Tuesday, March 11, 2008

U.S. State Dept. Country Report on MONTENEGRO

The U.S. State Department just released its annual country report and reported the following incidents relating to Albanians in Montenegro:

In October, following an investigation by police and the prosecutor's office, authorities forwarded an indictment to the court charging police with disproportionate use of force during a raid in Tuzi in September 2006. At the time, authorities asserted that they had foiled a terrorist plot and reported finding a large weapons stash and plans to attack government buildings. Some government opponents asserted that the raid, which took place just before parliamentary elections, was politically motivated (those apprehended were associated with an Albanian nationalist organization). An investigation by the Helsinki Committee of Montenegro concluded that police had used disproportionate force against some of the arrested persons and their family members during the arrests and subsequent interrogations.

Authorities investigated four cases of alleged war crimes. On February 10, the higher court in Bijelo Polje opened an investigation into the actions of 12 officers and soldiers of the Podgorica Corps of the former Yugoslav Army (VJ) suspected of killing six ethnic Albanians from Kosovo in Kaludjerski Laz near Rozaje during the 1999 NATO intervention. Media reported that allegations that the VJ killed, in separate incidents, another 15 civilians between March and June 1999 would also be investigated. In December the higher court in Bijelo Polje opened an investigation into accusations that seven former military and police members committed war crimes against Muslims in 1992 and 1993 in the Bukovica region in the north of the country. The prosecutor's office in Podgorica began criminal proceedings against six police officers alleged to have been directly involved in the deportation of Muslims in 1992 to Republika Srpska, where they were later killed. However, no charges were filed against more senior figures widely believed to have been involved. Podgorica's basic court opened an investigation into the actions of six former members of the VJ suspected of committing crimes against civilians and prisoners of war in the Morinj prisoner‑of‑war camp.

There were 16 members of ethnic minorities in the 81‑seat Assembly and two members of ethnic minorities in the cabinet. Five assembly seats were reserved by law for ethnic Albanians. Ethnic Albanians, Muslims, Bosniaks, and Croats participated in the political process, and their parties, candidates, and voters participated in all elections. No Roma ran for or held seats in the Assembly, and Roma were significantly underrepresented in the government; only one person of Romani ethnicity held elective office at any level in the country.

Education was free, compulsory, and universal through the eighth grade. There was no difference in the treatment and attendance of boys and girls at the primary and secondary levels. Ethnic Albanian children had access to instruction in their native language; however, some Albanians criticized the government for not providing an opportunity for ethnic Albanians to learn about their culture and history.


Anonymous said...

This confirms our plight, that Albanains are abused and continue to be so. And the State Department knows this, yet they are hesitatnt to act.

We nee to appeal to them ASAP!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't count your chickens just yet. You should be mindful that State doesn't do shit!

Its what serves their best interests that moves their wheels. Who you know in State matters.

Think about that.