So we know: Jović/Joviq i Pusto Selo/Pastase, 31st March 1999.
Thursday, March 30, 2011, marks the 12th anniversary of a crime committed against 34 Albanian civilians in the Jović/Joviq village, Mališevo/Malishevë municipality by members of the Yugoslav Army (YA) and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia (MUP Serbia).
On March 30, 1999, in a joint-command operation army and police forces launched a shell attack from the direction of Orahovac/Rrahovec on villages Dragobilje/Dragobil and Ostrozub/Astarzum located southwest of Mališevo/Malishevë, which prompted a large number of villagers to leave those villages. Some villagers took refuge at the location known as Mihilov izvor/Vrela e Mihillit in the wooded area of the Jović/Joviq village, where they spent the night.
In the morning hours of March 31, 2011 Serbian forces shelled the woods and the hiding place of the refugees and surrounded them. They ordered everyone to gather in a nearby field and to sit on the ground with their hands behind their head. They asked them if they were refugees from the village, if there were any Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members among them and after thoroughly searching them, they confiscated their money and jewellery. After a while they singled out the women and the children and took them to the neighbouring village of Crnovrani/Carravranë. The remaining 35 men were searched again, beaten, and asked all over again if they belonged to the KLA. Shortly after, they were taken to a nearby spring where they were shot by members of the Serbian forces. Only one of them [identity known to the HLC] survived the execution because he was shielded by the bodies of other killed men.
Seventeen men from the Morina family (Ostrazub/Astrazub), 10 men from the Paqarizi family, and two men from the Terdhaku family (Dragobilj/Dragobil) were killed in the execution. Some of the victims of this crime were Avdi Hoti from Samodraž/Samadraxhë, Ismet Makica from Studenčan/Studençan, and Mustafa Mustafë from Semetište/Semetishte. Valon Morina was 14 years old.
Later that day their bodies were found by the villagers who were able to bury 17 bodies before the dark. On the following day, while they were preparing to bury the remaining bodies, they saw members of the Serbian forces relocating the bodies to a number of different locations: behind rocks, bushes, and trees – most probably in an attempt to create an impression that those were the bodies of men who died in combat. Two days later, members of the KLA buried all the bodies at the cemetery in Jović/Joviq. The remains of Daut Paqarizi and Shaqir Bytyqi have never been found.
Not a single individual responsible for this crime has been prosecuted by the competent bodies of the Republic of Serbia.
Pusto Selo/Pastase, March 31, 1999
On March 31, 1999, Serbian forces executed 103 Albanian men in Pusto Selo/Pastasel, Orahovac/Rrahovec municipality, Kosovo.
An offensive against the KLA began on March 28, 1999 on the territory south of Klina/Klinë and north-east of Orahovac/Rrahovec in a joint-command operation of the Yugoslav Army, Special Police Units (PJP), and reserve unit members. At the same time, the Albanian population in the area had to leave their homes because of repeated threats and shelling of their villages. Many went to Albania, and until March 31, 1999more than 1,000 people were taking refuge in Pusto Selo/Pastasel (approximately 15 km northeast of Orahovec/Rrahovec). The refugees were stationed in private houses and in the Jusuf Gërvalla elementary school building.
Around noon of March 31, 1999, Serbian forces surrounded the village and an hour later they began entering the village on their tanks, armoured vehicles, and trucks. Villagers and refuges gathered in the field in front of the school. They raised a white flag and waited for the Serbian forces to approach. Among the members of the army and the police, some of them recognized two Serbs, reservists from Klina/Klinë and Orahovac/Rrahovec [identity known to the HLC]. Members of the Serbian forces singled out all men, took all valuables from the women, and ordered them to take the children and go to Albania. There were approximately 120 men left. After they had been robbed of all their valuables, they were beaten and taken in groups to the Proni i Zyles brook where they were shot and killed.
A total of 103 men were taken in four groups to the execution site. They were between 14 and 81 years old. Thirteen men survived the execution. On this occasion, Serbian forces killed 41 men from Pusto Selo/Pastasel and refugees from Čiflak/Çiflak (1), Koznik (8), Kramovik (3), Petković/Petkoviq (15), Poluža/Poluzhë (5), Sanovac/Senoc (2), Zatrić/Zatriq (14), Mrasor (1), Potok (1) [Orahovac/Rrahovec municipality], Grebnik/Gremnik (4), Krnjice/Kërnice (1), Mlečane/Mleqan (1), Svrhe/Sverkë (3) [Klina/Klinë municipality], and the town of Klina/Klinë (3).
In the period April 1-3, 1999 villagers took out the bodies of all victims from the brook and buried them in one grave near the execution site. One man was buried in his native village and three more victims killed in Koznik/Koznik that same day were also brought there and buried.
When media all over the world published satellite images of the mass grave in Pusto Selo/Pastasel, Serbian authorities ordered (the District Prosecutor in Prizren) the exhumation of the bodies from the mass grave in Pusto Selo/Pastasel. The exhumation was conducted by employees of the town of Prizren/Prizren service company Higijena on April 21, 1999. The autopsy was conducted at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Priština/Prishtinë after which the bodies were returned to Prizren/Prizren. At the beginning of May 1999, Higijena company employees were ordered by the police to bury the bodies in several locations in Prizren/Prizren, Orahovac/Rrahovec, and Suva Reka/Suharekë. Shortly after the war, one Higijena company employee disclosed the location where 94 bodies were buried. The remaining 12 bodies have never been found.
The most prominent political, military, and police officials of the Republic of Serbia – Nikola Šainović, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Nebojša Pavković, Miroslav Lazarević, Sredoje Lukić, and Vlastimir Đorđević – were sentenced to long prison sentences in first-instance trials conducted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for their responsibility for mass crimes committed against Kosovo Albanians, one of which being the crime in Pusto Selo/Pastasel.
Not a single individual responsible for the crime in Pusto Selo/Pastasel has been prosecuted by the competent bodies of the Republic of Serbia.