Republic of Kosovo
Republika e Kosoves/Republika Kosova
United Nations Special Administrative Region since
10 June 1999
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 03 April 2013
Pristina (Prishtine)
1,847,708 (July 2013 est.)
Hashim Thaci
Prime Minister since 9 January 2008
The president is elected for a five-year term by the Kosovo
Assembly; election last held on 7 April 2011

Next scheduled election: 2016
The prime minister is elected by the Kosovo Assembly  Elections
last held on 12 December 2010 with runoff elections in a few
municipalities in January 2011

Next scheduled election:  2015
Albanians 92%, other (Serb, Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian) 8% (2008)
Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic
Republic with 30 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna in Albanian; opstine, singular - opstina in Serbian)
Executive: The president is elected for a five-year term by the Kosovo Assembly; election last held on 7 April 2011 (next election:
2016); note - the prime minister elected by the Kosovo Assembly
Legislative: Unicameral national Assembly (120 seats; 100 seats directly elected, 10 seats guaranteed for ethnic Serbs, 10 seats
guaranteed for other ethnic minorities; members to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 12 December 2010 with runoff elections in a few municipalities in January 2011 (next expected to be held in
Judicial: Supreme Court judges are appointed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG); district courts
judges are appointed by the SRSG; municipal courts judges are appointed by the SRSG
note: after the termination of UNMIK's mandate, the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) will propose to the president candidates for
appointment or reappointment as judges and prosecutors; the KJC is also responsible for decisions on the promotion and transfer
of judges and disciplinary proceedings against judges; at least 15% of Supreme Court and district court judges shall be from
non-majority communities
Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosniak, Turkish, Roma
The area of Kosovo in the Neolithic lay within the areal of the Vinča-Turdaş culture (Western Balkanic black and grey pottery).
The Bronze Age begins in ca. the 20th century BC, and the Iron Age begins in ca. the 13th century BC. Bronze and Iron Age
tombs have been found only in Metohija, and not in Kosovo. The area comes to lie within the eastern parts of the kingdom of Illyria
in the 4th century BC, bordering on Thrace. At the time, it is inhabited by the Thraco-Illyrian tribes of the Dardani and the Thracian
tribe of the Triballi. Illyria was conquered by Rome in the 160s BC, and made the Roman province of Illyricum in 59 BC. The
Kosovo region became part of Moesia Superior in AD 87 (or alternatively was divided between Dalmatia and Moesia, a view
which is supported by some archaeological evidence). Upper Moesia was reorganized further by Diocletian (after 284) into smaller
provinces, being further divided into Dardania, Moesia Prima, Dacia Ripensis and Dacia Mediterranea. The Dardania´s capital was
Naissus. Roman province of Dardania included eastern parts of modern Kosovo, while its western part belong to newly formed
Roman province Prevalitana with capital in Doclea. Justinian I, who assumed the throne of the Byzantine Empire in 527, oversaw a
period of Byzantine expansion into former Roman territories, and re-absorbed the area of Kosovo into the empire. He is often
referred to by historians as the last "Roman" emperor because Latin was his native tongue and because he was the last emperor to
make a serious attempt to reunite the Latin-speaking West with the East. The Slavic migrations reached the Balkans in the 6th to 7th
century. The area was absorbed into the Byzantine empire in the 850s. The region was incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire
during the reign of Khan Presian (836-852). Numerous churches and monasteries were constructed after the Christianization of
Bulgaria in 864. It remained within the borders of Bulgaria for 150 years until 1018 when the country was overrun by the Byzantines
after half-century bitter struggle. Byzantine control was subsequently reasserted by the forceful emperor Basil II. Serbia at this time
was not a united empire: a number of small Serbian kingdoms lay to the north and west of Kosovo, of which Raška (central modern
Serbia) and Duklja (Montenegro) were the strongest. In the 1180s, the Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja seized control of Duklja and
parts of Kosovo. His successor, Stefan Prvovenčani took control of the rest of Kosovo by 1216, creating a state incorporating
most of the area which is now Serbia and Montenegro. Kosovo was absorbed into Serbia in the late 12th century, and was part of
the Serbian Empire from 1346 to 1371. In 1389, in the famous Battle of Kosovo the army of the Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebljanovic
