PROFESSOR KILLED BY ALBANIAN MOB
November 29 a Serb Professor Dragoslav Basic, a former Fulbright scholar
who had studied and taught at the University of California at Berkeley
was killed by enraged Albanian mob in the streets of Pristina. Beside
him his wife and mother-in-law were seriously wounded. At the end of
this frightening linch scene their car was set on fire.
memory of Prof. Basic and his mother-in-law who fell in coma and died
soon after we are presenting here a series of writings on this tragic
incident which shows incredible ammount of hatred and violence which
is now directed against Serb civilians and other non-Albanian ethnic
groups. Prof. Basic was known as a man of moderate positions and has
always had good relations with Albanians.
God rest the souls of his servants in peace....
Granny Borka lying in coma after the linch in the
streets of Pristina
Soon after this photo was taken she died in hospital
OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY BISHOP ARTEMIJE
ON PRISTINA MURDER
FREEDOM CANNOT BE THE RIGHT TO LINCH
great regret we received the news from Pristina last night. Prof. Basic,
his wife and mother-in-law were linched in the streets of Pristina by
the enraged Albanian mob which was celebrating Albania's independence
day shooting and rioting around the capital of the province. The Professor
was shot at the end and no one from the crowed tried to stop the crime.
horrific event is a picture of what Kosovo looks today. Pristina is
a city in whic 40.000 Serbs lived prior to KFOR arrival. Now only 400
elderly people remain. Despite the unrealistically optimistic reports
and graphs made by KFOR and UNMIK Kosovo Serbs are no more safe than
five months before. They are still being killed and kidnapped, their
homes looted and burned all over Kosovo, their churches desecrated.
direct perpertrators we consider KFOR and UNMIK police responsible for
this tragedy. Where was KFOR or international police at that time? How
could armed mob rally through the streets of Pristina
without any KFOR or police surveillence and control? In fact according
to the news reports KFOR came to the spot only when the Serb car was
completely set on fire, the man shot and two other Serbs injured. This
is totally inacceptable and shows complete lack of competence.
fact that Kosovo Albanians are free now MUST NOT mean that they are
free to linch any Serb they find with impunity. Unfortunately
international community has brought freedom only to one population while
Serbs and other non-Albanians are still exposed to most violent forms
repression and discrimination in the very presence of NATO and UN.
for the soul of the killed Serb and the recovery of others we
remain in hope that these innocent victims will awaken the public
opinion in the West and make KFOR and UNMIK finally implement the UN
resolution and provide security for all because they have took upon
themselves that obligation.
NEW YORK TIMES
December 3, 1999
Slaying in Kosovo Followed Serb's Error
Serbia -- He was a 62-year-old university professor,
a former Fulbright scholar who had studied and taught
at the University of California at Berkeley. But Sunday night
he made a fatal error and drove his wife and mother-in-law
across Kosovo's capital, Pristina, through crowds of ethnic
Albanians celebrating a nationalist holiday.
Albanians spotted Dragoslav Basic and the two women as
Serbs, blocked the car and began to set it on fire. When the
family climbed out of the car, the crowd beat them. Then
someone held a gun to Mr. Basic and shot him dead.
the time peacekeeping troops and United Nations police
arrived, the two women were severely injured. By the time
they were hospitalized in Serbia hours later, Mr. Basic's
mother-in-law, Borka Jovanovic, 78, was in a coma.
was just the latest in a series of attacks by ethnic Albanians
against Serbs that have plagued the peacekeeping effort since
NATO troops arrived in Kosovo in June. Albanians have been
subjecting Serbs and other minorities to a campaign of
violence that echoes the terror they themselves experienced at
the hands of Serbian police and military forces earlier this
the two women lay in the central hospital here in
Nis. Mrs. Jovanovic remained in intensive care, barely
conscious, said the chief surgeon, Dr. Ratsko Djiordjevic.
the ribs on her left side had been smashed, her lungs and
spleen ruptured, and she suffered abdominal bleeding.
