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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, July 7, 2022

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• Police remove illegal cameras in Serb-majority Shterpce (media)
• Wanted Serb businessman ‘must be arrested’ if return to Kosovo confirmed (BIRN)
• Serbian List reacts to Radoicic’s video, LVV MP’s remarks (Koha)
• Have Serbian President’s Kosovo warnings ever come true? (BIRN)
• Kosovo PM Kurti meets former U.S. State Secretary Pompeo (media)
• Kosovo Assembly to discuss lack of visa liberalisation decision (Kallxo)
• Gervalla-Schwarz: Nothing can stop institutional reform (media)
• Osmani: Increasing trend of cases of sexual violence is concerning (Zeri)

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  • Police remove illegal cameras in Serb-majority Shterpce (media)
  • Wanted Serb businessman ‘must be arrested’ if return to Kosovo confirmed (BIRN)
  • Serbian List reacts to Radoicic’s video, LVV MP’s remarks (Koha)
  • Have Serbian President’s Kosovo warnings ever come true? (BIRN)
  • Kosovo PM Kurti meets former U.S. State Secretary Pompeo (media)
  • Kosovo Assembly to discuss lack of visa liberalisation decision (Kallxo)
  • Gervalla-Schwarz: Nothing can stop institutional reform (media)
  • Osmani: Increasing trend of cases of sexual violence is concerning (Zeri)

Police remove illegal cameras in Serb-majority Shterpce (media)

All news websites are reporting this morning that Kosovo Police have carried out a court order to raid five locations in the Serb-majority municipality of Shterpce and removed surveillance cameras that were installed by parallel structures there. A prosecutor confirmed the news. “A court order is being implemented and police are raiding five locations that control the illegal structures in Shterpce,” the prosecutor said. “We are confiscating all cameras. We will carry out controls in several other centers where there is suspicion of surveillance cameras”.

The same prosecutor told Kallxo news website that “today’s operation is not directly linked to the illegal constructions in Brezovica but it is linked to some people earlier arrested in the Brezovica operation, because one of them, namely the former mayor, Bratislav Nikolic, was also the coordinator of the illegal structures and these structures managed the surveillance cameras monitoring the movement of the citizens and the public institutions of the Republic of Kosovo and forwarding the information to security structures in Serbia … These illegal structures are against the legal and constitutional order of the Republic of Kosovo, and they make up elements of the criminal act ‘joining in anti-constitutional activities related to the act of espionage”.

Wanted Serb businessman ‘must be arrested’ if return to Kosovo confirmed (BIRN)

Powerful Belgrade-backed businessman and politician Milan Radoicic must be arrested if he is back in Kosovo as Serbian media have reported, Rasim Maloku from the Ferizaj/Urosevac Basic Prosecution told BIRN on Wednesday.

“The arrest warrant [for Radoicic] related to the ‘Brezovica’case is active,” Maloku said.

In February 2022, Radoicic escaped to Serbia after being been stopped at a border crossing point.

Maloku told BIRN at the time that Radoicic is a suspect in a case he was investigating about illegal construction work in Kosovo’s Brezovica winter resort, a case in which several people, including the ex-mayor of Shterpce/Strpce, have been arrested for suspected corruption.

Serbian tabloid Alo published a video of Radoicic on Tuesday, claiming that he had returned to the Serb-majority north of Kosovo. Serbian-language media outlet Kosovo Online reported that the video was shot in the municipality of Leposavic in the north of Kosovo.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3PrqWWL

Serbian List reacts to Radoicic’s video, LVV MP’s remarks (Koha)

The Serbian List has reacted to the statement of the Vetevendosje Movement MP Arber Rexhaj following the video released by SL’s deputy leader Milan Radoicic announcing his return to Kosovo while there is an active warrant for his arrest still in place.

Rexhaj commented on Facebook that Radoicic will “either become a martyr, or arrested, or start an uprising of the Serbs where he would have one of the above fates.” The Serbian List said the statement constitutes a death threat and “had there been rule of law, they would be reviewed and Kurti’s MP would be called to accountability”.

