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News 13 May 17

Former Journalist Brutally Assaulted in Kosovo

Arbana Xharra, who recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the Kosovo-based newspaper Zeri, was the victim of a savage beating on Friday night in the Kosovo capital Pristina.

BIRN Team
BIRN
Pristina
Arbana Xharra. Photo: Facebook

As yet unknown perpetrators attacked Xharra late at night at the parking lot in front of her home. She is now in a stable condition. Police say they are investigating the attack.

Kosovo’s President and Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci and Isa Mustafa, as well as media and civil society groups, have all condemned the assault and called on police to arrest those responsible.

Xharra, a journalist since 2001, joined Kosovo’s biggest ruling party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, on May 9.

She has often been the target of attacks and of threats for more than a decade because of her penetrating investigative stories and articles on the dangers of religious extremism.

The most recent act of harassment in April involved unknown vandals painting a cross in blood-red paint next to the apartment where she lives with her husband and child.

“The public lynching of journalists is becoming a normality in Kosovo,” she then told BIRN.

“Threatening families and terrorising kids crosses every red line” – but still occurs, she added.

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