Basic, 50, the mother of two, suffered a broken arm,
dislocated shoulder, five broken ribs, punctured lungs and a
concussion, Dr. Djiordjevic said. As she slept, her black hair
framed a face battered with multiple bruises and a plaster cast
over her broken nose. Her 19-year-old son, Tomislav Basic,
who is studying to be a pharmacist at Belgrade University,
watched over her.
I arrived I could not recognize her," he said, his
American-accented English reflecting the year and a half he
spent studying in California. "She is so beaten up, it's terrible.
I thought, this is not my mother."
Basic has been able to tell him something of what
evening, the Basics had driven over to Mrs.
Jovanovic's home in Pristina to bring her to back to their
place. Mrs. Jovanovic had been beaten last August when
teenagers broke into her house. Despite this, she continued
living alone. But the celebrations on Sunday, as hundreds of
Albanians celebrated their Flag Day, setting off firecrackers
and firing pistols in the air, frightened her.
was a big crowd in the city," Tomislav Basic said.
"They tried to take another route to the house to avoid the
was late at night; he made a mistake obviously," he
continued, referring to his father. "On one corner they had to
stop. People came to the car, and surrounded it. They were
asking for some ID. My Mum and Dad tried to speak in
English because Serbian is not allowed in Pristina, but
someone from the gang figured they were Serbs."
prejudice against Serbs is so strong now in Kosovo
that few Serbs dare venture into the street. Most try to
conceal their identity, and in particular avoid speaking
Serbian. The risk they face was highlighted in October when a
United Nations employee from Bulgaria was shot dead in the
street after he replied to a question in Serbian.
the crowd began setting the car on fire, the three had
to get out and that was when the crowd started to beat them,
Tomislav Basic said.
had weapons, because someone shot my father," he
said. "They executed him like a dog in the street."
Nations police investigators have yet to make any
arrests, and have not found anyone who will testify as a
witness, a spokesman in Pristina said on Wednesday.
Moreover, Albanian trainee policemen working with the
United Nations police were called traitors when they escorted
the two women to the safety of the police station, a local
Basic accused the United Nations police who now
patrol Pristina of arriving "irresponsibly" late. He also
out the ethnic Albanians on the streets that night. "There are
about 100 witnesses, but no one witnessed it, and no one
helped them," he said.
commander of the NATO-led peacekeeping force, Gen.
Klaus Reinhardt, said the attack revealed "a basic lack of
humanity by the people in the streets and a high degree of
intolerance on the side of the attackers and the bystanders."
shot in mob attack
hatred flares on the streets of
Kosovo, where peacekeepers are
powerless to protect minorities
Bird in Belgrade
Tuesday November 30, 1999
angry mob of ethnic Albanians yesterday set
upon three Serbs in Kosovo and dragged them from
their car, killing a man and injuring two women in an
attack that underlines the inability of Nato and the
UN to protect minorities in the province.
incident comes seven weeks after a Bulgarian
national working for the UN was shot dead on
Pristina's main road after he answered a question in
Serbian, and a month after a convoy of Serb
refugees trying to leave the province were attacked
by a mob in the western town of Pec.
after midnight yesterday a Serb couple and
the woman's elderly mother were driving through
the regional capital, Pristina, when their Yugo car
got caught up in a crowd of hundreds of ethnic
Albanian revellers celebrating their national flag day.
the crowd found out that the car's
occupants were Serbs and dragged them out. A
gunman shot the three, fatally wounding the man.
patrol of British soldiers ran to the scene to find
the Serb man dead and the injured women screaming
for help while being harassed by the crowd.
