February 23, 2004

ERP KIM Newsletter 23-02-04

UNMIK police commissioner Stephan Feller's work yields no results

Under the auspices of UNMIK and KFOR the present police commissioner Stephan Feller (Germany), who has been in Kosovo since the year 2000, continues to hold his inviolable position even though during the same period UNMIK police has shown itself to be completely incapable of solving basic security problems and failed to bring to justice a single perpetrator of crimes against Serbs committed during the post-war period.

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 22, 2004

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija requests the urgent review of the work of UNMIK police chief Stephan Feller. After a series of murders and crimes against the Serb people, destruction and desecration of churches and cemeteries, in any democratic society the police officials responsible would long ago have resigned, especially if not one of these cases was positively solved. However, in Kosovo and Metohija the situation is different. The principle of responsibility that is glorified in the West as the basis of democratic society has been rendered completely useless here. No international representative has assumed responsibility for the catastrophic results of the mission under whose so-called peacekeeping administration (read: occupation) over 2,000 Serbs have been killed or abducted by Albanian extremists.

Under the auspices of UNMIK and KFOR the present police commissioner Stephan Feller (Germany), who has been in Kosovo since the year 2000, continues to hold his inviolable position even though during the same period UNMIK police has shown itself to be completely incapable of solving basic security problems and failed to bring to justice a single perpetrator of crimes against Serbs committed during the post-war period. What is more, the police commissioner and especially his information service are using every available means to attempt to hide the truth that ethnic violence is still occurring in Kosovo and Metohija and trying to depict all crimes as ordinary criminal activities existing in any society.

In his public statement on Saturday Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki said that UNMIK's credibility has been largely brought into question. The reason fro this statement is not just the fact that none of the perpetrators of major post-war crimes against Serbs have been found but also that in many instances investigations were not professionally conducted or not conducted at all. Despite UNMIK police promises after the slaughter of the Stolic family in Obilic and the massacre of Serb children in Gorazdevac that the unconscientious would be brought to justice, this has yet to occur. Furthermore, by its disinterested and professional work in conjunction with the Kosovo Police Service, UNMIK police is becoming the main factor that is enabling the unobstructed continuation of ethnic violence which two days ago claimed the lives of two more young Serbs in Lipljan. At the same time, UNMIK police and the KPS represent one of the chief obstacles for the return of displaced Serbs and the normal life of the remaining Serb population in the Province.

We are listing only a few of the major crimes that remain unresolved to this day, primarily thanks to the unconscientious and unprofessional work of Stephan Feller and his UNMIK police. When asked by the Kosovo ombudsman for results to date of these investigations, he received only a short response: "The investigation is still in progress."

1. Massacre in Staro Gracko

On July 22, 1999 14 Serb peasants were murdered in a field near the village of Staro Gracko near Lipljan. Despite multiple indications that the criminals were members of the KLA from the Albanian village of Mali Alas, to date no one has been arrested. Despite repeated efforts to learn of any progress in the investigation, the Diocese of Raska and Prizren was always met with a wall of silence.

/gracko_victims.html

2. Terrorist attack on Nis Express bus

On February 17, 2001 near the village of Livadice near Podujevo, Albanian terrorists blew up a Nis Express bus, resulting in the deaths of 11 Serbs (two of them children) and 40 wounded. Although a few Albanian suspects were arrested after the investigation, all were subsequently released with the exception of Florim Ejupi, who was found to have direct ties to Albanian organized crimes and former KLA circles. Ejupi was transferred to the U.S. military base Camp Bondsteel "for security reasons" from where he managed to escape (sic!) within days. In its July 29, 2001 edition the London Sunday Times explained that UN sources suspect that Florim Ejupi worked for the CIA and that his possible trial would have been highly embarrassing to his employers.

/bus_attack.html#st 

3. Murder of the Stolic family

On June 4, 2004 in Obilic Slobodan and Radmila Stolic (both in their eighties) and their son Ljubinko (50) were murdered. After the murder their bodies were mutilated and fire was set to their house. Despite the fact that Michael Steiner, the UNMIK chief at that time, offered a 50,000 EUR reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators, the investigation yielded no results. Like those that preceded it, this crime was quickly forgotten by the international mission which continued to spread propaganda regarding the supposed improvement in the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija.

