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.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-official-invites-serbian-investors-08-20-2015 news 21 Aug 15 Kosovo Business Chief Invites Serbian Investment

After the head of Kosovo's Chamber of Commerce invited Serbian businessmen to invest in Kosovo, a Belgrade economist has greeted the idea but warned of significant obstacles.

serbia-opposes-kosovo-s-unesco-membership news 27 Jul 15 Serbia Vows to Stop Kosovo Joining UNESCO

Belgrade said it will fight Pristina’s bid to join UN cultural body UNESCO, arguing that Kosovo is not a state and cannot protect Serbian religious monuments and heritage there.

greek-drama-hangs-over-merkel-s-visit-to-serbia Comment 06 Jul 15 Greek Drama Hangs Over Merkel’s Visit to Serbia

Faced with a debacle in Greece, Angela Merkel will want to extract good news from her trip to Belgrade – but Vucic should still not expect an easy ride.

delay-in-telecom-agreement-comes-at-high-cost-for-kosovo News 22 Jun 15 Kosovo Pays Dear for Logjam Over Phone Code

The continued inability of Pristina and Belgrade to agree on a separate country dialling code for Kosovo is costing Kosovo a good deal of money.

kosovo-calls-for-haradinaj-return News 18 Jun 15 Kosovo Parliament Demands Ex-PM Haradinaj’s Release

Parliament passed a resolution asking for former guerrilla commander Ramush Haradinaj, who was detained in Slovenia on a war crimes warrant issued by Serbia, to be allowed to return to Kosovo.

belgrade-blackmailed-over-kosovo-says-serbian-pm news 15 Jun 15 Belgrade ‘Blackmailed Over Kosovo’, Says Serbian PM

Despite making progress toward EU integration Serbia is being “blackmailed” over the Kosovo issue, claims Aleksandar Vucic, the country’s prime minister.

germany-s-merkel-to-meet-kosovo-pm-ahead-of-serbia-visit News 15 Jun 15 Germany's Merkel to Meet Kosovo PM Ahead of Serbia Visit

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa will discuss Kosovo-Serbia relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin before she visits Belgrade in July.

kosovo-serbian-presidents-trade-barbs news 11 Jun 15 Kosovo No State, Serbian President Tells Jahjaga

Serbia's President has told his Kosovo counterpart that she is not the head of a state - drawing a testy response from Pristina that bodes ill for the success of EU-led talks between them.

kosovo-platform-obstructs-serbia-s-eu-path News 22 May 15 Serbian PM Cool on President's Kosovo 'Platform'

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic queried the practicality of President Tomislav Nikolic’s new 'platform' on Kosovo, which experts say would complicate Serbia’s path to EU membership.

high-hopes-of-kosovo-serbs-for-the-new-platform News 05 May 15 Kosovo Serbs Say President’s Plan is ‘Last Hope’

Kosovo Serbs hope that President Tomislav Nikolic’s new ‘Kosovo platform’ will finally address the longstanding issue of Serbs who were abducted or went missing during and after the war.