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[ALBSA-Info] [AMCC-News] Massacre report names Macedonia interior minister

Mentor Cana mentor at alb-net.com
Mon Aug 27 07:46:11 EDT 2001


>>>>>>>>>>>>> PLEASE READ  &  DISTRIBUTE FURTHER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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                Human Rights Violations in Macedonia
  
            http://www.alb-net.com/amcc/humanrights.htm
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 "A tape filmed by Macedonian Television and seen by The Telegraph shows
  Mr Boskovski standing on the balcony of an empty house above Ljuboten and
  looking down into the village with other security officers. Houses can be
  seen burning and there is constant noise of shelling and machinegun
  fire."
 "The taped television narrative says: "Ljubce Boskovski was present during
  the whole operation of the Macedonian security forces.""

 "Outside, Fasli heard a baying mob shouting "Let us kill them. Gas
  chambers for Shiptars!" Shiptar is a derogatory term for an Albanian."


http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2001%2F08%2F26%2Fwmace26.xml

Massacre report names Macedonia interior minister

By Jessica Berry in Ljuboten (Filed: 26/08/2001)
The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk)

MACEDONIA'S hardline interior minister will come under pressure this week
to explain his role in the worst alleged atrocity in the six-month conflict
with ethnic Albanian rebels, The Telegraph can reveal.

Ljubce Boskovski, an ultra-nationalist and a bitter opponent of the current
British-led Nato disarmament mission, will be accused by Human Rights
Watch, an American-based pressure group, of involvement in the incident in
Ljuboten.

The accusation will be made in a damning report to be submitted to the
Macedonian government, but its timing has alarmed some foreign diplomats
who fear that Mr Boskovski and his supporters could use it to rail against
the West and oppose the Nato mission to collect weapons from the rebels.
Operation Essential Harvest, which starts tomorrow, involves 1,900 British
soldiers at the head of a total deployment of nearly 5,000 Nato troops.

The Macedonian security operation in Ljuboten two weeks ago left at least
10 ethnic Albanians dead. In a series of interviews last week, villagers
described a three-day police operation in which civilians were tortured and
shot dead in cold blood.

The government claims that it was hunting down rebels from the National
Liberation Army (NLA) after 10 Macedonian soldiers were ambushed and killed
and eight servicemen were blown up by land mines.

A tape filmed by Macedonian Television and seen by The Telegraph shows Mr
Boskovski standing on the balcony of an empty house above Ljuboten and
looking down into the village with other security officers. Houses can be
seen burning and there is constant noise of shelling and machinegun fire.

The taped television narrative says: "Ljubce Boskovski was present during
the whole operation of the Macedonian security forces."

The interior minister has not replied to requests for comment by The
Telegraph, but he told journalists that there had been no massacre of
civilians.

Peter Bouckaert, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch who is writing
the report after a series of interviews with witnesses, said, however, that
the document would detail a massacre and raise questions about Mr
Boskovski's role.

The hardline interior minister controls not only Macedonia's uniformed
police force but also, according to diplomats, a renegade crew of
paramilitaries known as the Lions.

The Macedonian police claim that the Ljuboten operation was targeting an
NLA stronghold, and that eight NLA members were killed and 12 were
captured. Villagers, however, gave a dramatically different account to The
Sunday last week.

"There were children playing in the street. Suddenly a grenade hit one of
the kids. The boy flew in the air and there was smoke and blood. Everyone
ran," said Fasli, 25, a farmer.

When he tried to escape on Saturday he reached a checkpoint where, he said,
there were "many police, some wearing balaclavas, and dozens of civilians
with guns, axes and sticks".

He was then taken to a nearby police station where he and other men were
severely beaten by masked policemen. "The carpet was filled with blood," he
said.

Outside, Fasli heard a baying mob shouting "Let us kill them. Gas chambers
for Shiptars!" Shiptar is a derogatory term for an Albanian.

Elmas, 55, a paraplegic, watched his 33-year-old son, Rami Youssef, die in
agony. Unable to move, he could not help him. "They bombed my gate then
they came to my house. There were 20 police in my yard." An explosion blew
out his front door. This was followed by machinegun fire. He said his son
was hit in the side and stomach. "He died very slowly. It took two hours."

Aziz Barami said he saw his son, Suleyman, murdered after they were ordered
out of a basement where they had been hiding with other villagers. "They
took us through a small gate where there were eight men lying face-down on
the ground with their hands above their heads. We were told to lie down too.

" A policeman kicked Suleyman in the head. He was in pain and stood up and
then the policeman shot him and then everyone was shooting. I heard one
say: `This pig is still moving.' Then there was another single gunshot.
Suleyman tried to flee and then they shot him in the head."

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