Police arrests-Kosovo accuses Serbia of revenge

2024-04-18 09:33:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Police arrests-Kosovo accuses Serbia of revenge

The Government of Kosovo announces that 10 members of the Kosovo Police were detained in Serbia by the Serbian authorities for questioning, among them the Deputy Director General of the Police, Dejan Jankovic. Five policemen have since been released, while five others are still being held by the Serbian authorities. According to the Ministry of Interior of Kosovo, the members of the police are Albanians and Serbs of Kosovo and they were stopped "at the border crossings Merdare, Jarinje, Dheu i Bardhë and on the border between Croatia and Serbia". The policemen were not performing official duties. 

During the day of April 17, six buses from Kosovo were stopped for around 20 hours by the Serbian police at the Croatia-Serbia border, to be released later after being questioned by the Serbian police. Kosovar citizens were returning from Western countries. The Kosovar authorities called on the citizens to avoid crossing the territory of Serbia at all costs and to follow closely the "tense security situation".

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, through a communiqué, however, rejected the claims about the ban on buses from Kosovo. "Checks are being carried out at the border to increase security, which may cause delays," the communique says.

"Detaining citizens at the border is a serious violation of human rights"

The high authorities of Kosovo and the European Union reacted after the situation created with the traveling citizens of Kosovo, who accused Serbia of violating the freedom of movement agreement. The two heads of state of Kosovo, the President and the Prime Minister, said that the Serbian authorities are taking "retaliatory action" after Tuesday's vote in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where Kosovo is now one step closer to membership in this organization. Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani said that "Serbia is taking revenge on the citizens by holding them hostage at the border points, intimidating them, confiscating documents and depriving them of food. One man is responsible for this, Aleksandar Vucic", said the President. And the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said that "detaining citizens at the border is a serious violation of human rights".

The rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola Von Cramon, called on Serbia to stop, as she said, "embarrassing itself". "The freedom of movement of all must be ensured, without discrimination on the basis of nationality", wrote Mrs. Von Cramon.

The spokesperson of the European Union, Peter Stano, said that "the agreement on freedom of movement reached within the dialogue facilitated by the EU, sets clear parameters about the entry and exit of citizens of Kosovo to and from Serbia. The current situation represents a violation of this agreement".

Despite the tense Kosovo-Serbia situation and yesterday's developments with Kosovar citizens on the Croatia-Serbia border, the chief negotiators are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the issue of banning the use of the Serbian dinar in Kosovo. An inevitable topic, according to the Kosovo authorities, will also be the question of the detention and questioning of Kosovo citizens by the Serbian authorities at the border points of Serbia./ DW 

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