On Radoicic’s video, the Serbian List said: “It is brief and clear, sincere and with weight, as he is a man that keeps his word. For this reason, it has revived courage and support with the Serbs while in Pristina with those that wish to expel Serbs it has incited the need to issue death threats.”

Have Serbian President’s Kosovo warnings ever come true? (BIRN)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has a habit of forecasting bloodshed in Kosovo and the expulsion of Serbs, but the alarms frequently prove false.

At the end of June, Kosovo’s government gave the owners of all vehicles with licence plates issued in Serbia after the end of the 1998-99 war an end-September deadline to re-register them with RKS – Republic of Kosovo – plates.

The step was the latest in a long-simmering row ostensibly over licence plates but rooted in Kosovo’s demand that Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo respect the country’s independence, declared in 2008.

The move might appear procedural, but to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic it was – once again – a harbinger of bloodshed.

The deadline “means they [Kosovo authorities] are planning a general attack on northern Kosovo by October 1 at the latest,” he told reporters a day later. It was all part of a plan to “expel” Serbs from the area, “a new Storm,” he said, in reference to the 1995 Croatian military operation that swept away a rebel Serb statelet but left several hundred Serb civilians dead and put some 200,000 to flight.

The warning was seized on by pro-government tabloids, but it was far from unprecedented. Vucic, in fact, has a habit of forecasting armed conflict in Kosovo, but a BIRN fact check shows that each time the alarms proved false.

Neither Vucic’s office nor the Kosovo government responded to requests for comment.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3AF1qZA

Kosovo PM Kurti meets former U.S. State Secretary Pompeo (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti met the former U.S. Secretary of State and former CIA chief Mike Pompeo. Their discussion focused on partnership between Kosovo and the United States, the need for increasing U.S. investments in Kosovo and steps Kosovo is taking to increase security and defence.

According to a statement issued by the Government of Kosovo, the situation in Europe and Western Balkans particularly x following Russia’s unprovoked military aggression in Ukraine was also discussed. “Both agreed that Russia cannot win this war, that the European continent is best protected through internal unity and a transatlantic bridge with the U.S. and that Kosovo is a success story of its people’s resilience and NATO’s intervention.”

Kosovo Assembly to discuss lack of visa liberalisation decision (Kallxo)

The Assembly of Kosovo will convene a session today to discuss the lack of a decision on the part of the EU to enable visa-free travel to the citizens of Kosovo.

The debate has been requested by the opposition party – the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) – which expressed deep concern over what it said was EU’s ignoring approach towards Kosovo.

Gervalla-Schwarz: Nothing can stop institutional reform (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Donika Gervalla-Schwarz, said that meritocracy and professionalism are the only criteria for employment in Kosovo institutions and this includes her ministry. She said that nothing and no one that can stop the necessary institutional reform.

“Therefore, unlawful and illegal employments in this ministry, done in the past, have been invalidated. If in the meantime new ones are confirmed, which are not yet revealed, they will be abrogated too,” she said via Facebook. “Nepotism and unlawful employments have seriously harmed our diplomacy,” she added.

Gervalla-Schwarz’s statement follows the news that Kosovo’s consul in New York, Lulzim Krasniqi, was dismissed from post. He said his dismissal was unlawful and unprecedented. He also accused Gervalla-Schwarz of harbouring “hatred” and that on her visit to Kosovo’s consulate she had requested the KLA flag to be taken down.

Osmani: Increasing trend of cases of sexual violence is concerning (Zeri)

President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani said on Wednesday that the increasing trend of cases of sexual violence is concerning. “Our country has already taken over a series of obligations to address the violence against women. The legal actions do not derive only from our internal legislation but in particular from the Istanbul Convention which we have unanimously embodied in our Constitution. These international pledges are not just declarative, rather they oblige us to play a more proactive role in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of gender-based violence,” Osmani said during the presentation of a report by the EU Rule of Law mission in Kosovo titled “Assessment of the Handling of Rape Cases by the Justice System in Kosovo”. Read the report here: https://bit.ly/3IjBswC

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