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News 30 Jun 14

Serbian Journalist Alleges Beating by Kosovo Police

A reporter from Serbian public service broadcaster RTS claimed that he was beaten up while in police custody in the town of Gracanica in central Kosovo.

Ivana Nikolic
Belgrade, Pristina

“They [police officers] pushed me against the wall, which is why I have bruises on my arms and a hematoma under my eye,” Andrija Igic told BIRN on Monday.

Igic said that he was arrested on Friday because of “an alleged traffic violation and preventing an officer from performing his duties”.

“I parked the car in order to take out TV equipment as I was heading to an event about Vidovdan [St. Vitus' Day] at Gracanica monastery. They used that minor traffic violation to call the intervention unit and to keep me in custody for four hours,” Igic said.

Kosovo police said they knew nothing about the journalist's allegation.

"We don't have any such information [about the beating claim]. But if he has such complaints, he should go to the inspectorate,” police told BIRN. 

According to Flora Ahmeti, a spokesperson for the regional police in Pristina, Igic was arrested because he was "very aggressive and arrogant and was insulting police officers".

"Initially they suspected he was drunk. He was then interviewed by the prosecutor and he ordered him [Igic] to be released while the case is ongoing,” Ahmeti told BIRN.

However, Igic insisted that he wasn’t drunk and said that he took two breath tests, both with negative results.

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