was defeated by the Ottoman Turks, who finally took control of the territory in 1455. In 1355, the Serbian state fell apart on the
death of Tsar Stefan Dušan and dissolved into squabbling fiefdoms. The timing fell perfectly within the Ottoman expansion. The
Ottoman Empire took the opportunity to exploit Serbian weakness and invaded. The First Battle of Kosovo occurred on the field of
Kosovo Polje on June 28, 1389, when the ruling knez (prince) of Serbia, Lazar Hrebeljanović, marshalled a coalition of Christian
soldiers, made up of Serbs, but also of Bosnian Serbs, Magyars and a troop of Saxon mercenaries. Although the battle has been
mythologised as a great Serbian defeat, at the time opinion was divided as to whether it was a Serbian defeat, a stalemate or
possibly even a Serbian victory. Serbia maintained its independence and sporadic control of Kosovo until a final defeat in 1455,
following which Serbia became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Second Battle of Kosovo was fought over the course of a two-
day period in October 1448, between a Hungarian force lead by John Hunyadi and an Ottoman army lead by Murad II.  The
Ottomans brought Islam with them and later also created the Vilayet of Kosovo as one of the Ottoman territorial entities. Ottoman
rule lasted for about 500 years, in which time the Ottomans were the absolute paramount power in the region. Many Slavs accepted
Islam and served under Ottomans. Kosovo was taken temporarily by the Austrian forces during the War of 1683–1699 with help
of Serbs but were defeated and retreated shortly thereafter. In 1690, the Serbian Patriarch of Peć Arsenije III, who previously
escaped a certain death, led 37,000 families from Kosovo, to evade Ottoman wrath since Kosovo had just been retaken by the
Ottomans. The people that followed him were mostly Serbs. Due to the oppression from the Ottomans, other migrations of
Orthodox people from the Kosovo area continued throughout the 18th century. It is also noted that many Albanians adopted Islam,
whilst only a very small minority of Serbs did so. In 1766, the Ottomans abolished the Patriarchate of Peć and the position of
Christians in Kosovo was greatly reduced. All previous privileges were lost, and the Christian population had to suffer the full weight
of the Empire's extensive and losing wars, even having blame forced upon them for the losses. During the 1877–1878 Russo-
Turkish war, the Serbian troops invaded the northeastern part of the province of Kosovo deporting 160,000 ethnic Albanians from
640 localities. Following the First Balkan War of 1912, Kosovo was internationally recognised as a part of Serbia and northern
Metohija as a part of Montenegro at the Treaty of London in May 1913. In 1918, Serbia became a part of the newly-formed
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The partition of Yugoslavia by the Axis Powers from 1941 and 1945 awarded most of
the territory to the Italian-occupied Greater Albania, and a smaller part of it to German-occupied Serbia and Greater Bulgaria.
Following the end of the war and the establishment of Tito's Communist regime, Kosovo was granted the status of an autonomous
region of Serbia in 1946 and became an autonomous province in 1963. With the passing of the 1974 Yugoslavia constitution,
Kosovo gained virtual self-government. Throughout the 1980s tensions between the Albanian and Serb communities in the province
escalated. The Albanian community favoured greater autonomy for Kosovo, whilst Serbs favored closer ties with the rest of Serbia.
Serbs living in Kosovo were discriminated by the provincial government (the term "ethnic cleansing" was coined to denote these
actions), notably by the local law enforcement authorities failing to punish reported crimes against Serbs. In 1989, the autonomy of
Kosovo and the northern province of Vojvodina was drastically reduced by a Serbia-wide referendum. The referendum
implemented a new constitution which allowed a multi-party system, introduced freedom of speech and promoted human rights.
After the constitutional changes, the parliaments of all Yugoslavian republics and provinces, which until then had MPs only from the
Communist Party of Yugoslavia, were dissolved and multi-party elections were held for them. Kosovo Albanians refused to
participate in the elections and held their own, unsanctioned elections instead. Albanian opposition to sovereignty of Yugoslavia and
especially Serbia had surfaced in rioting (1968 and March 1981) in the capital Priština. Ibrahim Rugova initially advocated non-
violent resistance, but later opposition took the form of separatist agitation by opposition political groups and armed action from
1996 by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In March 1998, Yugoslav army units joined Serbian police to fight the separatists,
