Kosovo Police Arrest Old Man Who Was Rebuilding the Church. Ethnic Cleansing Directed against Serbs

Monday, August 28, a group of Serbs expelled during the First Kosovo War took advantage of the law on the return of refugees and came to the so-called Republic of Kosovo to rebuild the church in the Mishutishte village. A bus with former residents of the village was stopped in Prizren by units of the Kosovo special police forces who arrested the former 74-year-old resident of Bogdan Mitrovich village accusing him of committing criminal and war crimes during the war in Kosovo.

The detention aroused indignation among the rest of the bus passengers but the special forces threatening with weapons took the old man with him and put him in Prizren prison. Marko Djuric, the director of the government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, declared the incident was an act of ethnic cleansing and religious pressure on the Serb minority in the province.

Such actions conducted by the police special forces really causes bewilderment regarding the First war in Kosovo occurred in 1998-1999. At that time, the arrested peasant was 55-56 years old so it means that Bogdan could not serve in the army or the police and his main occupation was agriculture. But he seemed an especially dangerous criminal for the Kosovo authorities and therefore his arrest was arranged with maximum solemnity and pomp – with the special forces, screams, threats and detention of the weakest and most vulnerable old man.

As a result of this operation, the restoration of the temple was completely disrupted. The bus with the Serbs was sent back and their permission for reconstruction was canceled. Thus, the government of Pristina not only held an indicative and illegal detention but also violated the right of people to freedom of religion.

The church in the village of Mishutishte needs to be rebuilt and people cannot return to their homes. By their actions, the Kosovo government show their intention to see the Serbs neither as an ethnic minority nor as a separate religious group. Such a case is another vivid example of the complete discrepancy between the statements of the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci made on the western camera and the terrifying reality.

Goran Lompar is a free journalist and postgraduate at University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro.

Featured image is from the author.

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Articles by: Goran Lompar

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