Serbs' car had been overturned and set on fire.
am appalled by what happened," General Klaus
Reinhardt, the German commander of the Nato-led
peacekeeping force K-For, said yesterday. "No one
here dared to intervene.
me, it unveils a basic lack of humanity by the
people in the street and a high degree of intolerance
on the side of the attackers and the bystanders."
than five months after the deployment of
40,000 peacekeepers and almost 2,000 UN police in
a territory the size of Wales, none of Kosovo's
minorities - Serbs, Roma, Bosnian Muslims or
Croats - can walk the streets without fear of being
murdered on the spot for not being an ethnic
a quarter and a third of Kosovo's pre-war
Serb population of 200,000 remains in the province.
Most now live in majority Serb enclaves near Pristina
and in the northern town of Mitrovice.
are seeing the naked hatred of the Albanians
now in dimensions approaching madness," Father
Sava, a Serbian Orthodox priest and campaigner for
peace, said in an interview with the independent
news weekly Vreme.
Sava, who represents the province's
dwindling Serb population, said a tendency to pass
the political buck to others had created a dangerous
security vacuum in the province.
United States is accusing Europe of
inconsistency and lack of unity and passivity. [The
UN administration] is accusing K-For, K-For is
accusing the UN, everybody is accusing [Yugoslav
leader Slobodan] Milosevic and Milosevic is accusing
the whole world," the priest said.
senior members of international
organisations in Kosovo say the buck stops with
them and that there has been a serious security
some exceptions, the UN police is not an
effective force," said a senior wester official in
Pristina who monitors attacks on the minorities.
said there was a lack of political will to demand
that ethnic Albanian leaders stop the violence.
pulling punches," she said. "International
leaders try to compare what the Serbs did to the
Albanians to what is happening now to excuse, not
justify, the violence and that's difficult for us to
Bosnia yesterday, the international administration
sacked 22 senior officials, including nine Serbs, six
Croats and seven Bosnian Muslims, for what it
claimed was the officials' opposition to the
four-year-old Dayton peace agreement.
Bosnian Serb mayor of Banja Luka was sacked
for refusing to rebuild a mosque in the city destroyed
during the 1992-95 war. Most of the others were
sacked for trying to block the return of refugees
from the various ethnic groups.
contrast, no such strong hand has been used
against the Kosovo Albanian leadership. The Kosovo
Liberation Army, which is supposed to have
disbanded, is believed to wield most influence and to
be the main force spurring on attacks against
minorities to "ethnically cleanse" Kosovo.
peacekeepers stood by on Sunday as members
of the KLA - wearing the uniforms of the "unarmed"
Kosovo Protection Corps - fired hundreds of
rounds from rifles and pistols to celebrate the flag
day in direct contravention of K-For's tough
Serb professor's trust was fatal error
09:05 a.m. Dec 02, 1999 Eastern
Serbia, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Dragoslav Basic, a
university professor who had taught at Berkeley,
California, thought it would be only a matter of time
before things in Kosovo calmed down.
also thought if he used back streets and spoke in
English rather than his native Serbian, it would be all
right to drive through Kosovo's capital Pristina late at
night to fetch his elderly mother-in-law, who was afraid
to be alone during a noisy celebration by the
province's recently liberated Albanians.
was wrong on both counts and paid for his
mistakes with his life.
surrounded the car and asked for their IDs,''
said Basic's son, Tomislav, describing how his father,
mother and mother-in-law were stopped in the car.
and Dad tried to speak in English, because
Serbian is not allowed in Pristina, but someone from
the group figured out they were Serbs so they set their
car on fire,'' he added.
had to get out of the car and that's when they
started to beat them up.''
a nearby ward of the hospital in the southern
Serbian city of Nis where Tomislav was speaking, his
mother bore the signs of that beating. Her face was
covered in bruises and she had difficulty breathing.
surgeon Ratsko Djiordjevic listed her injuries;
four broken ribs, a punctured lung, head injuries, a
broken nose, concussion, a broken right arm and
dislocated right shoulder.
