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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, March 9, 2021

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• COVID-19: 587 new cases, 6 deaths (media)
• COVID-19 worsens plight of stressed-out Balkan reporters (BIRN)
• Abdixhiku, Haziri announce candidacies for post of LDK leader (media)
• Kurti: Dialogue with Serbia must be well prepared (media)
• Lajcak: Dialogue brought about important agreements (media)
• Hodzic: ECAP decision, politically motivated and scandalous (media)
• Kosnett: Women leaders, always instrumental to Kosovo’s success (media)
• Szunyog: Impressed with stories of powerful women (media)
• People’s Attorney: Gender equality in institutions must be obligatory (Kallxo)
• Prishtina marches “against patriarchy that kills” on Women’s Day (BIRN)
• KSF to embark on first peacekeeping mission abroad (media)
• “Those who believe Serbia must be forced to accept deal live in fairy tale” (media)

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  • COVID-19: 587 new cases, 6 deaths (media)
  • COVID-19 worsens plight of stressed-out Balkan reporters (BIRN)
  • Abdixhiku, Haziri announce candidacies for post of LDK leader (media)
  • Kurti: Dialogue with Serbia must be well prepared (media)
  • Lajcak: Dialogue brought about important agreements (media)
  • Hodzic: ECAP decision, politically motivated and scandalous (media)
  • Kosnett: Women leaders, always instrumental to Kosovo’s success (media)
  • Szunyog: Impressed with stories of powerful women (media)
  • People’s Attorney: Gender equality in institutions must be obligatory (Kallxo)
  • Prishtina marches “against patriarchy that kills” on Women’s Day (BIRN)
  • KSF to embark on first peacekeeping mission abroad (media)
  • “Those who believe Serbia must be forced to accept deal live in fairy tale” (media)

COVID-19: 587 new cases, 6 deaths (media)

Kosovo has recorded 587 new cases of COVID-19 and six deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours. 212 persons have recovered from the virus during this time. There are 10,608 new cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

COVID-19 worsens plight of stressed-out Balkan reporters (BIRN)

A BIRN study of the working conditions facing journalists in the Balkans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic makes for grim reading.

Given the low rates of pay, long hours and stress, journalism was never the most coveted career in the Balkans. But now a survey of media workers in the region shows that COVID-19 has made their working lives a whole lot worse.

By the nature of the job, most journalists can ill-afford to stay at home. At work, however, they face a constant balancing act between getting the story and protecting their health and the health of their loved ones.

While many aspects of life have slowed to a halt, the news cycle has not, but now journalists face the unenviable task of getting to grips with the complexity of the pandemic and explaining it to their viewers or readers, while weeding out fake news and conspiracy theories.

The line between work hours and personal time has become increasingly blurred, exposing journalists to mental health issues the scale of which experts say has still to be fully understood.

And on top of all that, governments and state bodies across the Balkans have restricted the flow of information to the media, making it increasingly hard for journalists to do their jobs.

“Depression could emerge as a concern later on,” said Gentiana Begolli Pustina, head of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, AJK.

“Right now journalists have other existential problems. They go to work and worry they might lose their job. They have no time to think about depression or stress. We will feel the consequences at a later stage.”

Read full article at: https://bit.ly/2MXHquS

Abdixhiku, Haziri announce candidacies for post of LDK leader (media)

One of the main stories in the media on Monday was that Lumir Abdixhiku and Lutfi Haziri, both senior members of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), announced their candidacies for the post of party leader. Isa Mustafa resigned the post following the party’s worst results in its history in the February 14 parliamentary elections.

Abdixhiku wrote in a Facebook post: “There will be no agreement! There will be a fair race with secret votes. We need a democratic election process to maintain a high political standard … The LDK needs to change and undergo great changes”. The LDK said in a press release on Monday that there could be other candidacies in the coming days. The party will hold its general convention on Sunday.

Kurti: Dialogue with Serbia must be well prepared (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (VV) leader and candidate for Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti said on Monday that the process of dialogue with Serbia must be well prepared and principled where the people will benefit the most. He made these remarks during a meeting with Norwegian Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Arne Sannes Bjornstad, and the Norwegian Ambassador to Pristina, Jens Erik Grondahl. Kurti also said he wants to form a new government as soon as possible and that its most urgent task will be to provide COVID-19 vaccines.

