HLC calls on Government of Kosovo to investigate allegations of the existence of camps and cases of extraction of internal organs of kidnapped Serbs

The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and HLC-Kosovo call on the government of Kosovo to order an investigation into the Human Rights Watch (HRW) allegations that after June 1999 Serbs kidnapped in Kosovo were held in detention camps in Albania and that some of them had their internal organs removed. HLC and HLC-Kosovo urge the UNMIK administration to publicly disclose the report titled Court Investigation and Fact Finding in Albania from February 2004 regarding the removal of internal organs of Serbian prisoners in northern Albania.

HLC and HLC-Kosovo remind the public that the fate of approximately 2000 missing Kosovo residents is still unknown. The Serbian authorities are responsible for disclosing the truth about 1,500 missing Kosovo Albanians while the Kosovo authorities are responsible for the disappearance of about 500 Serbs, Roma, and members of other non-Albanian communities. The fact that the Serbian authorities are still silent about the fate of 1,500 missing Albanians does not justify the silence of the Kosovo government. Allegations made by the former ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, and subsequently by Human Rights Watch about cases of kidnapping of Kosovo Serbs after the deployment of the International Security Force (KFOR) in Kosovo, their transfer to camps in Albania and the organization of medical facilities for the removal of their internal organs are very serious. They reveal a little known brutal side of the fate of Serbs kidnapped in Kosovo after June 1999. These are also serious allegations against the UNMIK administration which was present in Kosovo at time Kosovo Serbs were murdered and kidnapped and when public buildings were turned into secret detention camps for Serbs, Roma, and Albanians who “cooperated” with the Serbs.

Following international recognition of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the Kosovo government is even more responsible to demonstrate its commitment to upholding the rule of law and accept responsibility for crimes committed during the armed conflict in Kosovo. The crimes committed against the Serbs in Kosovo cannot be justified by the existence of mass graves found in Serbia or by the crimes committed by Serbian security forces against Albanian civilians and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Truth and justice are in the best interest of society in Kosovo, largely contributing to the creation of a new state in Kosovo based on the rule of law.

HLC and HLC-Kosovo
Nataša Kandić