72 year-old-mother suffered worse.
whole of the left side of her rib cage was
broken, she had damaged lungs and internal bleeding
in her chest and abdomen. We had to operate
immediately and found a ruptured spleen and liver,''
father was shot dead.
were about 100 witnesses, no one tried to
help. They executed him like a dog in the street,'' he
killing on Monday was part of a wave of attacks
against Serbs in Kosovo since the NATO-led KFOR
peacekeepers took over the province from Yugoslav
forces in June.
first these were greeted with some understanding by
the West, which was horrified by the terror Kosovo's
Albanian majority suffered at the hands of the Serbs
during the NATO bombing which preceded the
with the rapid departure of those guilty of the
worst crimes, revenge became a less plausible motive,
especially after a Bulgarian U.N. worker was shot dead,
apparently for answering a question about the time on
the street in Serbian.
and the U.N. civilian administration in Kosovo
strongly condemned Basic's killing this week, but said a
conspiracy of silence was making it impossible to track
down the murderers.
said his father's crime was that he was a Serb.
father was never in uniform. If he'd done
anything ugly he wouldn't have stayed in Kosovo and
waited to be killed.''
Albanian academic confirmed that Basic was not
thought to have been involved in the killing, burning
or looting that took place before and during the NATO
Dad was a professor of civil engineering. He
graduated in the States and was invited back to teach
at Berkeley,'' said Tomislav, who himself studied in San
Francisco and spoke in accent-free American English.
TO STAY IN KOSOVO
the Albanians took back the university from
which Slobodan Milosevic expelled them as he rose to
power 10 years ago on the back of a pledge to protect
the Serbs in Kosovo, Basic was left unemployed.
despite that, and an attack in August on his
mother-in-law by juveniles KFOR said were too young
to prosecute, Basic, whose daughter had worked for
the international monitors in Kosovo before the air
strikes, wanted to stay in the province.
were hoping things would settle down,''
voice hardened with anger and grief, he said he
had a message for Western governments.
bombed Serbs because Serbs conducted ethnic
cleansing although you found no proof of that, no
mass graves,'' he said, expressing the blank denial
many Serbs resort to when faced with Western
documentary evidence of the killings.
Albanians are doing the same thing now. What
are you going to do to them? Did you defend them so
they could kill university professors at Berkeley,
Fears Depth of Albanian Anger
Associated Press Writer
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1999; 1:18 p.m. EST
Yugoslavia -- The young NATO medic thought he was
going to a car accident.
hurriedly tried to thread his ambulance through a festive crowd of
ethnic Albanians in hopes of reaching a burning orange car. But the
closed before him in a circle. No one would let him pass.
the Land Rover at the outer edge of spectators, he pushed
through until he reached Dragan Basic, a 63-year-old Serb civil
face looked as if it had been dragged across gravel. The medic began
mouth-the-mouth resuscitation, but couldn't hear Basic's breathing over
the crowd's shouting. He ripped open the man's shirt. That's when he
the bullet's entry wound.
was no car accident.
peacekeepers and U.N. police only realized later what had
happened: A crowd of ethnic Albanians had pulled Basic, his 51-year-old
wife and her 74-year-old mother from the car, flipped it over and set
fire. The mob kicked, punched and pummeled them. Basic was shot.
Firecrackers were jammed into the mouths of the terrified women.
died en route to the hospital. The two women suffered critical
injuries and remain hospitalized in the Serbian city of Nis.
attack in the early hours of last Monday horrifyingly illustrated the
depth of ethnic Albanian anger in a province wracked by war and a
decade of oppression under Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
mob's revenge has prompted soul-searching here over whether the
West - lulled by the painful images of ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing
Milosevic's onslaught - underestimated the cost of securing Kosovo's
was a human rights war," said U.N. official Dennis McNamara. "It
was all about protection of minorities. The persecuted being part of
persecution can't be part of this equation."
not clear why the Basic family risked venturing out that night. It was
the end of Albanian independence day - a time of unrestrained ethnic
emotion that carried on past midnight.
of thousands of revelers danced in the streets, waved black and red
Albanian flags, shot off celebratory gunfire and popped firecrackers.
officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, believe Basic's
mother-in-law was ill and needed to go to a suburban hospital protected
by Russian peacekeepers. To get there, he had to drive through a
neighborhood teeming with ethnic Albanian revelers.
snaking through the crowd, the professor, whose family has lived in
Kosovo for generations, was either recognized or somehow identified
being a Serb.
that, the family was at the mercy of the mob.
is not a place where political moderation rules. Ethnic Albanians
consider Serbs collectively responsible for the crimes of the Milosevic
estimated 10,000 ethnic Albanians died during an 18-month Serb
crackdown that ended when Milosevic accepted a peace plan to stop
NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. NATO-led peacekeepers
entered Kosovo after Serb forces withdrew in June
a game with numbers," said Daut Dauti, director of the Pristina
of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting. "Albanians will say:
killed 10,000. Why isn't it OK to kill less than 100?'"
to rebuild civil society are difficult, Dauti said, because the war
no clear victor. Milosevic's forces are gone, but U.N. resolutions leave
future of Kosovo unresolved: the territory remains under Yugoslav
sovereignty even though it is under U.N. control.
puts NATO peacekeepers and U.N. police in the middle. Popular
for the moment because of the air war, they are never sure when they
encounter the next mob of the very people they were sent to protect.
weekend was supposed to be a time of joy, and peacekeepers and
U.N. police gave people wide latitude for their raucous celebrations.
police were out en masse on the streets, though, patrolling in their
red and white Land Cruisers that the people of Kosovo call "Coca-Cola
patrol, however, was unprepared for what they came upon at 12:30
a.m. last Monday. The two U.N. officers saw Basic's car on fire from
yards away. It took them about 10 minutes to drive through the crowd.
Once they got close, one officer rolled down his window and stuck his
head out to see what was happening. He was punched in the face.
he persisted. He tried to help one of the women, likely Basic's wife,
Dragica, into the patrol car. The mob blocked her path, and began
rocking the U.N. car, lifting it off its wheels. Faced with possibly
the same fate as the three Serbs, the officers retreated and called
10 minutes, 11 other U.N. vehicles with two officers apiece
converged on the scene. None had riot gear, tear gas, shields - nothing
all for trying to control a mob of 1,000 or more. Many in the crowd
drunk and almost certainly were armed.
Albanian officers traveling with the U.N. units to learn about
Western police work were taunted by the mob as traitors. American
officers faced shouts of "Yankee go home!"
medic saw the flames because he happened to be on guard duty that
night at a British peacekeepers' outpost about a mile up the road.
peacekeepers raced to scene and pushed their way through the
crowd of ethnic Albanians, who were chanting anti-Serb slogans while
standing in a half-circle around the burning car.
soldiers forced the crowd back so medics could attend to Basic, his
wife and her mother, Borka Jovanovic. The three had been dragged as
much as 40 yards from their car and were drenched in blood.
said the frenzied crowd kept trying to get closer. Some sat atop a
fence to get a better view. Many were clapping.
was like being at a football match," one soldier said.
medic and others frantically working over the victims were soon
attacked themselves, pelted with firecrackers tossed at their heads.
like we were the enemy," the medic said, speaking on condition
not be quoted by name.
the peacekeepers loaded the family into a Land Rover and sped
off. The crowd tossed firecrackers into the back of the vehicle.
Basic is expected to recover from her injuries: a broken nose,
severe cuts to her face, a fractured shoulder, broken ribs, bruises
head to foot.
mother may not be so lucky. She was so badly beaten she
hemorrhaged into her lungs. Her nose was broken and dislocated. Her
spleen had to be removed and her liver was ruptured. She suffered heavy
abdominal bleeding and is bruised all over.
