Pristina _ Charges brought against Albin Kurti, leader of the radical Vetevendosje (Self-determination) movement, for his involvement in a violent demonstration earlier this year, have been dismissed as politically motivated by the Council for Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, CDHRF, the leading human rights organisation in Kosovo.
An international prosecutor on June 4 filed an indictment against Kurti, whose group advocates immediate Kosovo independence, charging him with "participating in a crowd committing a criminal offence as an organizer and participant; [and] participating in a group obstructing official persons in performing official duties as a leader of a group".
The charges, filed at the District Court of Pristina, relate to a violent protest over Kosovo's future on February 10, in which two protesters were killed after special UN police forces fired rubber bullets at protesters when they tried to break through police lines and reach a government building.
to read the BIRN investigative report regarding February 10 protests.
According to a June 5 press release from UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, "Kurti is accused of leading a group committing a criminal offence" on February 10.
to read more about the event.
" The indictment against Albin Kurti and the detention of other Vetevendosje activists is considered a political decision, against freedom of speech and the right to protest," stated CDHRF's press release on Wednesday, signed by its executive director, Behxhet Shala.
Vetevendosje, a radical nationalist group led by Kurti, opposed the negotiations on Kosovo's final status, demanding Albanians' right to self determination.
Kosovo, a UN administrated territory since 1999, should be granted internationally-supervised independence, according to a UN plan drafted by Martti Ahtisaari.
Kurti and Vetevendosje have repeatedly rejected Ahtisaari's plan.