Tanin: Unresolved situation of the Kosovo Serb returnee in Djakovica, rights of all returnees must be protected and promoted

šef Unmik Zahir Tanin
FOTO: KoSSev

“Facilitating the safe, dignified, and sustainable return and reintegration of all returnees is essential to ensuring Kosovo’s future as a democratic, multi-ethnic society founded,” the Special Representative of the Secretary General and the head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, said last night.

While recalling the recent developments related to the “unresolved situation” of the Kosovo-Serb returnee in Gjakova/Djakovica, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, highlighted the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of all returnees and facilitating their sustainable return and reintegration into local communities.

Tanin called on central and local institutions, in cooperation with civil society and local communities, to provide an enabling environment for all returnees.

“Facilitating the safe, dignified, and sustainable return and reintegration of all returnees is essential to ensuring Kosovo’s future as a democratic, multi-ethnic society founded upon human rights and the rule of law, and is vital to advancing broader inter-community trust building and reconciliation efforts,” Tanin said.

The German ambassador to Pristina, Jörn Rohde, called on the citizens of Kosovo and institutions yesterday to support the return process, underlining that it is a basic human right.

In a statement for KoSSev, the OSCE mission in Kosovo highlighted the importance of the return process, while also condemning the incidents directed against Gasic.

“It is unacceptable to attempt to intimidate someone who is seeking to return to their home and live in peace with their neighbors,” they wrote.

OSCE underlined that the legal framework in Kosovo is clear regarding the right to return, encouraging all stakeholders to uphold the rule of law. The OSCE also encouraged anyone with knowledge about the perpetrators of incidents directed against Gasic to come forward to police.

Dragica Gasic is the first Serb returnee to Djakovica. In late June, eleven NGOs in the municipality of Djakovica announced that they would be filing a petition to the Kosovo government, demanding that Gasic move out as soon as possible.

The municipality of Djakovica filed a lawsuit earlier this week, requesting that “Dragica Gasic’s contract on leasing an apartment be annulled with a request for an interim measure.”

Gasic repeatedly emphasized that attacks on her home are taking place on a daily basis and that she only goes to the store and the bakery when accompanied by the police. Certain media outlets reported yesterday that the tires on a vehicle belonging to one of Gasic’s friends were slashed and that the Novi Pazar license plate on the vehicle were removed.

Previously, the incidents directed against Dragica Gasic, the call for her eviction, as well as the filing of a lawsuit for confiscation of Gasic’s apartment were condemned by NGOs from Pristina and Belgrade.

Read more:

OSCE: We condemn the incidents directed against Dragica Gasic, return process should continue

HLC and YIRH Kosovo: Djakovica authorities to withdraw the lawsuit against Gasic, as it is unconstitutional

Kandic on petition from Djakovica NGOs to evict the first returnee: „Lord, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing“

YIHR Serbia: End hostility toward the Kosovo Serb community

Serb returnee from Djakovica: I never hurt anyone, hence the courage to return to my apartment

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