A protest in support of victims of sexual violence during the conflict in Kosovo was held today in Pristina as a reaction to the PDK deputy, Flora Brovina presenting a fake photograph for which she claimed showed evidence of rape during the Kosovo conflict, Pristina-based Gazeta Express reported.
Organizations representing victims of sexual violence during the Kosovo conflict held a protest walk – under the slogan „Treat me with dignity“ – down the streets of Pristina today. The protest walk was headed by the British Ambassador Ruairi O’Connell, the former President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga and Alternative deputy, Mimoza Kusari-Lila.
The Kosovo public was shaken by a scandal last Thursday when PDK deputy Flora Brovina showed, during a session of the Kosovo Assembly, a photograph that was supposed to be proof of group rape of an Albanian woman by Serbian forces.
The members of her family, kneeling with arms tied behind their back, can be seen in the background – Brovina claimed at the time. She emphasized the photo was taken with a camera belonging to a Serb soldier and that the alleged victim was alive. The Kosovo media also reported that the victim was prepared to testify.
Despite containing disturbing content, the photo was published by numerous Kosovo media with no warnings of its disturbing content and without blurring the photo.
Brovina was immediately harshly criticized for showing the photo. The Kosovo Women’s Network said that she violated the principle of the dignity of victims.
A MP from the ranks of Self-determination, Saranda Bogujevci also reacted, emphasizing that the family is upset and that the photo should not have been published.
In the meantime, the Kosovo media blurred previously published photos, while some media outlets completely removed them.
Certain media also published another photograph of the alleged murder of an Albanian child, who was also allegedly sexually abused.
A few hours later, the Kosovo media reported that the photo was taken from a pornographic website in Iraq.
“It turns out that the photograph does not show an actual event. It does not show the war in Kosovo, nor any other war. In fact, the photograph presented by Brovina shows a scene from a pornographic film,” the Gazeta Express reported.
Brovina herself changed her statements several times on Thursday. She, however, admitted the very next day to the Special Prosecution of Kosovo that she did not verify the authenticity of the photograph.
According to the Kosovo Minister of Justice, Abelard Tahiri, this „mistake“ by the Kosovo MP is „completely human“ and „spontaneous.“
The British Embassy in Pristina expressed concern over the events in the Kosovo Assembly at the end of the week, underlining that appropriate institutions should investigate allegations of serious crimes during the conflict in accordance with the rule of law rather than on the basis of narrow political opportunism.
„We are concerned at events in the Assembly this week. It is important that allegations of serious crime during the conflict are investigated by appropriate institutions, in a way that above all prioritises justice and support for survivors, victims and their families. This should be done according to the rule of law, and not be driven by narrow political opportunism,“ the British Embassy wrote on Facebook.
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