using military force. In the months that followed, thousands of Albanian civilians were killed and more than 500,000 fled their
homes; most of these people were Albanian. Following the breakdown of negotiations between Serbian and Albanian
representatives, under North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) auspices, NATO intervened on March 24, 1999 without United
Nations authority. The war ended on June 10, 1999 with the Serbian and Yugoslav governments signing the Kumanovo agreement
which agreed to transfer governance of the province to the United Nations. Since the end of the war, Kosovo has been a major
source and destination country in the trafficking of women, women forced into prostitution and sexual slavery. The growth in the sex
trade industry has been fuelled by NATO forces in Kosovo. On Feb 17th 2008 2008 Kosovo's Parliament declared independence,
to mixed international reactions. On July 25, 2011 Kosovan Albanian police wearing riot gear attempted to seize several border
control posts in Kosovo's Serb-controlled north trying to enforce the ban on Serbian imports imposed in retaliation of Serbia's ban
on import from Kosovo. It prompted a large crowd to erect roadblocks and Kosovan police units came under fire. An Albanian
policeman died when his unit was ambushed and another officer was reportedly injured. Nato-led peacekeepers moved into the
area to calm the situation and Kosovan police pulled back. The US and EU criticised the Kosovan government for acting without
consulting international bodies.
Though tensions between the two sides eased somewhat after the intervention of NATO's KFOR
forces, they continued to remain high.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Kosovo
Over the past few years Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system and
maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and
technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are
estimated to account for about 14% of GDP, and donor-financed activities and aid for approximately 10%. Kosovo's citizens are
the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income (PPP) of $7,400. Unemployment, around 45%, is a significant
problem that encourages outward migration and a significant informal, unreported economy. Most of Kosovo's population lives in
rural towns outside of the capital, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common - the result of small plots, limited
mechanization, and lack of technical expertise. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize a majority of its
state-owned-enterprises. Minerals and metals - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide
variety of construction materials - once formed the backbone of industry, but output has declined because of ageing equipment and
insufficient investment. A limited and unreliable electricity supply due to technical and financial problems is a major impediment to
economic development, but Kosovo has received technical assistance to help improve accounting and controls and, in 2012,
privatized its distribution network. The US Government is cooperating with the Ministry for Energy and Mines and the World Bank
to prepare commercial tenders for the construction of a new power plant, rehabilitation of an old plant, and the development of a
coal mine that could supply both. In July 2008, Kosovo received pledges of $1.9 billion from 37 countries in support of its reform
priorities, but the global financial crisis has limited this assistance and also negatively affected remittance inflows. In June 2009,
Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and Kosovo began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's
debt. In order to help integrate Kosovo into regional economic structures, UNMIK signed (on behalf of Kosovo) its accession to
the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006. Serbia and Bosnia previously had refused to recognize Kosovo's customs
stamp or extend reduced tariff privileges for Kosovo products under CEFTA, but both countries resumed trade with Kosovo in
2011. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used illegally in Serb enclaves. Kosovo's tie to the
euro has helped keep core inflation low. Kosovo maintained a budget surplus until 2011, when government expenditures climbed
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Kosovo)
On February 10, 2007, nearly 3,000 people protested against the plan by United Nations chief negotiator Martti Ahtisaari which
would in effect grant independence to the Kosovo province. Some militant ethnic Albanian groups, like Vetevendosje
(Self-determination) that led the Saturday ethnic Albanian protests in Pristina, oppose UN sponsored talks and want the Kosovo
parliament to declare independence immediately. On Tuesday February 13, 2007, Kosovo interior minister Fatmir Rexhepi
resigned after two people died of injuries suffered in clashes with police during the protest.