Lajcak: Dialogue brought about important agreements (media)

European Union Special Representative for the Prishtina-Belgrade dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, took to Twitter on Monday that the process of dialogue has brought about important agreements. “10 years after the Parties sat down in Brussels for the first time, the Dialogue brought about important agreements. They made a real difference for people in both Kosovo and Serbia, for the stability of the Western Balkans, and for the European aspirations of an entire region,” Lajcak tweeted.

Hodzic: ECAP decision, politically motivated and scandalous (media)

Adrijana Hodzic, leader of the Ujedinjena Zajednica, said on Monday that she will file a complaint with the Supreme Court of Kosovo after the Elections Complaints and Appeals Panel decided that all votes for Bosniak parties in Serb majority municipalities will be annulled. Hodzic argued that “the decision is scandalous, politically motivated and unfair”. “Such a decision is unprecedented in history. We will use the mechanism we have before us and file a complaint with the Supreme Court. We will have all arguments on our side because the explanations we received from ECAP are not grounded,” she said.

Kosnett: Women leaders, always instrumental to Kosovo’s success (media)

United States Ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett, said in a Twitter post on Monday on the occasion of International Women’s Day: “Although often uncredited, women leaders have always been instrumental to Kosovo’s success. Encouraged voters overwhelmingly acknowledged this, ensuring more women than ever will have key public roles in building #Kosovo’s future. Happy International Women’s Day!”

Szunyog: Impressed with stories of powerful women (media)

European Union Head of Office in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, said in a Twitter post on Monday: “Impressed with stories of powerful women supported by @EUKosovo at today’s event marking #InternationalWomensDay. EU will continue with its support to Kosovo women and their initiatives. Happy to launch the publication with inspirational women stories https://bit.ly/3elOInI.”

People’s Attorney: Gender equality in institutions must be obligatory (Kallxo)

Kosovo People’s Attorney Naim Qelaj said in a debate on gender equality in governance in Kallxo Pernime on Monday that amendments to the Law on Gender Equality would strengthen the position of women in politics. Qelaj argued that gender equality in the institutions must become obligatory by law. “There should be sanctions and legal consequences in case what is provided by law is not implemented,” he said.

Prishtina marches “against patriarchy that kills” on Women’s Day (BIRN)

Hundreds of protesters marched through central Prishtina on Wednesday, demanding an end to femicide and greater social, economic and political equality for women in Kosovo.

On International Women’s Day, the Marshojme, S’festojme (We March, We Don’t Celebrate) collective once again mobilised hundreds of activists to demonstrate in central Prishtina, this time under the slogan “Against Patriarchy that Kills.”

Announcing the protest, the collective stated that “we march because we do not want to celebrate while girls and women are being killed. Together, we resist the patriarchy that continues to take the lives of many women in Kosovo.”

Six women have been murdered in Kosovo in the last year, while 1,596 cases of domestic violence were recorded between January and September 2020, with women the victims in 1,222 cases.

The protestors stopped in front of Kosovo Police headquarters in Prishtina and loudly chanted: Edhe sa thirrje te humbura (“How many more missed calls”), and “Drejtesi per grate vrara” (“Justice for murdered women”) in reference to the failure of the police to protect women, particularly in the murders of Zejnepe Bytyqi Berisha and Diana Kastrati.

“Justice, Equality and Solidarity,” and “Smash the patriarchy” were other frequent chants deployed by demonstrators, who led the march to Skanderbeg Square before dispersing.

Other symbolic actions in support of women’s rights were also held on Wednesday, including representatives from the QIKA NGO overturning a table laid with dinner plates in protest at the uneven division of household labour.

“The contribution of women within the home should be recognized in such a way that work is shared equally,” the NGO stated. “Unpaid work is isolating women inside the home. That needs to change.”

KSF to embark on first peacekeeping mission abroad (media)

All media report this morning that a contingent of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) will embark on a first peacekeeping mission abroad. The contingent will serve alongside the U.S. Army troops in Kuwait and its mission is expected to last six months.

“Those who believe Serbia must be forced to accept deal live in fairy tale” (media)

Several news websites cover a Twitter post by Sava Janjic, the Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery, on Monday, who said: “Those in Kosovo who believe Serbia must be practically forced with threats to accept a Kosovo deal in order to have free hands to complete ethnical cleansing in Kosovo, live in a fairy-tale. Neither US nor EU politicians are in that story now 20ys after all Kosovo leaders’ blunders.”

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