Bishop Teodosije turned back from Jarinje: Unpleasant behavior by the chief of customs and no protective measures

FOTO: Vladika Teodosije, mitropolija crnogorsko-primorska
FOTO: Vladika Teodosije, mitropolija crnogorsko-primorska

The Bishop of Raska and Prizren Teodosije was turned back at the Kosovo side of the Jarinje crossing while traveling from Raska towards Gracanica. The Bishop was traveling alone and he was not allowed to cross because he was transporting two buckets of honey as a gift for the Gracanica monastery. Bishop Teodosije said that this was the first time in twenty years he was turned back at the crossing and the first time he was subjected to unpleasant behavior of customs officers. He also said that the person who identified himself as the customs supervisor communicated with him without respecting pandemic safety measures – with no mask or physical distance.

The Bishop himself confirmed the information for the KoSSev portal. He is currently staying in North Mitrovica, after returning to Raska where he left the gift, after which he passed the crossing.

He was searched both times. According to the Bishop, he was subjected to unpleasant behavior by the customs chief on duty, an ethnic Albanian, at the Jarinje crossing tonight.

„This was the first time in 20 years that someone has turned me back at the crossing. I did not expect that. I was alone in the car. I was traveling from central Serbia to the Gracanica monastery, and I was bringing two buckets in the car as a gift for the sisterhood,“ Bishop Teodosije told KoSSev tonight.

He added that the situation was very unpleasant when they pulled him over and started searching the car, at the indignation of the travelers who happened to be at the crossing at the time.

The Bishop said that the situation turned even more unpleasant when they told him to stand aside and wait for, as he was told, the shift supervisor to arrive.

„The shift supervisor told me I had to go back even though the value of the goods in my car did not exceed €150, even without the possibility of paying taxes. I replied – ‘Sir, you are turning me back, but why are you talking to me at a distance of half a meter without a mask and while jeopardizing my health?“

After the Bishop pointed out they weren’t respecting the measures (no mask etc), the customs officer – whom, the Bishop was told was the shift supervisor – just waved his hand.

The Bishop argued that, at his warning, the customs officer the Bishop was told is the shift supervisor just waved his hand.

„Apart from the fact that they did not respect the preventive measures, it was especially unpleasant and disappointing that I felt a certain dose of animosity towards me in their behavior tonight.“

On the other hand, the Bishop pointed out that the Kosovo police behaved very correctly toward him, adding that they just „shrugged their shoulders.“

He stressed that a similar situation happened 20 days ago to another priest of the Raska-Prizren Diocese, who was also prevented from transporting a small package intended for the church from central Serbia to Kosovo.

Bishop Teodosije said that he will be getting in touch with the OSCE Ambassador, Jan Braathu, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Goran Rakic regarding the matter.

In the meantime, KoSSev asked the Kosovo Police for a comment on the allegations of Bishop Teodosije.

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