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News 22 Jul 16

Kosovo Minister’s Car Crashes After Paint Attack

Vetevendosje activists on Friday threw paint at the car of Interior Minister Skender Hyseni - after which it crashed - in revenge for the expulsion of several of its activists from the country.

Ervin Qafmolla
BIRN
Pristina
Kosovo Interior Minister's car gets a color splash in an ambush from Vetevendosje activists. Photo: Facebook

In what appeared a planned ambush on Friday, opposition Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] party activists, threw paint at the car of the Kosovo Interior Minister, Skender Hyseni.

Hyseni was inside the car, when it accelerated away from the paint attack, and hit other vehicles, causing light damage.

Police said the paint attack endangered the life of Hyseni and those of nearby citizens, and that swift legal action would be taken against the culprits.

“The absence of vision due to the paint thrown on the windshield caused the vehicle to be involved in an accident with two civilian vehicles,” the police said.

Vetevendosje admitted responsibility for the stunt and published a video of the incident, saying it was a payback for the evictions and deportations of its officials and activists who are citizens of neighbouring Albania.

“Minister of Interior Skender Hyseni, by ordering the eviction from Kosovo of Vetevendosje Movement activists, who have not broken any laws, is committing a grave political mistake,” it said in a statement.

To date, three Vetevendosje members from Albania have been deported, evicted or refused entry at border checks with Albania.

Dejona Mihali, a Vetevendosje official from Albania, was denied entry to Kosovo on Monday, like the other activists and officials in previous instances.

In March, police arrested Boiken Abazi, a Vetevendosje official from Albania who had been living in Kosovo for several years, and deported him to Albania amid claims of having broken residence laws.

Later, police admitted they had committed a mistake in forcefully deporting Abazi, and said his alleged trespass did not merit such harsh actions. Abazi was nevertheless denied re-entry to Kosovo for an indefinite time.

Earlier, another Vetevendosje activist, Bashkim Rodoni, was denied entry permanently, while travelling from Albania, amid claims that he posed a danger to Kosovo.

Despite the decision of the Ministry of Interior, police later admitted that Rodoni posed no official danger to the country.

Vetevendosje has demanded the immediate cancellation of the banning orders on Dejona Mihali, Bashkim Rodoni and Boiken Abazi. “Otherwise, our actions will not stop here,” the party warned.

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