Nezir Mehmetaj arrest in Serbia for war crimes, Kosovo reacts

 Nezir Mehmetaj
 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Kosovo has responded to the arrest of Nezir Mehmetaj, who has been detained at the Merdare border crossing yesterday while he was with his ill mother and his cousin. Through a formal response, the MFA calls on Serbian authorities to immediately release Mehmetaj, for whom the Serbian Court imposed yesterday a 48-hour prison sentence after being charged with war crimes. The Foreign Ministry has indicated that the Kosovo Liaison Office is doing its best to release him while indicating that Mehmetaj's family has hired a lawyer.

According to a statement issued by the ministry led by Behgjet Pacolli, Mehmetaj is said to have been transferred to a Belgrade detention center and questioned on political issues. The Kosovar, who has lived in Switzerland for 25 years, was on a 'Stop List' by the Serbian authorities.

Foreign Ministry Reaction

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo condemns 
 strongly the arrest of Kosovo citizen Nezir Mehmetaj by the Serbian police at the border crossing point in Merdare, and calls for his immediate release. The Kosovo Liaison Office in Belgrade is active and is taking all appropriate measures to secure the release of Mr. Nezir Mehmetaj, whose family has already hired a local lawyer.

Mr. Mehmetaj was transferred to a Belgrade detention center, questioned by Serbian investigators and charged on political issues. The Serbian Military Intelligence Agency (MIA) has committed war crimes in Kosovo, and this institution, as such, cannot and will never be able to play a role of justice for Kosovo citizens. If any institution or individual is responsible for war crimes in Kosovo, it is the Serbian MIA itself, its former and current leadership. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in close contact with Brussels and has notified European Union institutions of Mr. Mehmetaj's arrest, as well as Serbia's continued practice of detaining Kosovo citizens. Serbia can no longer impede the free movement of people and must stop with the persecution and political arrests of Kosovar citizens.

This practice is contrary to the Brussels Agreement and the European Union, on the other hand, must take urgent measures to prevent Belgrade's actions against Kosovo's citizens and to ensure the free movement of the citizens. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains actively committed to ensuring the release of Mr. Neziraj and his return to his family. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates the call of May 2019, urging Kosovo citizens to avoid traveling to and through Serbia, due to the political prosecution of Kosovar citizens on politically motivated charges by the Serbian government.
Nezir Mehmetaj arrest in Serbia for war crimes, Kosovo reacts Nezir Mehmetaj arrest in Serbia for war crimes, Kosovo reacts Sunday, January 05, 2020 Rating: 5
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