END PROSECUTION OF ALBIN KURTI
27 January 2010
To whom it may concern
On 10 February 2007, police of UN Mission in Kosovo opened fire with rubber and plastic bullets on an unarmed demonstration in Prishtina killing two people. The police concerned have since returned to their country, Rumania, without being held accountable for their action. Now EULEX – the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo – has re-opened proceedings against Albin Kurti, the spokesperson of the movement Vetëvendosje which organised the demonstration.
Kurti faces a new hearing on 15 February, after having already spent most of 2007 either in detention or under house arrest. Then he was charged with "attempting to cause general danger and/or large-scale property damage”, obstructing official persons in performing their duties, and inciting people to break a police cordon. The case was eventually adjourned early in 2008 when the Kosovo Bar Association refused to cooperate with it, but now it seems that EULEX is taking it up again without doing anything to compensate the families of those killed or to re-open investigation into the police action.
War Resisters' International – a pacifist organisation with more than 80 affiliates in more than 40 countries, now holding its quadrennial Assembly in Ahmedabad, India - protests against this harassment of a social activist who has been in touch with us since 1997. It is in stark contrast to the lack of accountability enjoyed by members of the previous UN administration, UNMIK, including those who have killed unarmed people or who have been sent home suspected of corruption.
WRI calls for an end of the prosecution of Albin Kurti and respect from EULEX for those inside Kosovo who criticise the international instittutions there, including extra-parliamentary critics ready to use civil disobedience.
(chairperson, War Resisters' International)
signed on behalf of the WRI quadrennial assembly in Ahmedabad, India, 27 January 2010.