The detainment of Kosovo Serb politicians by members of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Merdare crossing continues. „New press production“ reported that the president of the New Party of Kosovo (Nova partija Kosova), Dragisa Miric was detained today for an hour. Miric was then, without any explanation, allowed to continue his journey.
„At 12 o’clock and 20 minutes today, while entering Kosovo from Serbia, at the Merdare crossing, a police officer from the Serbian MIA told me to park my car on the side and that I should wait for some people from Prokuplje who will conduct an informative conversation with me. After an hour, however, a policeman approached me, returned my documentation and told me that I could continue my journey,“ Dragisa Miric told New-Press.
Miric was a member of the Assembly of Kosovo from 2007 to 2011. He was also an adviser to the Minister of Education in the Government of Kosovo from 2005 to 2007.
Three members of the Serbian Liberal Party, led by a deputy in the Kosovo Assembly, Slobodan Petrovic were detained and interrogated by BIA (Serbian Intelligence Agency) members at the same integrated border crossing, as this party and other Kosovo officials confirmed. Even after the SLS party sent a request for an explanation to the Serbian MIA and the BIA, the reason for the detainment is still officially unknown.
SLS President, Slobodan Petrovic was detained on December 8th for more than four hours at this crossing. As he explained at the time, BIA officials asked him „some general things and about what is written in the media,“ and that he was told that they could not release him „until they had a call the authorities in Belgrade“.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Kosovo and SLS Vice-President, Boban Stankovic was also detained for several hours at this crossing on January 2nd. Stankovic also said that he was questioned by members of the BIA, while the Kosovo Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, and a fellow member of SLS, Nebojsa Jakovljevic was detained 8 days later, as the party’s president announced, for more than 10 hours.
„For the third time, we are publicly seeking a reason from the President of Serbia, the Prime Minister, the head of the BIA, what the reason is and why this is done to people, especially those who are not part of Srpska Lista. To be completely clear, SLS members were not the only ones who were detained, but others were as well, those who are not part of Srpska Lista,“ Petrovic said after Jakovljevic’s detainment, adding that “this is political pressure and mistreatment of people who do not share the attitudes of Srpska Lista.”
All three cases of detainment were condemned by the Kosovo government, assessing it as a „provocation and a non-constructive approach of Serbian authorities towards the citizens of Kosovo,“ and urging them to „stop such pressure practices.“
The Kosovo Prime Minister also reacted, saying that these actions are „unacceptable and punishable“. He defined them as „orchestrated campaign of the Serbian authorities that directly threatens the security of Kosovo.“
The BIA has not officially reacted so far.
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