Elections were held in Kosovo on 17 November 2007. After early results on the morning of the 18th indicating opposition leader
Hashim Thaçi was on course to gain 35 per cent of the vote, he claimed victory for PDK, the Albanian Democratic Party, and
stated his intention to declare independence. President Fatmir Sejdiu's Democratic League was in second place with 22 percent of
the vote. The turnout at the election was particularly low with most Serbs refusing to vote

On December 25th, 2007 it was announced Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo would form a coalition with President Fatmir
Sejdiu's Democratic League forming a slight majority of 62 seats out of 120. Thaci's government will include 7 ministers from his
party, 5 ministers from LDK and 3 ministers from non-Albanian communities.

Following years of failed negotiations on the status of Kosovo in Serbia, PISG Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi announced
on 16 February 2008 that the Assembly of Kosovo would declare independence the following day, 17 February 2008 at 17:00h.
The independent Republic of Kosovo has since been recognised by several states. Sejfiu, Kosovo's first president, resigned from
the office of president on 27 September 2010, Assembly Speaker Jakup KRASNIQI became acting president. Indirect
presidential elections were held in Kosovo on 22 February, 2011. As stipulated in the coalition agreement between the Democratic
Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR), the AKR's leader Behgjet Pacolli was to be elected president by
the coalition's MPs. However, not all members of the PDK were in favour of this. It took three rounds of voting for Pacolli to be
elected; he got 54, 58 and 62 votes respectively. Only 67 MPs were present, with the 53 opposition MPs boycotting the election.
The election was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court on 28 March 2011 with a vote of 7 to 2, as the necessary
quorum had not been reached in the first two rounds. Pacolli resigned on 30 March 2011 and was again replaced as Acting
President by Jakup Krasniqi, the Assembly's speaker. In a second vote on April 7, the PDK, AKR, and the opposition Democratic
League of Kosovo agreed on a compromise candidate: police commander Atifete Jahjaga. She was elected with 80 votes of the
100 MPs present. It was also agreed that she would only serve on an interim basis, with a direct presidential election planned for
2012 after the necessary constitutional changes have passed. A decision was also made to hold early parliamentary elections in
early 2013.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Kosovo
Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaring itself as a sovereign and
independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of
Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace
within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Kosovo and Macedonia completed
demarcation of their boundary in September 2008
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
IDP's: 17,853 (main wave of displacement was in 1999 when ethnic Serbs fled; IDPs consist of an estimated 54% Serbs, 40%
Albanians, and 5% Roma, Ashkalis, and Egyptians) (2012)
None reported.
Humanitarian Law Center-
2011 Human Rights Report: Kosovo
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012

Kosovo is a parliamentary democracy. The constitution and laws provide for the authorities and responsibilities of the freely elected
unicameral national Assembly, the Assembly-approved government, and the Assembly-elected president. The country declared its
independence in 2008 after it accepted the Ahtisaari plan, which provided for internationally sponsored mechanisms, including an
International Civilian Office and the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), to support the new government. Multiparty elections for the
Assembly, conducted beginning in December 2010, met many international standards, but serious irregularities and electoral
manipulations in some areas raised concerns and resulted in a limited re-vote in some municipalities. Security forces reported to civilian
authorities, with the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) also monitored by the UN-authorized NATO Peacekeeping Force for Kosovo (KFOR)
and the Kosovo Police (KP) monitored, in a limited capacity, by EULEX.

Roadblocks that Serb hardliners established in the northern part of the country seriously restricted basic rights, including freedom of
movement and movement of goods. Serb hardliners also employed violence and intimidation against domestic opponents and international
security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries during the year. A third area of serious concern was societal discrimination against
minority communities, persons with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as well
as domestic violence, particularly against women.

Additional human rights concerns included allegations of prisoner abuse as well as corruption and favoritism in prisons, lengthy pretrial
detention, judicial inefficiency, intimidation of media by public officials and criminal elements, limited progress in returning internally
displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes, government corruption, trafficking in persons, and child labor in the informal sector.

The government took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in
the government, although many perceived that senior officials engaged in corruption and acted with impunity.
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Tuesday, 28 March 2013                   
UNMIK condemns threats and violence against human rights activist

PRISTINA – UNMIK strongly condemns the recent threats directed towards a human rights activist in Pristina.

Women's rights advocate, Ms. Nazlie Bala, was recently sent a threatening letter relating to her efforts to help promote the rights of
women, particularly those who have been victims of sexual abuse related to the conflict in Kosovo.

UNMIK also deems the assault on Ms. Bala as a fundamental infringement of her human rights and a flagrant attack on freedom of

Sustained efforts must be undertaken to guarantee the safe and secure environment for all who may be
threatened due to human rights
activities, or the expressions of their opinions.

UNMIK calls on Kosovo authorities to conduct a complete and thorough investigation into this and other incidents, including all acts of
violence against human rights activists.

