Home Page
News 30 Mar 12

Hasan Abazi Faces Month in Custody

A court in Vranje has ordered a 30-day period of detention for Hasan Abazi, the president of Kosovo's Metalworkers Union.

Fatmir Aliu BIRN Pristina / Vranje

A spokesperson for the High Court in Vranje said that the court ordered on Friday afternoon that the defendant be placed in detention for allegedly giving out sensitive information to NATO in 1999.

Abazi, 65, who was on his way to a European trade union conference in Croatia, was detained on the basis of an arrest warrant issued in 2005 under clause 315 of the Serbian Penal Code which deals with "crimes against the constitution and security of the Republic of Serbia".

His lawyer, Mladen Vasic, told Balkan Insight earlier in the day that his client had been in solitary confinement.

Serbia’s Interior Minister, Ivica Dacic, said on Wednesday, that the arrest was made in retaliation for the arrest of four Serbs on Tuesday evening.

Kosovo police arrested the four Serbs for allegedly carrying material for use in the Serbian local elections on May 6 - elections that Pristina has vowed to prevent.

Amnesty International has condemned the “retaliatory” arrest of the Kosovo Albanian trade unionist, and expressed its concern about the apparently politically motivated arrest by the Serb authorities.

In a press release issued on Friday morning, Amnesty International found the statements made by Serbia’s Minister of Interior Affairs, Ivica Dacic, disturbing, since he said that the Serbian police would retaliate for every Serb arrested in Kosovo.

“On the basis of these statements, Amnesty International stresses that people’s individual liberty cannot be put at risk as a bargaining chip in a political dispute between Serbia and Kosovo,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.

The arrest comes after Serbia and Kosovo signed an outline agreement on freedom of movement, including Kosovo Albanians travelling into Serbia.

The agreement came into force in December 2011, and was one of the EU's preconditions for granting Serbia candidacy status.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-serbs-petition-for-ivanovic-s-release News 17 Apr 14 Belgrade Campaigns for Kosovo Serb Politician’s Release

The Serbian government and the political party of detained Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic, who is accused of war crimes, have launched a petition demanding his release.

kosovo-s-constitution-challenged-in-the-north News 10 Apr 14 Kosovo Constitution Still Challenged in North

Six years after Kosovo's independence constitution came into force, authorities in Pristina are still struggling to implement it in the Serb-run north of the country.

serbia-mulls-new-kosovo-resolution news 04 Apr 14 Serbia Mulls New Kosovo Resolution

Officials have suggested the possibility of a new parliamentary resolution on Kosovo after Serbia's new government is formed, but will not change their stance on non-recognition. 

kosovo-police-officers-survive-armed-attack-in-the-north News 01 Apr 14 Attack on Police in North Kosovo Probed

Kosovo Police have launched an investigation into an attack on three ethnic Serbian police officers in the north of the country.

kosovo-blames-serbia-for-delays-in-implementing-april-deal News 31 Mar 14 Kosovo Blames Serbia for Delays in Normalization Deal

The authorities in Pristina accused Belgrade of slowing the pace on implementing the EU-mediated deal to normalize relations and failing to fulfil commitments on judicial changes.

kosovo-opposition-criticizes-government-on-the-dialogue-with-belgrade News 28 Mar 14 Kosovo Opposition Slate 'Failed' Serbia Dialogue

As Pristina and Belgrade prepare to resume dialogue on normalizing relations next week, the opposition has criticized the government's handling of the talks and the results so far.

photomontage-with-nato-and-nike-sparks-controversy-in-serbia news 25 Mar 14 Tweets Hailing NATO's Kosovo War Offend Serbia

An image posted on Twitter lauding NATO's air war against Serbia has angered the Belgrade authorities, who have called it offensive.

kosovo-s-thaci-slams-speculations-on-kosovo-crimea-parallels News 19 Mar 14 Kosovo Leader Dismisses Parallels With Crimea

Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, has strongly rejected claims that the secession of Crimea from Ukraine follows a pattern set by Kosovo's own secession from Serbia.

train-to-serbia-leaves-kosovo-steaming feature 19 Mar 14 Train to Serbia Leaves Kosovo Steaming

Rail service to Mitrovica from Kraljevo is an illegal incursion, Kosovo officials say.

dodik-says-crimea-independence-was-legal-unlike-kosovo-s news 19 Mar 14 Bosnian Serb Chief Hails Crimea Secession From Ukraine

Milorad Dodik, President of the Republika Srpska, said that while the separation of Crimea from Ukraine is defensible, that of Kosovo from Serbia was not.