Kosovo still a human rights hole
HRW recalled that the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had partially revoked the acquittal of former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramus Haradinaj and two other former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and ordered a partial re-trial, partly because the court had failed to take adequate measures to obtain the testimony of two key witnesses.
In May 2010, EULEX announced that the investigation into allegations about human organs trafficking and the KLA transferring about 400 Serbs and other prisoners to detention centers in Albania had failed to yield any reliable evidence.
The protection and security of witnesses remain a huge problem, and very few Western European countries accepted to provide shelter for witnesses, HRW noted. The number of voluntary returnees to Kosovo is bigger than in 2009, but still very small, while the Western Europe continues to deport people originating from Kosovo.
In April last year, a group of Kosovo Albanians threw stones at the tents of Serb returnees in the village of Zac, and in August, bulldozers were used to destroy three houses in the same village which belonged to Serb returnees.
HRW pointed to the threats and attacks against journalists, including Vehbi Kajtazi of the Pristina-based daily Koha Ditore and Caslav Milisavljevic, Editor in Chief of Radio Kosovska Mitrovica, in whose yard a bomb exploded.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe published a report in June, in which it told the Kosovo authorities that they should improve the cooperation regarding prosecution of war crimes, intensify the fight against discrimination against minorities and create conditions for the safe return of displaced persons and refugees.
January 25, 2011