June 7, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 07-06-03

FUTURE OF KOSOVO CANNOT BE BUILT ON BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT


Burrial of the massacred Serb family in Obilic, June 6, 2003

CONTENTS:

BISHOP ARTEMIJE: FUTURE OF KOSOVO CANNOT BE BUILT ON BLOOD OF THE INNNOCENT
Bishop Artemije and his priests officieated a burrial service for the massacred Serb family in Obilic - During the burrial ceremony many Albanians hoisted flags, called out insults and swore at the funeral procession


BISHOP ARTEMIJE VISITS VITINA AND VRBOVAC AFTER THE LATEST SERIES OF CRIMES AND ATTACKS

"The Church has been, is now and will remain with its faithful believers, sharing their fate. Crimes, such as the one that occurred yesterday in Obilic and such as the murder of Zoran Mirkovic here in Vrbovac, must not go unpunished. The international community must finally put an end to the systemic violence being carried out under its auspices against the defenseless Serb people of Kosovo and Metohija," Bishop Artemije told Kosovsko Pomoravlje Serbs


OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT ON OBILIC MASSACRE - FAMILY MURDERED IN BRUTAL ATTACK
All three had been savagely beaten as they slept. Weapons had been used to inflict injury although the nature of those weapons is unknown. Police believe that the killers deliberately set the fire in the house to conceal their attack.

UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS KOSOVO SITUATION ON JUNE 10
Covic said that the people of Kosovo can no longer live on certain international officials' empty promises of freedom of movement, security, stability and tolerance in Kosovo-Metohija. He also demanded for the quick arrest of the murderers of the Stolic family from Obilic.


SECOND PROTEST GATHERING IN GRACANICA
Serbs request immediate arrest of the perpertrators and moratorioum on the transfer of authorities from UNMIK to Kosovo institutions

STOLIC'S TORTURED PRIOR TO BEING MURDERED
Radmila and Ljubinko Stolic were murdered shortly after the evening meal and that signs of kicking and blows with a blunt object were visible on all three of the bodies. Both of Ljubinko's arms were broken, as well as his ribs on both sides. Slobodan sustained six wounds from a blunt object just on his head.

CONDEMNATIONS OF THE MURDER OF SERB FAMILY IN OBILIC

MAKFAX KUMANOVO, MACEDONIA: BOMB BLAST INJURES TWO PERSONS - ANA SUSPECT

STOLIC MURDER PROOF OF INADEQUACY OF STEINER'S POLICY

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Human Rights Abuses in Post-war Kosovo


BISHOP ARTEMIE: FUTURE OF KOSOVO CANNOT BE BUILT ON BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT

Bishop Artemije and his priests officieated a burrial service for the massacred Serb family in Obilic - During the burrial ceremony many Albanians hoisted flags, called out insults and swore at the funeral procession

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BK TV, ERP KIM Info-Service
June 6, 2003

Stolic family members, Slobodan, Radmila and Ljubinko,  killed by Albanian terrorists three days ago in Obilic, were buried today around 1400hrs in near village of Crkvena vodica (Church water). This crime happened on the 4th annual of signing the Kumanovo agreement which marked the end of almost three months of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

More than thousand Serbs from all the enclaves of Central Kosmet attended the funeral, and Bishop Artemije and the priests from Raska – Prizren Diocese held the funeral service. He strongly accused Kosovo's international administration of hypocricy over the murder. "The crimes committed against the Serbs are still happening after 4 years, beside the presence of the International Community, and it’s a high time to do something to prevent the further Serb exodus," said Bishop Artemije adding that "future of Kosovo and Metohija cannot be built on blood of the innocent". The Bishiop also called on Kosovo Serbs to keep their faith and stay in their homes and not allow Albanian extremists to accomplish their goal - ethnically clean Kosovo and Metohija.

Momcilo Trajkovic, the President of the Serb "Resistance" movement from Kosovo, Coordination Center officials from Belgrade, and "Povratak" Coalition representatives attended the funeral. Oliver Ivanovic, the Kosovo Parliament Presidency member strongly condemned the Stolic’s murder, and added that Serbs have a right to complain regarding the unsatisfactory International Community results.

"We are preparing a letter which will be sent to many officials, at first to Kofi Annan, Lord Robertson (which means NATO), and Javier Solana, to the 5 countries ambassadors in Belgrade (the Contact Group and Russia), and to the 6 countries ambassadors and offices in Pristina. There is a need to do something, this cannot to continue anymore," said Oliver Ivanovic.

