Three Serbs beaten by police in the wood close to Brnjak, testifies victim; KP denies a local media report

Serb sources reported today that three ethnic Serbs were attacked on the Brnjak border crossing. The Kosovo police, however, have yet to confirm the news. Moreover, on two occasions in the last two days, the KP denied the reports of the portal Kosovo online about the alleged incidents at this crossing. The KP, however, detailed another case that took place at this crossing today – involving three Serbs

In the meantime, Kossev recorded the testimony of Dragisa Vlaskovic from a hospital bed in North Mitrovica, who testified that he was allegedly victim of psychological and physical violence by Kosovo Police members. Vlaskovic, and two other Serbs who were with him, were allegedly attacked by the KP in the woods near the village of Kopilovice located on a hill above the main road.

KP spokesman, Baki Kelani, could neither confirm nor deny this news for Kossev by the time it was published today. Kelani, however, insisted that the police have yet to verify what happened in that area.

Vlaskovic: Unprovoked attack, they beat, cursed, and threatened to kill me

„The attack was unprovoked. We were not going to join the blockades, we went to earn some money as we are unemployed,“ Dragisa Vlaskovic from Ibarski Kolasin said from the North Mitrovica Clinical Center.

Vlaskovic is one of the three ethnic Serbs who were injured this morning in the village of Kopilovici in the municipality of Zubin Potok when they were reportedly attacked by the members of the Kosovo Police special units.

The village of Kopilovici is located on a hill above the main road near the Brnjak crossing, which a group of Serbs have been blocking for days now in protest against the Kosovo government’s decision to introduce reciprocity for Serb license plates.

According to Vlaskovic’s testimony, he went into the forest to gather firewood together with T.Z. and J.T.

„It was unprovoked. We were not going to join the blockades, we went to earn some money as we are unemployed,“ Vlaskovic told the media after he was admitted to the hospital in North Mitrovica.

He sustained a visible injury of the oral cavity, his tongue has been cut, and his front teeth have been loosened. T.Z. was admitted to the same hospital ward as well.

Dr. Zlatan Elek said that both Vlaskovic and T.Z. sustained serious bodily injuries to the face and body, and that they are currently in stable condition. He, however, revealed he cannot confirm the full extent of their injuries until a complete diagnosis is run. In addition to bodily injuries, he emphasized that both of them also experienced severe psychological stress.

„We went from Veli Breg to Gornje Varage. We reached Kopilovic. They were there with combat vehicles. We noticed them when we were about 50 meters away and decided to head back home as there is no path leading to that village. But they chased after us, they started shouting and I raised my hands like this. They grabbed me. Two of them pushed me down on the asphalt and two people kicked me. I lost my breath for a minute or two. I thought it was over but then they told me to get up, which I did, what was I supposed to do? They held us there, in the middle of the road, for half an hour. Afterward, they moved the two of them back but continued to beat me because of some jeep that came and then got away. They went after it using my car, but they didn’t catch it, so they harassed me to admit who was in the jeep. I didn’t see who was in it. They attacked us out of nowhere, they cursed my mother and father, they told me – we will kill you, we will slaughter you. I just kept silent and I shook like this,“ Dragisa Vlaskovic told the media.

KP: We do not have any verified information about this case, but we deny the news of the beating at the crossing

„The information that the Kosovo police allegedly beat three Serbs near Brnjak today is incorrect and it is intended to misinform the public, present the situation as unsafe for the citizens, as well as to satisfy various political ambitions,“ the Kosovo police said in a statement.

The KP has yet to confirm, however, what exactly happened today near the village of Kopilovici, where three Serbs testified that they were attacked by the Kosovo police.

In its statement, the KP police denied the „biased and untrue“ article that the local media outlet Kosovo Online published earlier today. Furthermore, they accused this media of „constantly publishing misinformation.“ This is the second time in the last two days KP denied reports produced by this media.

The news in question was that three Serbs were reportedly beaten at Brnjak, i.e. that „members of the ROSU units located at the Brnjak crossing in the municipality of Zubin Potok attacked three local Serbs (…)“

„Such information, after official verification, turned out to be untrue, as there were no detentions or contact with any protesters at the border crossing,“ the Kosovo police said.

“The police unit pulled over three trucks, i.e. their drivers who were driving behind police officers, endangering the safety of members of the police and the police operation.“

Officers detained and checked the IDs of the three drivers from Kosovo, who were then instructed to come to the South Mitrovica police station, the police specified.

In addition to the press release, the police also sent IDs of high schoolers, with their personal data blurred, who were pulled over by the police, to the media.

 Petkovic: Serbia shall not tolerate attacks on Serbs

The head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, emphasized that Serbia „will not tolerate physical violence, harassment, and attacks on the Serb people.“

Petkovic furthermore claimed that Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti is behind the attack.

He described Kurti as a man “willing to commit violence to achieve his political goals.“

„From the very beginning of the crisis, his goal has been violence and revenge against the bare-handed people in the north of the province, who are only defending their right to life. It is now more clear than ever that he is not interested in any kind of dialogue or solution to the crisis caused by non-compliance with the Brussels Agreement, and that he is only interested in trying to conquer the north of Kosovo by force.“

„I am very worried about the beating of Serbs, but it is a question for both NATO and the EU why they allow it,“ was the first reaction of Aleksandar Vučić from Budapest later in the afternoon.

The roads to Brnjak and Jarinje crossings in the north of Kosovo have been blocked since Monday.



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