The residents of the village of Donja Bitinja in the municipality of Strpce continue with the protest against the construction of a mini hydroelectric power plant on the Lepenac river today. However, this time, the protest again resulted in an incident with dozens of villagers, including women and children injured.
The residents of Donja Bitinja village, both ethnic Serbs and Albanians of Strpce, have been protesting against the construction of the MHPP on the Lepenac and its tributaries for months now.
Yesterday, however, a conflict occurred between protesters trying to prevent the construction of the MHPP and members of the Special Police unit from Urosevac.
Dozens of people, including children, were injured in the conflict due to pepper spray exposure, while Kosovo media published disturbing photos yesterday of very young children receiving medical care. The same protest continued today, however, this time with KFOR’s presence, KTV reported. At the same time, police officials told the locals that the situation from yesterday would not be repeated today. The members of NGO KDI, who will be assisting locals with their lawsuit against the authorities, also joined the locals at the protest.
A similar incident occurred in early May this year when a conflict occurred between Kosovo police and locals protesting against the construction of a mini hydroelectric power plant in the Obe Reke site. According to locals, police used excessive force, one protestor’s nose and another protestor’s hand were broken. The police then reacted with a statement confirming that a confrontation had occurred and that tear gas was used, but also claiming that no one was injured.
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