20 mars 2023
The Serbian media attempts to implicate EULEX in their accusations against KP
Serbian politicians, whose statements have also been broadcasted by the media close to the Serbian government, are back accusing Kosovo’s authorities that the Serbian community in the north of Kosovo is being mistreated.
On March 8, 2023, Kosovo Online published an article titled "Members of ROSU beat two young Serbs in the village of Joshanicë near Leposaviq".
"The members of the Special Unit, ROSU, in the Joshanicë village near Leposaviq, harassed and injured the young Serbs Ll. Gj. (23) and Gj. M. (24), residents of that village. They currently are in the surgical ward at the Clinical Hospital Center in North Mitrovica and their condition is being monitored, but for now they feel okay", it’s said in the article published by "Kosovo Online”. About the case, in the article are also issued the statements of the attending physician, Nikola Radojčić, who according to him "in the ward, two patients with head injuries were admitted. However, after checking, diagnosing, and consulting with a psychiatrist, they were released."
This case mobilized the local Serbs in the north, who then protested with the claim that the Kosovo Police are continuing to mistreat their community. They repeated their request that KP should reduce patrols in that region, "because this is making them feel unsafe".
Part of the protest was also the independent chairman of the Provisional Authority of the Municipality of Leposaviq, Zoran Todić, who incited the crowd by saying that "the source of all the problems in this municipality, but also in the north of Kosovo, are the special forces [ROSU], directed by Albin Kurti".
The so-called Office for Kosovo in the Government of Serbia also responded with the same narrative, stating that "policemen of Albanian nationality have no reason to go in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, and that their presence is illegal and in contrary to the Agreement of Brussels".
Serbian media have also broadcasted the opinions of two parents who claim that their children were beaten by the KP, as they warned that "if the Police continue to treat them like thugs, then they will be forced to radicalize the protest".
The "Informer" went even further by implicating the EULEX Mission in their article by saying that "the father of one of the beaten had contact with this mission and that their children were also interrogated for several hours". However, the European Mission for the Rule of Law in Kosovo has debunked the claim that they confirmed the beating and that they visited the two injured people.
“EULEX has not visited the two individuals who claimed to have been beaten by the Kosovo Police, nor has any EULEX staff "confirmed" that the two individuals were beaten by the Kosovo Police. What actually happened is that on March 8th, a senior advisor to the Northern Police of EULEX was approached by a person in front of the Municipality building in Leposaviq, who claimed that his son and a friend of his had been beaten by the Kosovo Police."
This protest by Serbs was also covered by Albanian media such as Gazeta Express, Metro Gazeta, Kosovo Live. Unlike Serbian media, the Albanian media considered the mistreatment of two Serbs as allegations, due to the authorities not clarifying all the information yet.
Thus, after the publication of the news, the KP have said that they have taken all actions necessary to verify the information. But, according to them, the Serbs have not reported this claim to the competent institutions.
"Kosovo Police remains committed to the implementation of legal tasks and authorizations, in the interest of maintaining order and public safety, as well as providing security to all citizens regardless, and at the same time invites all citizens to, for any occasion or request, to address the police institution", it is stated in the explanation of the KP.
This is not the first time that Serbian politicians and [some] media have accused the Government of Kosovo of its intention to banish the Serbs from Kosovo, by even involving other instances to draw conclusions that are not based on official sources, local or international.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation.
20 mars 2023