Translation provided by KoSSev
The editor of RTV Kim, Isak Vorgucic, said that the atmosphere in central Kosovo is difficult and unpleasant following the incident near Strpce where Serbian children were attacked. Vorgucic revealed that he, as well as other parents, have been afraid of letting their children walk to school for a long time now, N1 reports.
„The information about the attack, which is general, is quite enough, without going into the details and the circumstances under which it happened, to show what the actual situation is in the Kosovo enclaves,“ stated Vorgucic, adding:
„The one day of the year when those children on the street could be recognized as Serbs is Christmas Day, when they carry oak branches. On all other days, they have no features that would distinguish them from their compatriots. And we have a man who is a member of the security forces, which is absurd, who carries a gun in his car and argues, if there was an argument and if it matters at all, with children, using a firearm.“
According to him, one boy sustained a gunshot wound „close to the heart“ – making the case an attempted murder.
„All other explanations with trick or treats, with blocking the road are complete nonsense. Explanations with ricochets and shots fired in the air are nonsense and serve to divert attention from the fact that the incident is ethnically motivated,“ Vorgucic told N1.
When asked what he expects from the proceedings initiated against the attacker, the RTV Kim editor said that the people will preside over the case involving a man who is one of their own.
„I have no confidence in that judicial system, which has repeatedly shown that it is not possible to achieve some kind of justice,“ said this journalist.
He also recalls the case of Oliver Ivanovic, who was held in prison for years on charges of war crimes he did not commit, as well as the imprisonment of a young Serb man on Vidovdan, for allegedly shouting hate slogans, which he did not do, and the police officers gave false statements that he did.
„I don’t expect the court and the prosecutor’s office to launch an investigation that will have signs of an ethnically motivated crime. More precisely, they will do everything to prevent that from happening,“ Vorgucic said.
Children in Gracanica being ridiculed, catcalled – especially young girls
He also points out that the situation in Gracanica is difficult and unpleasant.
„In Gracanica, we already had a shooting from a moving car that happened about 15 years ago. Our children are being ridiculed, especially girls who walk by the side of the road because the main road Pristina – Gnjilane runs through Gracanica. I have children of a similar age who walk to school. Even before the incident, I was troubled every time they walked to school. I believe it is the same for other parents who live here,“ Vorgucic said.
He pointed out that while Pristina can claim that this was an isolated event, the Serbs who live there can expect more of such incidents, bearing in mind the dissatisfaction with the economic and political situation in Kosovo, and people „hearing poisonous messages from Pristina and Belgrade on a daily basis“.
„Since Prime Minister Kurti and President Osmani came to power, we have had rhetoric that aggravates the situation, not just rhetoric, but also activities and actions that are not aimed at connecting with Serbs,“ Vorgucic said.
He also underlined that no local media reporting in Serbian had ever received a call for an interview with the Prime Minister.
When asked if the boy’s family is additionally threatened after the attack, Vorgucic says that this example explicitly shows the position of the Kosovo Serbs.
„On the one hand, there is pressure from Pristina, through certain people on the ground, on the family to present a milder tone in their statements, and on the other hand, there is pressure from Belgrade, which demands that these statements be harsher,“ he says.
However, when all that is over, regardless of the way the sides urge the statements to be made – the children will continue to live there, to move on those roads, to go to school using them – he added.
According to him, the only solution to any problem is to solve it in coordination between local institutions and the international community.
Addressing Pristina’s reaction to the attack on Serbian children, he says:
„The statements that arrived, those condemnations, don’t seem honest to me. Pristina does not mention that they are Serbs – they say two citizens of Kosovo, which for me is catastrophic. They are a minority whose rights are threatened here, which the prime minister does not want to admit.“
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