Basic, the couple's son, said he had begged his parents to leave
Kosovo. But his father refused to abandon his home.
ethnic Albanian political leaders like Hashim Thaci and Ibrahim
Rugova condemned the mob assault, fear of retaliation has discouraged
witnesses from coming forward.
editorial in Koha Ditore, the leading newspaper in Kosovo, also
condemned the attack, saying "the killer of November 28th did exactly
same thing like Serbs did against Albanians."
shouldn't be like the Serbs," the editorial said.
the editorial was not signed - a reflection of the
danger that even ethnic Albanians can face for speaking out.
calls on Albanians to end law of silence
PRISTINA, Dec 8 (AFP) - NATO authorities in Kosovo on Wednesday
implored ethnic Albanians to break their "seal of silence"
evidence about acts of violence committed in the province.
"The people of Kosovo need to break the seal of silence,"
Henning Philipp, a spokesman for NATO's force in the region (KFOR).
Information handed over "could lead to arrests and convictions."
UN police in Kosovo have made little progress in their inquiries
into the murder of a Serb after a flag-day party in Pristina on
November 28, Philipp said.
The Serb's wife and mother-in-law were also seriously wounded in
the attack. They were beaten and firecrackers were rammed into their
"It is just not bearable for the international community that
from hundreds of bystanders, eyewitnessing a brutal attack on
innocent people and a murder, no one comes forward to identify the
killers and help bring them to justice," Philipp said.
Crime rates in Kosovo have escalated recently, with 22 murders
committed last week alone.
Philip called on "community leaders and the media" to condemn
the violence, which continued on Tuesday with two grenade attacks,
including one on a house belonging to gypsies. No-one was killed in
the end we bring one more article on muder of a Serb woman and her son.
They were found dead in their Pristina apartment a week after their murder.
Bodies of Kosovo Serbs found in Pristina apartment
01:13 p.m Dec 07, 1999 Eastern
Dec 7 (Reuters) - Kosovo's
international police force said on Tuesday an
elderly Serb woman and her son had been found
shot dead in a Pristina apartment after
apparently lying undiscovered for around a
the day after the publication of a major
human rights study which documented the wave
of revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians which
has swept Kosovo, news of the discovery once
again highlighted the plight of Kosovo's Serb
member of the public had found the bodies of
the woman, aged around 63, and her son,
about 33 years old, after a seven-year old child
noticed their apartment door was open and
detected a strong stench from inside, a police
victims, found in the central Dardania
district of the Kosovo capital, appeared to have
been dead between seven and 10 days,
spokesman Gilles Moreau told Reuters.
a new case but an old murder,'' he said.
than 220,000 Serbs and members of other
minority groups have fled Kosovo, according to
Yugoslav local authorities, during and after
NATO's 11-week bombing campaign to end Serb
repression of the territory's ethnic Albanian
Serbs' postwar fate is one of the central
themes of a report by the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe released on
Monday. It says Albanians have adopted a view
of collective guilt with regard to Serb atrocities
entire remaining Kosovo Serb population
was seen as a target for Kosovo Albanians,''
said the second part of the report, dealing with
the period from June to October this year.
also calls for a a probe into frequent accounts
that the Kosovo Liberation Army former guerrilla
group has been involved in the continuing
violence in the province. KLA leaders deny thay
have been behind any attacks.
first part of the OSCE report gathers
witness testimony of the campaign of terror in
Kosovo by Serb forces in Kosovo which ended
with their withdrawal in June and the arrival of
the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force.
to prevent attacks on Serbs and other
minorities has been one of KFOR's toughest
said on Tuesday that U.S. forces had
arrested four people, all believed to be ethnic
Albanians, suspected of involvement in a bomb
attack on a Serb home in eastern Kosovo in
which one woman died and two men were
confirmed the dead man and woman in
Pristina had been on a KFOR list of vulnerable
people and a patrol had visited their home
soldiers had received no reply when they
knocked on the door but noticed nothing amiss
and, as the apartment was still secure, assumed
they had been visiting relatives in the area.
another sign of what investigators describe
as a ``culture of silence'' among the local
population when they try to track down
criminals, Moreau said none of the neighbours
had been able to shed any light on the killings so
can't help this population if they don't
want to help themselves,'' he said.