Beside the Kosovo President and Prime Minister's appeals, before and at the time of the funeral, the most extreme of Albanians have hoisted Albanian flags, called out insults and swore at the funeral procession, but there were no incidents only thanks to the Norwegian KFOR members.

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BISHOP ARTEMIJE VISITS VITINA AND VRBOVAC AFTER THE LATEST SERIES OF CRIMES AND ATTACKS

"The Church has been, is now and will remain with its faithful believers, sharing their fate. Crimes, such as the one that occurred yesterday in Obilic and such as the murder of Zoran Mirkovic here in Vrbovac, must not go unpunished. The international community must finally put an end to the systemic violence being carried out under its auspices against the defenseless Serb people of Kosovo and Metohija," Bishop Artemije told Kosovsko Pomoravlje Serbs

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, 05 June 2003

On Thursday, June 5, Bishop Artemije and representatives of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija visited Kosovska Vitina and Vrbovac to celebrate the religious holiday of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ with the people and distribute humanitarian aid collected by the Diocese. After Holy Liturgy in the Orthodox cathedral in Vitina, Bishop Artemije and Dr. Rada Trajkovic spoke with Serb representatives of the Vitina region who informed them of the exceptionally difficult situation of Serbs living in Kosovsko Pomoravlje.

Serbs from Vitina told the Bishop that security and living conditions in the region are very unfavorable, especially since the most recent crimes and attacks against Serbs in Vrbovac and Vitina. People also complained that they are not getting almost any assistance from the Serbian state and they feel completely abandoned. There is great hypocrisy and intolerance on the Albanian side, claimed the Serb representatives. According to their testimony, publicly the Albanians express their willingness for the development of normal interethnic relations while in reality the Serbs remain exposed to daily repression and discrimination. They are exposed to continuous pressure to sell their homes and leave their centuries-old homes.

An especially sore point with the Serbs of this region is the fact that international representatives of UNMIK and U.S. KFOR have not demonstrated a sincere willingness to end Albanian violence and, not infrequently, openly tolerate the reinforcement of the terrorist self-proclaimed Albanian National Army. Whenever an attack against Serbs occurs, the typical response is that KFOR forces swoop down on a Serb settlement and carry out house to house searches while the Albanian attackers flee from the scene unpunished.

The hypocritical attitude of international institutions and local Albanian authorities toward the Serbs was more than apparent following the murder of Zoran Mirkovic on May 17 in Vrbovac. Despite the fact that Serbs had ample evidence of the involvement of ANA terrorists, international representatives covered the whole incident up over night and even said that it probably was not an ethnically motivated crime, thus de facto suggesting that Mirkovic was killed by Serbs, which represents the ultimate level of hypocrisy. The perpetrators of this loathsome crime, as usual, were not found.

Despite persistent attempts to present a false picture of idyllic interethnic relations to the general public, the reality of daily life is completely different and it is misleading to speak about any kind of substantial improvement in the lives of local Serbs, concluded the Serb representatives who spoke with Bishop Artemije.

After Kosovska Vitina, Bishop Artemije was escorted by UNMIK police to the village of Vrbovac where a requiem service (parastos) was served for all Serbs murdered in Kosovo and Metohija. In his homily Bishop Artemije wished local Serbs a happy holiday of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ and encouraged them to be resolute and determined and remain in their centuries-old homes without losing hope in a better future. "The Church has been, is now and will remain with its faithful believers, sharing their fate. Crimes, such as the one that occurred yesterday in Obilic and such as the murder of Zoran Mirkovic here in Vrbovac, must not go unpunished. The international community must finally put an end to the systemic violence being carried out under its auspices against the defenseless Serb people of Kosovo and Metohija," Bishop Artemije told the gathered Serbs. 

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The house in which three elderly Serbs were murdered and burnt

OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT ON OBILIC MASSACRE - FAMILY MURDERED IN BRUTAL ATTACK
All three had been savagely beaten as they slept. Weapons had been used to inflict injury although the nature of those weapons is unknown. Police believe that the killers deliberately set the fire in the house to conceal their attack.

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UNMIK POLICE, PRISTINA
June 4, 2003

FAMILY MURDERED IN BRUTAL ATTACK


Police are investigating the brutal killing of three Kosovo Serbian family members in Obiliq on Tuesday night.

Dead are 80 year old Slobodan Stolic, his 78 year old wife Radmila and their 55 year old son Ljubinko.

Their bodies were found inside the family home on Hasan Pristina Street in Obiliq. Police and the Fire Brigade had been called to the house at 0230 hrs in response to reports of a house fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and a search of the house located the bodies of the victims, who had apparently died in their beds.

