Efforts to release fathers, mothers and children - from prison


In Serbian Prison

Attorney Arrested
Dec 04

Good News!!
Dec 02

Efforts for release
Nov 25

-Criminal proceedings
Nov 22

Dr Flora Brovini
Nov 12

-Grave violations
Nov 08

List of detained Minors

Petition for the Release




November 25, 1999  

In direct violation of the Geneva Accords

Two representatives, Alice Mead, the writer and human rights activist from the US, Kosova Action Network, and Idriz Zogaj, Sweden-Kosov@ Union, visit the European Parliament in Brussels, November 23-25.
They are briefing members of the Parliament, and European NGO:s about the issue of the 5.000 Kosovo Albanian prisoners still detained in Serbia.
Some minors? Yes, research and information from October-November says that, twenty seven (27) children were included as well.
Click here for names and identities.

Some of the civilians and children are today released, a result of both national and international actions.

When NATO and former Yugoslavia signed the Kumano Agreement to end the war in Kosovo, on June 10, 1999, somehow - and no one has offered an explanation for this "no period". There were no terms included for the release of prisoners.

Serbian authorities immediately seized on this oversight. Most of the prisoners were detained between March 24 and June 10th. They were transfered from Kosova to prisons within Serbia, where they remained unprotected by international norms, in direct violation of the Geneva Accords.

Only "terrorists" on "the other side"
Now, five months after Kumanovo, the trials of these prisoners have begun. Some have been released, some sentenced, up to 20 years in prison for "acts of terrorism".

The trial of Doctor Flora Brovina, due to begin November 25, is a prime example of the injustice these prisoners face.

Human rights groups state that Dr. Brovina ran a clinic for women and children during the war. These Serbs claim she committed acts of terrorism against the state of Yugoslavia.
Some evidence? "Yes", some bags of yarn in her clinic, donated by Oxfam.
If found guilty, her lawyer is afraid she may be sentenced to thirteen (13) years.

A poet and doctor, Browina, was tortured in prison. She suffers from heart decease.

World wide support
Mead and Zolaj brought to the European Parliament - petitions and signatures, collected at rallies held in Canada, Germany, Los Angeles, New York and Sweden, on November 20th.
The petitions demonstrate an outpouring of support also from countries like Malaysia, India, Israel and Mexico, besides Europe and the US.

While in Belgium, they also met with Franklin de Vrieze of PxChristl. De Vrieze is part of the grassroots response to the prisoner crisis.
His main concern at the moment is to support Serb humanitarian lawyers in Belgrade, who are struggling to keep the trials of the Kosovo-Albanian prisoners in the public eye. He is also trying to raise awareness among European Parliament members.

On December 10-11, EP Green Party members will attend a Helsinki summit on human rights. Mead hopes they will raise the issue of the prisoners there, and do more than pass a second resolution.

No wide support
On September 16, the European Parliament passed a resolution ordering Finnish president to begin talks in Belgrade. But a meeting has yet to be arranged.

Mead says she observes that: "Although EP members are aware of the gross human rights violations involved in the Kosovo-Albanian prisoner issue, especially with regards to the children. They were cynical about taking further actions or connecting in more detail with the problem".
"Why?", she asks, and completes with, "Too many meetings seemed to be the standard answer".

BOES.ORG crew, November 25, 1999
children and rights
BOES.ORG Main INDEX     Euro War Child, Frame Set     Chechnya War Child
Multilingual Human Rights / Children's Rights Across the World
Deutsch     Español     Français     Italiano     Other Languages