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Kosovo: UNHCR appalled at Dosevac Ashkalia murder

Briefing notes

Kosovo: UNHCR appalled at Dosevac Ashkalia murder

10 November 2000

UNHCR is appalled by the brutal murder late Wednesday of four Ashkalia who had just returned to their home village of Dosevac north-west of Pristina. The four, including a teenage boy, returned to their village last Tuesday from Kosovo Polje where they had lived in displacement with their families. They had told UNHCR they wanted to go back since they thought they would be reasonably safe in their home village. Their bullet-ridden bodies were discovered outside their tent on Thursday. Other villagers said they heard gunshots in the village the evening before. UNHCR has urged an investigation of the murder, the worst such incident in months, and demanded that the investigation be carried out by an international prosecutor to make sure the perpetrators are found and brought to justice. Over the past months UNHCR has worked hard with all of Kosovo's communities to help them reconcile and live together. But this effort has been undermined by a climate of impunity.

Since the war ended in June 1999, more than 200,000 Serbs, Roma and others have fled Kosovo. At least 27,000 of them were Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptians. Only about 3,000 remain in Kosovo today. 107 have returned to their homes with UNHCR's help.