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Kosovo’s Parliament Must Protect Freedom of Expression in Revising Criminal Code
Jun 14 2012 - 2:56pm

Freedom House calls on Kosovo’s parliament to comply with international norms and recommendations regarding freedom of expression
and of the press, as it deliberates over two articles of its criminal code dealing with criminal liability and the disclosure of information

The proposed Article 37 of the code, which would allow for the criminal prosecution of editors, journalists, and proprietors for
unspecified offences committed through the media, poses an ominous threat to freedom of expression and could encourage broad self-
censorship.  It should be removed entirely, in accordance with Article 19 of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which assert the right to freedom of expression without interference by
public authorities.

Article 38 regulates cases in which journalists may be legally compelled to disclose their information sources.  Freedom House agrees
with the recommendations of civil society and media monitoring organizations in Kosovo that the article is worded too broadly in its
current state, and should be revised—rather than removed—in accordance with the Council of Europe’s “Recommendation 1950,” to
limit the forced disclosure of sources to “exceptional circumstances where vital public or individual interests are at stake and can be
convincingly established.”

“Removal of article 38 would be a significant setback for the media and political climate in Kosovo, a country still struggling to
overcome instability and injustice,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, project director for Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press
report.  “Ensuring that journalists are free to responsibly investigate such sensitive issues as corruption, electoral fraud, and other
aspects of government conduct without fear of legal reprisals are vital to ensuring that the country remains on a positive democratic
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Serbia (Kosovo): Human rights defender attacked: Nazlie Bala
28 March 2013

Nazlie Bala, a human rights defender in Kosovo, was attacked outside her apartment on 27 March. She had recently received death
threats after publicly supporting a law that
would provide survivors of war crimes of sexual violence with compensation and
rehabilitation. Amnesty International is calling for her protection.

On 27 March, Nazlie Bala was attacked upon entering her apartment building after returning home from work, and was badly beaten by
at least two unknown assailants. She was taken to the emergency department at Pristina
hospital, suffering from shock and injuries,
including to her jaw. On 20 March, she returned home from work to find
an anonymous letter slipped under her door. The letter read,
“Do not protect the shame. Otherwise we will kill you.”

The Kosovo Police (KP) today opened an investigation into the assault. They had previously opened an investigation into the threatening
letter, and had taken measures to conduct a risk assessment. The KP also stated
that after the first incident, they had stepped up police
patrols in the area where Nazlie Bala lives.

Nazlie Bala is a well-respected human rights activist in Kosovo, who has consistently fought for the rights of women in Kosovo, and
helped to establish institutional support for persons suffering from domestic violence. She had been
advocating for a proposed legal
amendment – which received its first reading in the Kosovo Assembly on 14 March– which seeks to guarantee the rights of women who
have suffered war crimes of sexual violence during the armed
conflict in Kosovo. She had publicly supported the amendment in a
television debate on television channel RTK on
18 March. The draft amendments to the Law on the Status and Rights of Martyrs,
Invalids, Veterans, Members of
Kosovo Liberation Army, Civilian Victims, and their Families would give legal recognition, respect and
acknowledgement to people who have suffered sexual violence. The amendment aims to provide them with compensation, in the
form of financial support, rehabilitation and other forms of reparation.
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Balkans: Rights Protections Lagging
To Embrace Europe, Make Human Rights a Priority
January 31, 2013

(Brussels) – Human rights protection in the Western Balkans fails to match the region’s aspirations for European integration, Human
Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. Human Rights Watch documented human rights concerns in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo during 2012.

The Western Balkan region has a mixed record of progress toward accountability for war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

But little progress has been made in reducing discrimination and abuses against the Roma minority or finding lasting solutions for
responding to the needs of refugees and internally displaced people. Human Rights Watch also cited concerns over harassment of
journalists throughout the region and country-specific issues, including LGBT rights in Serbia, and Croatia’s failure to deinstitutionalize
people with intellectual or mental disabilities.

“If the Western Balkan governments are serious about being a part of Europe, they should make sure their human rights records meet
European standards,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “That applies to the EU’s next
member state Croatia just as much as it does to candidate countries like Serbia.”

