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[Prishtina-E] Brovina and Kurti- 2 Articles

Uk Lushi juniku at
Sun Apr 23 17:50:09 EDT 2000


>Foreign journalists visit jailed ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia
>Sunday, 23-Apr-2000 7:00AM
>BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, April 23 (UPI) -- Serbian Justice Minister
>Dragoljub Jankovic took foreign and domestic journalists Saturday on a
>tour of the prisons for men and women in Pozarevac, giving them a chance
>to talk to Kosovo Albanians jailed on charges of terrorism and
>conspiring to subvert the state.
>      The prisoners the journalists saw included Flora Brovina, a doctor,
>writer and leader of Albanian women and Albanian student leader Albin
>Kurti. The two prisoners were tried and imprisoned for 12 and 15 years
>respectively after being arrested in Pristina during NATO's bombing
>campaign against Yugoslavia last year.
>      Both told the journalists they were imprisoned unjustifiably.
>      Kurti, held in the notorious "Zabela" prison, brushed aside a
>question from the minister and ignored the Serbs in the party. But he
>said in English to the foreign correspondents: "I was sentenced for my
>political convictions and stance and for my political activities. I was
>sentenced only because I am Albanian."
>      Brovina, 50, who is ill with a serious heart complaint, agreed to
>talk to Jankovic and the other visitors in her prison cell. She had
>submitted a plea for pardon and her case comes up for review before the
>Serbian Supreme Court on May 16.
>      In answer to a question from the minister asking what she expected
>from the review, Brovina said: "I don't know what to expect. I expected
>justice at the trial," but a just trial would have led to her freedom,
>she said.
>      There has been increasing pressure on the Serbian authorities for
>her release from both the international community and human rights
>activists in Serbia, who consider her innocent of any wrongdoing. Her
>supporters have said that Brovina was fulfilling her duty by treating
>people wounded during fights in last year's war.
>      Many observers have said the minister's approach is a sign she
>would be soon set free.
>      Brovina said she had no complaints about her treatment in the
>prison and that she received mail and visits by her husband. "Everyone
>behaves well, we can read books and we get Serbian-language newspapers,"
>Brovina said.
>      The minister said the Pozarevac prison held five Albanian women and
>the "Zabela" jail 248 Albanian men. He said there a total of about 960
>Albanians in Serbian prisons.
>Story from UPI / STEFAN RACIN
>Copyright 2000 by United Press International (via ClariNet)


>Sunday, April 23 11:50 PM SGT
>Imprisoned ethnic Albanian leader vows fight for Kosovo will continue
>POZAREVAC, Yugoslavia, April 23 (AFP) -
>An ethnic Albanian student leader jailed on terrorist charges in
>Yugoslavia insisted this weekend that the struggle for an independent
>Kosovo would continue.
>      Albin Kurti, 25, was jailed last month for 15 years by a Serbian
>court which found him guilty of having been a member of the now
>disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which Belgrade regards as a
>terrorist group.
>      "Only an independent Kosovo could guarantee stability in the
>region. Only in an independent Kosovo, would Albanians feel free, safe
>and able to realise their rights," Kurti told reporters touring his
>prison Saturday.
>      Kurti was speaking to a group of foreign and local reporters,
>escorted by Serbian Justice minister Dragoljub Jankovic, who were
>visiting a prison in Pozarevac, the hometown of Yugoslav President
>Slobodan Milosevic.
>      Together with some 2,050 more ethnic Albanians jailed by the Serb
>police, Kurti was transferred from the province to Serbia proper with
>the withdrawal of Belgrade's forces from Kosovo last June.
>      Kosovo is now administered by the United Nations.
>      "Serbia does not control Kosovo anymore and that is good," Kurti
>said. He warned: "The way towards the independence has not been over
>      Speaking in English, Kurti refsued to answer questions from Serb
>journalists or officials of the Serbian justice ministry.
>      During the trial, Kurti denounced Serbian state institutions,
>refused to accept a court-appointed lawyer and said he did not recognise
>"Milosevic's justice."
>      Speaking to reporters in a prison yard, dressed in a pale jeans and
>dark blue shirt, with his characteristic curly hair shaved off, Kurti
>insisted he would not appeal against his sentence.
>      "I do not recognise the state of Serbia and its system and laws,
>and as a result, I am not going to ask for any kind of mercy or appeal,"
>Kurti said.
>      He refused to talk about "facilities or conditions" in prison,
>insisting this would "miss the point." All the Albanians "are held in an
>unjust way ... just because they are Albanians," he insisted.
>      Kurti insisted he had been jailed because of his "political
>activity" and not terrorism. He said he was a "political prisoner," just
>as were another 248 Albanians jailed in Pozarevac.
>      Jankovic said 979 prisoners brought from Kosovo were still being
>held in Serbian prisons. All but 15 or 20 of them were ethnic Albanians,
>he said.
>      Asked about the violence against Serbs in Kosovo that has followed
>the air strikes, Kurti said all those who had committed war crimes
>should be tried no matter they were Serbs or Albanians.
>      "All those who were war criminals should go to an international
>court," he said.
>      His words were echoed by another prominant Kosovo Albanian
>prisoner, Flora Brovina, 52, sentenced by a Serb court to 12 years for
>"terrorist activities."
>      "Revenge leads nowhere ... I just wish the situation would calm
>down in Kosovo. People must drop revenge and reconcile with one another
>and everyone should go back to their homes, to their land," Brovina
>      Unlike Kurti, Brovina and her lawyers have lodged an appeal. She
>will appear on May 16 in front of Belgrade's Supreme Court.
>      "During the trial, I kept waiting for justice to be done to me, but
>justice being done would have meant that I didn't end up in prison," she
>said, speaking in Serbian rather than her Albanian mother tongue.
>      Brovina was accused of associating with and helping the KLA, but
>she denied the charges, saying her work was purely humanitarian.
>      "I am a doctor and a poet. I have committed no terrorist acts. I
>only care for sick children," she added.
>Copyright © 2000 AFP.

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