All three had been savagely beaten as they slept. Weapons had been used to inflict injury although the nature of those weapons is unknown. Police believe that the killers deliberately set the fire in the house to conceal their attack.

Missing from the home is the family car and Police request the assistance of the public to find and report any sightings of this vehicle – a white LADA SAMARA 1300 – bearing license PR – 760 – 61.

Police have established a special investigative task force to investigate this crime that will operate from Pristina Region.

This horrific attack on an elderly family, asleep in their beds, is shocking for its brutality and its cowardliness. The police will dedicate whatever resources are needed to bring these criminals to justice and we ask for the cooperation of the public to ensure that these dangerous offenders are identified and arrested.


Derek CHAPPELL
Chief of Information Press Officer

Angela TRIJNES-JOSEPH
UNMIK Police MHQ UNMIK Police MHQ
Pristina


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UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS KOSOVO SITUATION ON JUNE 10
Covic said that the people of Kosovo can no longer live on certain international officials' empty promises of freedom of movement, security, stability and tolerance in Kosovo-Metohija. He also demanded for the quick arrest of the murderers of the Stolic family from Obilic.

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SERBIAN GOVERNMENT
June 05, 2003

Belgrade, June 5, 2003 - Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic announced Thursday that Serbian and Montenegrin Ambassador to the United Nations Dejan Sahovic will present the position of the Belgrade authorities on the situation in Kosovo-Metohija at the UN Security Council's June 10 session.

Covic said that the people of Kosovo can no longer live on certain international officials' empty promises of freedom of movement, security, stability and tolerance in Kosovo-Metohija. He also demanded for the quick arrest of the murderers of the Stolic family from Obilic.

Covic stressed that the situation in Kosovo-Metohija needs to be put into order.

He also underlined the importance of the adoption of two conclusions at the upcoming Thessaloniki Summit: that Pristina and Belgrade need to begin immediate talks and that creation of democratic institutions in the whole of the region is necessary for European integration.


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SECOND PROTEST GATHERING IN GRACANICA
Serbs request immediate arrest of the perpertrators and moratorioum on the transfer of authorities from UNMIK to Kosovo institutions

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BETA News Agency, Belgrade
GRACANICA, 05 June 2003

More than a thousand Serbs gathered for demonstrations in Gracanica to protest the  murder of three members of the Stolic family of Obilic demanded that the international community ensure "the right to  life for the Serb community.

After the protest, which passed without incident, a statement was issued demanding the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of this crime against Serbs, as well a moratorium on the process of transfer of authorities from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions.

Also requested was the discovery of the fate of kidnapped and missing Serbs, the consistent implementation of Resolution 1244 and the return of the Serbia and Montenegro army and police in order to protect the remaining Serbs in the Province.

The protestors asked the state union of Serbia and Montenegro to become more engaged in resolving the problem, to schedule an extraordinary session of the Serbian Parliament devoted to problems in Kosovo and Metohija, and the relocation of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija to the Province.

After the demands were read, the protestors started out on a peaceful march through the main street in Gracanica.

Present at the protest were Serb deputies from the Return Coalition (Povratak), who walked out of the parliamentary session in Pristina today to protest the murder of the three Stolices.

COVERING UP A CRIME IS A BIGGER CRIME

05 June (KIM Radio)

“We demand that the UNMIK Chief Michael Steiner disband the Institutions,” said Rada Trajkovic, the Kosovo Parliament member and Vice-president of the Demo- Christian Party.
After the Gracanica protest, Trajkovic stated for the KIM Radio that if the “Povratak” Coalition members stay in the Kosovo Parliament, they would be in comparison with those who commit the crimes over the Serbs.

“The murder of the three Serbs in Obilic is a dirty crime, as is the covering it up, like the statement of the Obilic Police representatives is, that the Stolic family got suffocated in the fire,” stated Trajkovic today in Gracanica.


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STOLICS TORTURED PRIOR TO BEING MURDERED

Radmila and Ljubinko Stolic were murdered shortly after the evening meal and that signs of kicking and blows with a blunt object were visible on all three of the bodies. Both of Ljubinko's arms were broken, as well as his ribs on both sides. Slobodan sustained six wounds from a blunt object just on his head.

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BETA NEWS AGENCY - BELGRADE
GRACANICA, 05 June 2003

Dr. Slavisa Dobricanin, the head of the Bureau for Identification of the Coordinating
Committee for Kosovo and Metohija, told Beta News Agency today that the members of the Stolic family in Obilic will killed by blows with blunt objects to the head.

Dobricanin, who conducted an autopsy of the bodies with international experts at the institute in Orahovac, emphasized that Radmila and Ljubinko Stolic were murdered shortly after the evening meal and that signs of kicking and blows with a blunt object were visible on all three of the bodies.