Serbia progressed in domestic war crimes prosecution, with 3 indictments, 16 pending cases, and convictions of 11 members of the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) for crimes during the 1999 Kosovo war, mainly against Roma and Ashkali minorities. But ICTY chief
prosecutor Serge Brammertz criticized Serbia for its lack of efforts to uncover networks that helped war crimes fugitives wanted by the

There was some progress in Kosovo in accountability for war crimes, with three war crimes verdicts by European Union Rule of Law
Mission (EULEX) judges in the Kosovo courts, and another twenty by local judges. An EULEX special investigation continued into
postwar abductions, enforced disappearances, killing of Serbs, and organ trafficking. The Supreme Court of Kosovo ordered the retrial
of Fatmir Limaj and three other KLA members on charges of war crimes against Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian civilians in 1999.
Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and two co-defendants were acquitted by the ICTY in November after their partial re-trial for
crimes against humanity.
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Office of the President condemns the attack on activist Nazlije Bala
Thursday, 28 March 2013

Office of the President of the Republic of Kosovo strongly condemns the attack committed upon the activist Ms. Nazlije Bala, who has
been providing sustenance and support to women who have been raped.

Attack on Ms. Bala is a cowardly act, is an attack upon the values of our society which aims to be democratic and tolerant, as is an
attack to the part of the society which requires the support of all of us.

Physical violence upon an activist is an intolerable an unacceptable act and it also turns back the democratic development of the country
and attempts to subdue half of the population of Kosovo.

Office of the President of the Republic of Kosovo emphasizes the fact that such barbaric act must not remain unpunished and requests
the security mechanisms to apprehend the perpetrator(s) and bring them to face the justice.

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Information on creating the Preventive Mechanism against Torture in Kosovo

The representatives of the Ombudsperson Institution, representatives of the Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Council for
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms met with the President of the Assembly of Kosovo Mr. Jakup Krasniqi in order
to inform him on the activities of Work Group (composed of these three organizations) for creation of Preventive Mechanism Against

The Governments of the UN Member States are bound to establish Preventive Mechanism against Torture which carries out regular
visits to places where persons deprived of their liberty are held. This mechanism is independent, and aims to protect, respect and fulfil
Human Rights of persons in detention facilities in compliance with Human Rights standards and applicable laws of Kosovo. The Optional
Protocol of the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment sets forth
internationally recognized standards of Human Rights for prevention of torture and ill-treatment.

The President of the Assembly of Kosovo Mr. Jakup Krasniqi welcomed the initiative of Work Group by promising support until the
moment when this Mechanism, after the creation of a legal base and sponsoring by the Government of Kosovo, will be voted by the
Assembly’s MPs.

The President of the Assembly of Kosovo Mr. Jakup Krasniqi emphasized the importance of observance of Human Rights in general and
in particular of the persons deprived of their liberty as a perquisite for establishing a democratic State.

During its activities, the Work Group has visited countries in the region in order to get acquainted with the work of current mechanisms
and it also plans other visits. This Work Group in the future will also meet the Prime Minister and the President of Kosovo in order to
inform them about establishing the Preventive Mechanism against Torture, as well as with the Heads of Parliamentary Groups within the
Assembly of Kosovo.

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Diplomas Awarded to First Generation of the Regional Transitional Justice School Students

The final seminar of the Regional Transitional Justice School organized by the Humanitarian Law Center, the Humanitarian Law Center
Kosovo, and the Lawyer Association from Sarajevo was held in the period March 23rd-24th, 2013.

On Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, Biljana Sinanović, a judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation in Belgrade, awarded diplomas to the first
generation of the Regional Transitional Justice School students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia. On this occasion,
judge Sinanović underlined the significance of truth-seeking in a professional and objective manner, through war crimes trials and
through out-of-court mechanisms in order to create a comprehensive picture of events that happened in the past.

During the seminar, the students presented their final papers, ten of which shall be published in a Humanitarian Law Center publication.
In their works, the students analysed up-to-date topics related to the processes of dealing with the past and transitional justice –
including the analysis of the state of culture of remembrance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, certain aspects of out-of-court mechanisms of
fact-finding about war crimes, such as the Initiative for RECOM, the analysis of the history books in BiH and Serbia, and the analysis of
trials for war crimes before ICTY and local courts.
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Atifete Jahjaga
President since 7 April 2011
None reported.
Behgjet Pacolli
First Deputy Prime Minister
since 15 April 2011
Mimoza Kusari, Slobodan Petrovic and Edita Tahiri
Deputy Prime Minister since 15 April 2011