrolling in Kamenica village (media)
  • KLA veterans: We did not fight to see Serbian police in Kosovo territory (media)
  • Jakupi: KFOR said patrolling was part of joint exercise (Telegrafi)
  • KLA values draft law not passed for lack of quorum (Kallxo)
  • EU: Draft law on KLA values detrimental to freedom of expression (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

COVID-19 report: 181 new cases, three deaths (media)

181 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kosovo over the last 24 hours and three deaths, the National Institute for Public Health said in its daily report yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, 125 patients have recovered over the same timeframe.

There are currently 4,481 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.

Draft law on COVID-19 pandemic passes first reading (media)

Kosovo Assembly MPs approved in the first reading the draft law for fighting the COVID-19, with 77 votes in favour and one against.

Assembly Speaker, Vjosa Osmani, who initiated the legislation said its objective is to protect the public health and that it foresees sanctions for those who deny the existence of the coronavirus as well as those that do not respect the preventive measures.

Ministry of Health licenses private labs for COVID-19 tests (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Health, Armend Zemaj, announced that 33 private labs have been licensed to carry out testing for COVID-19, 31 of which will perform serological tests and two microbiological ones.

Zemaj said the labs will be open for work as of next week.

Hoti reacts to reports of Serbian police patrolling in Kamenica village (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti has reacted to reports in the media which claim to show Serbian gendarmerie troops on foot patrol in the village of Karaceva, part of Kamenica municipality.

He said relevant mechanisms are investigating what happened and will soon get a detailed report. “Our citizens in that area will not be left without institutional protection. Our actions will be in line with the constitution and the law, and in coordination with all security mechanisms in the country,” Hoti wrote on Facebook.

KLA veterans: We did not fight to see Serbian police in Kosovo territory (media)

Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) war veterans’ associations have reacted to a video footage claiming to show Serbian gendarmerie spotted in the village of Karaceva.

Chairman of the KLA associations, Hysni Gucati, said it is shameful that Kosovo institutions have not reacted by pretending not to have seen anything. “KLA veterans did not fight to see Serbian gendarmerie enter the territory of Kosovo any time it pleases,” Gucati said.

Jakupi: KFOR said patrolling was part of joint exercise (Telegrafi)

Kamenica Deputy Mayor, Faton Jakupi, said that they have contacted KFOR following reports that Serbian gendarmerie forces were spotted in the village of Karaceva and were told that there was a joint patrolling exercise between the U.S., Turkish KFOR troops and Serbian side.

“These patrols are concerning, even if joint,” said Jakupi.

Kamenica Mayor Qendron Kastrati meanwhile said that Serbian forces patrolling in the village is a provocation.

KLA values draft law not passed for lack of quorum (Kallxo)

The draft law on protection of KLA values did not pass its first reading yesterday as there were only 47 MPs at the Assembly session when the legislation was put to vote.

A three-hour long debate preceded the voting of the draft law while the initiator Gazmend Bytyqi, from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), said the law was submitted back in 2018 but was delayed because of elections and more recently, the pandemic.

EU: Draft law on KLA values detrimental to freedom of expression (media)

The EU Office in Kosovo has reacted to the draft law for protection of KLA values saying it undermines the freedom of expression.

The EU said in a statement that while the KLA is an integral part of the history of Kosovo, the proposed draft law in the current form “contains provisions which raise serious concerns as regards the right of people to have their opinion.”

“These provisions undermine and penalize freedom of expression, an essential element of the European core values and fundamental rights guaranteed by Kosovo Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights,” the EU said and called on Kosovo MPs to reconsider such provisions.

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