Both of Ljubinko's arms were broken, as well as his ribs on both sides. Slobodan sustained six wounds from a blunt object just on his head.

Dobricanin added that it is likely that Ljubinko was attacked with a knife as there were superficial wounds on his body sustained while resisting.

He also said the autopsy revealed that there were no traces of burns on the bodies, with the exception of one minor one.

Dobricanin emphasizes that everything suggests that the Stolic family resisted their attackers, as well as that the attackers subsequently tortured them.

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CONDEMNATIONS OF THE MURDER IN OBILIC

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Source: UN Security Council
Date: 6 Jun 2003

Press statement on Kosovo by Security Council President

SC/7781

Following is today's press statement on Kosovo by Security Council President Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation):

Members of the Security Council strongly condemned the murder in Obilic on 4 June of the elderly Kosovo-Serb family - 82-year-old Slobodan Stolic, his wife and son.

Council Members fully supported the efforts initiated by Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Michael Steiner, to conduct an urgent investigation and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable crime.

Members of the Council underscored that such acts undermine the joint efforts of the international community, on the basis of Security Council resolutions, aimed at fostering ethnic reconciliation in Kosovo, towards building a multi-ethnic and tolerant society with equal security for all and necessary conditions for the safe return of refugees and
internally displaced persons.


SERBIAN GOVERNMENT
June 6, Belgrade


US, EU ambassadors to OSCE condemn murder of Serb family in Kosovo

Vienna, June 5, 2003 - At a session of the OSCE Permanent Council on Friday, the ambassadors of the United States and the European Union to the OSCE severely condemned the murder of the Stolic family in the Kosovo town of Obilic. Serbian and Montenegrin Ambassador to Austria Branislav Milinkovic initiated discussion on the crime, describing it as yet another tragic example of the difficult position of minorities in Kosovo.

Milinkovic said that the objective of Kosovo Albanians is to drive Serbs out of Kosovo and prevent the return of the displaced to the province. He added that figures showing a fall in ethnic violence are due to the fact that Serbs as well as other ethnic minorities are forced to live in isolated enclaves.

Greek Ambassador to the OSCE Aristidis Santis also condemned the murder and called for bringing the perpetrators to justice. He also expressed support to the return of displaced persons to Kosovo.

US Ambassador to the OSCE Stephen Minikes described the murder as the most horrible example of intolerance and inability to accept cohabitation. According to Minikes, the US regards the Obilic murder as an attack on the efforts of the US and its allies to create a multiethnic Kosovo.

Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council, Dutch Ambassador Justus de Visser announced that the OSCE Mission in Kosovo will compile a special report on the murder of the Serb family in Obilic.

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MAKFAX KUMANOVO, MACEDONIA: BOMB GLAST INJURES TWO PERSONS - ANA SUSPECTED

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MAKFAX, MACEDONIA
Web posted June 05, 2003


Kumanovo - Last night around 2 o'clock after midnight, a handmade bomb exploded in front of a building near the square in Kumanovo. Noone is killed, but at least dozen inhabitants of the building were injured from the broken glass of the windows while they were sleeping.

The Police says that the bomb was made of TNT explosive and was set to cause fear. Planting the bomb inside the building would have resulted in its collapse.

There are no suspects for this new bomb attack in Kumanovo. There are rumours among the local population that the bomb Attack is an act of ANA (Albanian National Army).

(Irina Gelevska)


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STOLIC MURDER PROOF OF INADEQUACY OF STEINER'S POLICIES

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BETA NEWS AGENCY, BELGRADE
BELGRADE, 05 June 2003

 Momcilo Trajkovic, the president of the Serbian Resistance Movement (SPOT), assessed
today that the murder of the three members of the Stolic family is part of a strategy by which Albanian separatists want to frighten the Serb community.

"By committing murder the separatists are attempting to prevent the planned return of Serbs, even though the international community has indicated returns are a priority in this year," said Trajkovic at a conference in Belgrade.

Trajkovic blamed the international community and UNMIK chief Michael Steiner for the murders, saying that they are " powerless and incapable of realizing their own program." "Instead of solving problems they are producing a crisis," assessed Trajkovic.

Trajkovic announced that the convention of the movement for Kosovo and Metohija, where program goals and a declaration of intent will be presented to show the international community and the Albanians our readiness for dialogue, will be held on June 21, 2003.

The reason for the delay of the convention, which was supposed to have been held on June 7 in the Belgrade Sava Center, is the funeral of the murdered members of the Stolic family, said Trajkovic.


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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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