„In June 1999, in Decani, I heard that Sava Janjic was on the streets when the army and police from Djakovica/Gjakova were passing through the town, in order to prevent violence against Albanian civilians. What the CDHRF is writing is shameful,“ Natasa Kandic from the Humanitarian Law Center also reacted after the CDHRF attacked Abbot Sava Janjic.
On Sunday, the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo (CDHRF) presented allegations against the monastery of Visoki Decani that the monastery was turned into a military base and that Albanians were held hostage there during the 1999 war, while „weapons were distributed to mobilized Serbs“. The organization also requested an investigation into Abbot Sava Janjic due to „possible violations of the Law of War and Humanitarian Law“.
The council widely known through its Mitrovica branch leader Halit Barani reacted following an avalanche of criticism of Kosovo institutions and officials to the decision to include Visoki Decani on the list of the seven most endangered sites for 2021. The CDHRF presented the same arguments that the monastery is not endangered that Kurti and Osmani had previously presented in their March 18th letter to Europa Nostra.
The Serbian civil society organizations from Kosovo also reacted, condemning the attacks coming from the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) on the Abbot of the Visoki Decani monastery.
“Aid and protection received by Albanian refugees from the Visoki Decani Monastery in 1999 are a unique example of humanity in the madness of war,” the Serbian civil society organizations from Kosovo wrote in a statement, adding that this organization “has a record of spreading false news and inter-ethnic hatred in the past, primarily directed towards the Kosovo Serb community.”
During the war in Kosovo, that is, in the first post-war years, the Western press wrote extensively about the monastery as a refuge for Albanian civilians and a strong opponent of the Milosevic regime. These reports particularly highlighted the role of the then protosyncellus Sava – the current Abbot of Visoki Decani – in this.
U junu 1999. u Dečanima sam čula da je Sava Janjić bio na ulicama kada su kroz grad prolazile vojska i policija iz Đakovice, da spreči nasilje prema albanskim civilima. Sramota je šta piše KMDLNJ.
— Natasa Kandic (@natasakandic) April 12, 2021
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