News 10 Jan 11

KLA Veterans Launch Petition Against Organ Trade Report

Several NGOs from Kosovo have launched a petition against a report by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty that links top Kosovo officials to organ harvesting and organised crime.

Tanjug, B92

The Swiss senator published the report in December last year, alleging that current Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, played a role in the kidnappings of Serbs and other civilians in the province.

According to the accusations made in the report, the victims were taken to northern Albania, where they were killed and their vital organs were removed to be sold on the black market.

Albania's ATA news agency reported that the petition was brought before the Albanian parliament building, and Tirana residents have begun signing the document.

The document was prepared by NGOs from Kosovo, including an association of KLA veterans and an organisation of Kosovo's war hereos.

Signatures are also being sought in Kosovo and Macedonia, which has a significant Albanian population.

The organisers are convinced that collecting a large number of signatures will stop the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly from adopting Marty's report when it comes up for debate later this month. The report was adopted by the Council of Europe's Legal Affairs Committee in December.

The petition will also be sent to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the organisers said.

Officials from Albania and Kosovo have strongly denied the allegations made by Marty and condemned the report.

 

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Background

From Kosovo's Organ-Harvesting Controversy to Special Court

This is the sequence of events leading from the organ-trafficking allegations in Kosovo to the creation of the special court that aims to prosecute Kosovo Liberation Army crimes.

Fatmir Limaj, Kosovo's Road-Builder

Corruption allegations have not dented the popularity of the KLA- fighter-turned-PDK politician who has made it his mission to transform the country’s traffic arteries.

KLA : From Guerilla Wars to Party Plenums

The Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, was an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group that came to the fore in the mid-1990s, demanding the unification of Albanian territories in former Yugoslavia with Albania.

KLA Ran Torture Camps in Albania

The Kosovo Liberation Army maintained a network of prisons in their bases in Albania and Kosovo during and after the conflict of 1999, eyewitnesses allege. Only now are the details of what occurred there emerging.

The Drenica Group

Crime gang allegedly headed by Prime Minister Thaci is said to have run a range of mafia-like enterprises, from cigarette smuggling to trafficking in organs.

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