Roma member of Serbian paramilitary group sentenced for war crimes in Kosovo

Roma member of Serbian paramilitary group sentenced for war crimes in Kosovo

 A Court in Pristina sentenced on Thursday with 10 years a Roma, member of a Serb paramilitary group, for torturing Albanians during the 1998-1999 war between Kosovo and Serbia.

Skender Bislimi, 58, was found guilty of torturing Albanian civilians in March 1999, French newspaper Le Figaro writes.

The accused, who has acted "with at least ten members" of the group, "has violated the bodily integrity and health of more than 40 civilians, Albanian men, exercising intimidation and terrorism measures," according to the statement of the Court session.

Always according to the Court: "The men were originally separated from women and children, then forced to kneel before being beaten and forced to sing Serbian songs."

Bislimi is the first cigan, an ethnic minority in Kosovo, convicted of war crimes committed during the conflict between Kosovo's Liberation Army and Serbian forces. Arrested in accordance with an international arrest warrant in Bosnia, he was extradited to Kosovo in 2016.

The war that led to the proclamation of Kosovo's Independence left about 13,000 dead, mostly Kosovo Albanians. But even the Roma of Kosovo have also been abused.

According to the Belgrade-based Human Rights Protection organisation and Human Rights (HLC) organization, Kosovo's Roma have often been forced by Serbs to bury troops of Albanian civilians and fighters, digging trenches for the military and plundering the property belonging to the members of the Albanian community.

About 240 of them were killed or missing and tens of thousands left Kosovo after the end of the fighting for fear of revenge by Albanians, according to the HLC branch in Kosovo. Before the war in Kosovo there were about 100,000 Roma, currently are only 35,000, writes French newspaper.
Roma member of Serbian paramilitary group sentenced for war crimes in Kosovo Roma member of Serbian paramilitary group sentenced for war crimes in Kosovo Sunday, October 28, 2018 Rating: 5
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