Civil society organizations from the Kosovo Serb community condemned the attacks coming from the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo (CDHRF) on the Abbot of the Visoki Decani Monastery, 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“.
“We strongly condemn the groundless attacks coming from the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo (CDHRF) on the Abbot of the Visoki Decani Monastery, Fr. Sava Janjic. Aid and protection received by Albanian refugees from 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.
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 press release issued by the CDHRF and statements made by Kosovo officials that the Serb community and the Visoki Decani Monastery are not endangered are simply untrue. On the contrary, the pan-European ‘Europa Nostra’ federation recently decided to add Visoki Decani to its list of most endangered cultural heritage sites in Europe,” these CSOs underlined, adding:
“By attacking Fr. Sava Janjic with such harsh and baseless accusations, the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo is undermining efforts to painstakingly build better inter-ethnic relations between the Albanian and Serb communities in Kosovo.”
They emphasized that this same organization “has a record of spreading false news and inter-ethnic hatred in the past, primarily directed towards the Kosovo Serb community.”
The Institute for Territorial Economic Development – InTER, NGO Aktiv, ACDC, CSD, New Social Initiative (NSI), Center for Development of Communities (CRZ), NGO Link, Radio Gorazdevac, Crno-beli svet (CBS), Center for Social Initiatives, Radio Kontakt plus, RTV KiM, New Press Production, Center for the Rights of Minority Communities (CRMC), Gracanica Online, and Forum for Development and Multiethnic Collaboration (FDMC) demanded that the institutions of the Government of Kosovo and international representatives in Kosovo clearly condemn the positions of the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosovo, and to provide all the necessary protection and support to Fr. Sava Janjic and the Visoki Decani monastery.
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