29 shtator 2023
The Kosovo Police Inspectorate disavows allegations of violence against two Serbs in Gracanica
Prepared by: Ridona Berisha
The Kosovo Police Inspectorate (KPI) has refuted the allegations that police officials used brutal force against two detainees in Gracanica, based on the investigations conducted so far.
On September 15, 2023, the Kosovo Police announced that two suspected brothers, A. M. (24 years old) and M. M. (19 years old), were arrested in Gracanica on suspicion of physically assaulting two police officers.
"Two male Kosovo suspects have been arrested for obstructing and physically assaulting two police officers while they were on official duty, resulting in bodily injuries to the officers who subsequently received medical treatment. Relevant police units and the overseeing prosecutor arrived at the scene, and the prosecutor, in regard to the suspects, ordered a 48-hour detention period. Under the supervision of the competent police unit, they received medical treatment," it is written in the police statement.
The procedures regarding the case have also been continued by the Basic Prosecutor's Office in Pristina, the same individuals are suspected of the following criminal offenses: "Obstruction of an official person in the performance of official duties" and "Assault on an official person."
However, family members of the detainees have provided a different version of their arrest. Their statements have been conveyed by Serbian-language media outlets.
The mother of the two arrested individuals, Andrijana Miciq, has claimed that the Kosovo Police acted brutally towards her sons. "How can a parent feel? They are currently in the hospital, one in Llapllasellë, the other in Gracanica. The younger son is in serious condition, experiencing pain, with a broken clavicle and some ribs, while the other has high blood pressure and suffers from asthma. They didn't allow us to visit them in the morning," she said.
Regarding this incident, Sbunker has also reached out to other responsible institutions tasked with investigating the actions of police officers when allegations of official authority misuse arise. Based on the provided explanations, there has been no use of force against the detainees by the police.
Consequently, the Kosovo Police Inspectorate has stated that, upon receiving the investigative information, their investigators promptly arrived at the scene, where they initiated the necessary preliminary investigative measures in collaboration with the police units and in consultation with the State Prosecutor.
"Up to this stage of the investigations, in consultation with the prosecutor, and based on the testimonies and gathered information, there is no suspicion that any criminal act has been committed by the police officers involved in this incident," states the written response from the Kosovo Police Inspectorate.
This is not the first case where Serbian residents have complained to police officials about the mistreatment of detainees, linking them to ethnic discrimination against Serbs. Also, incidents for which investigative authorities have not provided a final verdict have been interpreted by Serbian government officials as persecution aimed at making life difficult for Serbs in Kosovo.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.
29 shtator 2023