/erpkim05june03.html

4. Massacre of Serb children in Gorazdevac

On August 13, 2003 unknown persons opened fire from automatic weapons on Serb children bathing in the Bistrica River in the village of Gorazdevac near Pec. Panta Dakic (10) and Ivan Jovovic (19) were killed in the attack; wounded were Bogdan Bukumiric (15), Dragana Srbljak (14), Djordje Ugrenovic (20) and Marko Bogicevic (15). As in previous cases, the investigation yielded no results. From the very beginning the investigation was conducted unprofessionally and Italian carabinieri professionally trained to fight organized crime and terrorism were prevented from conducting the investigation, which remained in the hands of the incompetent and corrupt UNMIK police and Kosovo Police Service.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,1019652,00.html


Bishop Artemije visits family of slain Milijana Markovic of Staro Gracko

The Bishop shared in the sorrow of the parents and conveyed condolences on behalf of the clergy, monks and nuns of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren. "We really do not have anyone to turn to for help. Only our hope in God sustains us!" said the Bishop before the gathered locals, adding that "we have no freedom because all of the criminals who committed crimes against Serbs remain free"


Bishop Artemije with mother and father of slain Milijana Markovic, Staro Gracko, Feb. 22, 2004
Photo in larger format:  /vladika_markoviciv.jpg

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 22, 2004

Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija visited the family of slain Milijana Markovic of Staro Gracko accompanied by their parish priest, Fr. Randjel Denic of Lipljan, and Fr. Simeon Vilovski, the abbot of Banjska Monastery.

Bishop Artemije was greeted at the front gate by Milijana's father, Dragomir Markovic. "We are waiting for them to kill all of us, too," he immediately said in despair, explaining that there is no longer any protection for the Serbs remaining in the village, despite the murders that have occurred here. "Our village is a concentration camp," added other local residents. "We cannot go anywhere at all."

During the conversation with the parents of the deceased Milijana, Dragomir and Milanka Markovic, the Bishop learned that local residents are deeply convinced that the attack by Albanian extremists was planned in advance.

"The road was blocked in both directions for Albanian vehicles 15 minutes before the murder and 30 minutes after the murder of my Milijana and our distant relative Zlatomir," explained Dragomir. Zlatomir was supposed to drive Milijana to other relatives living in the village of Ugljare near Kosovo Polje. On the second bridge from Staro Gracko toward Lipljan, near the auto salvage, their vehicle came under fire from automatic weapons. The vehicle stopped some 50 meters later. Milijana died of three bullet wounds to the left side of her chest. There were no other wounds on her body. It is less than two kilometers from the village to the place where they were killed and the fired rounds could be heard clearly. "If it had not been the two of them, they would have certainly killed some other Serbs!" said Milijana's father, Dragomir, categorically.

The parents then informed the Bishop, with great pain, that Milijana's body was returned without any of the jewelry she was wearing when she left the house that evening: a gold chain, bracelet and earrings, and that her cell phone was also missing. "The Kosovo Police Service took it," said her parents categorically. "They were the first to approach the car and they are the ones who brought our Milijana."

Local residents gathered around the grieving family expressed their great pain due to the fact that they have no one to turn to for help. "We still do not have a government in Serbia, neither a prime minister nor a president," they explained to the Bishop, adding that "they are engaged in a power struggle while we are being murdered here!" They also expressed their great bitterness following the visit of Holkeri and Rugova to Serb villages in Metohija on the day of the funeral of their daughter. "They are calling on Serbs to return while we are being murdered here," said the father of slain Milijana Markovic with resignation.

The Bishop shared in the sorrow of the parents and conveyed condolences on behalf of the clergy, monks and nuns of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren. "We really do not have anyone to turn to for help. Only our hope in God sustains us!" said the Bishop before the gathered locals, adding that "we have no freedom because all of the criminals who committed crimes against Serbs remain free". "If [former UNMIK chief Bernard] Kouchner had caught the murderers of the 14 harvesters of Staro Gracko in 1999 as he promised, we would not have had eight more victims in this small village and hundreds of other victims throughout Kosovo and Metohija," concluded Bishop Artemije.

Milijana has two brothers and a sister. About 95 Serb families still "live" in the Serb inhabited village of Staro Gracko.

On behalf of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren Bishop Artemije provided monetary assistance to the family of Milijana Markovic, expressing the hope that the Markovic family along with the other Serbs of Staro Gracko would still remain in their centuries-old homes in this village of martyrs.


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.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

Disclaimer:
The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Additional information on our Diocese and the life of the Kosovo Serb Community may be found at: http://www.kosovo.net

Copyright 2004, ERP KIM Info-Service