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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, October 17

By   /  17/10/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, October 17

COVID – 19: 104 new cases, two deaths (media)
Kosovo FM reacts to Lajcak remarks (media)
Nitaj: Prishtina can ask for Lajcak’s dismissal (media)
Balje: Lajcak’s request to amend constitution, unacceptable (media)
PM Hoti replaces heads of police, customs and tax administration (Koha)
What does the UN report on Kosovo contain? (media)
Victims of violence don’t find long-term shelter from the state (RFE)
U.S. Embassy: Civil Code to include rights of marginalised communities (media)

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  • COVID – 19: 104 new cases, two deaths (media)
  • Kosovo FM reacts to Lajcak remarks (media)
  • Nitaj: Prishtina can ask for Lajcak’s dismissal (media)
  • Balje: Lajcak’s request to amend constitution, unacceptable (media)
  • PM Hoti replaces heads of police, customs and tax administration (Koha)
  • What does the UN report on Kosovo contain? (media)
  • Victims of violence don’t find long-term shelter from the state (RFE)
  • U.S. Embassy: Civil Code to include rights of marginalised communities (media)

COVID – 19: 104 new cases, two deaths (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said on Friday that 104 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours. 42 persons have recovered from the virus during this time. The highest number of new cases is from the municipality of Prishtina (32). Some news websites are quoting health experts as saying that the second wave of the coronavirus is expected to hit Kosovo this month.

Kosovo FM reacts to Lajcak remarks (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Meliza Haradinaj – Stublla, took to Twitter today to react to a statement by EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak who said that Kosovo should change its constitution. “Threats & delusional discussions that aim for constitutional changes to accommodate the so called ‘Dodik Republic’ within Kosovo – in reality aim to bring back the idea of ‘land swap & ethnic borders’ as something less dangerous in this comparison! Good news: both will fail again!” Haradinaj – Stublla tweeted.

In a separate tweet, Haradinaj – Stublla wrote: “Kosovo is committed to constructive dialogue with Serbia, demanding apology & justice for Serbia’s genocidal crimes in 90s, immediate info & return of missing persons in mass graves in Serbia & respect for 33+ technical agreements – with objective of mutual recognition in existing borders.”

Nitaj: Prishtina can ask for Lajcak’s dismissal (media)

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) deputy leader Muharrem Nitaj reacted in a Facebook post to EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak’s recent statement that Kosovo should amend its constitution to make way for the dialogue. Nitaj argued that Prishtina can ask for Lajcak to be dismissed. “Even in court proceedings, one of the parties can ask for a judge to be excluded from the process. Prishtina too can ask for Lajcak to be dismissed,” Nitaj said.

Balje: Lajcak’s request to amend constitution, unacceptable (media)

Several news websites report that Kosovo MP Duda Balje has deemed unacceptable a statement by EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak who said that Kosovo should amend its constitution in order to establish the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. “Any attempt to violate the highest state act – the Constitution – is unacceptable,” the MP wrote in a Facebook post. “Any constitutional amendments in this regard are out of the question”.

PM Hoti replaces heads of police, customs and tax administration (Koha)

The daily reports today that Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti dismissed the heads of Kosovo Police, Customs and the Tax Administration of Kosovo on Friday citing reasons mainly related to “poor performance”.

Kosovo Police General Director Rashit Qalaj, believed to be close to the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), was dismissed from the post after two years and two months on duty. He was dismissed seven days after LDK deputy leader Haki Rugova was arrested on the suspicion of abuse of official duty and conflict of interest. PDK MPs and other opposition representatives argued that Qalaj was arrested because the Department of Economic Crimes arrested Rugova. Unnamed sources in the Kosovo Police confirmed the scenario to the paper.

What does the UN report on Kosovo contain? (media)

Several news websites report today on the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ report on Kosovo which will be discussed at the Security Council on October 21. The report has been sent to all Security Council members. The report contains 14 pages divided into ten points and three appendixes. The first four pages of the report focus on the key policies and security issues. “Several overlapping and intersecting challenges confronted the people and institutions of Kosovo. Foremost among those was the coronavirus disease (COVID – 19) crisis, which beyond its impact on public health, carried serious economic, social and political repercussions,” the report notes in the beginning.

The report highlights political developments, the no-confidence vote against the Kurti-led government and the proposed indictments against Kosovo President and PDK leader Kadri Veseli “which brought further complexities to the political scene in Prishtina”.

Victims of violence don’t find long-term shelter from the state (RFE)

Victims of domestic violence in Kosovo can stay at shelter centers for victims for six months but after that period they must find different solutions and leave the shelters, the news website reports.

A victim of domestic violence told RFE on the condition of anonymity that after she had stayed at a shelter for six months, unable to find a better solution, she had to return to her violent spouse. Unemployed and financially dependent on her spouse, the victim said she went back to him hoping that the physical and mental violence she had experienced earlier would not be repeated.

The news website further notes that there are dozens of shelters for victims of domestic and gender violence in Kosovo which are funded by the state and which function within local non-governmental organisations.

Data from the Center for Social Work and shelters in Kosovo show that in the period January – September 2020, 319 victims of domestic violence, 184 women and 135 children, benefited from the shelter services.

U.S. Embassy: Civil Code to include rights of marginalised communities (media)

The United States Embassy in Kosovo said in a Twitter post that Kosovo’s Civil Code must include the rights of marginalised communities. “Kosovo’s drafting a Civil Code for the first time? What should it look like? We believe it should be inclusive & have laws that protect the interests of all citizens, including the rights of marginalized communities & same-sex partnerships that are guaranteed by the Constitution,” the tweet notes.

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