Although there were reactions and also protests against racist attacks against Roma woman, which was lynched and attacked only because she belongs to this community, through the media today we were informed that the same woman was attacked again by young hooligans in the Municipality of Ferizaj. Through this Press Release, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) expresses its concern about the lack on her protection, a responsibility of institutions in charge of order and security.
From the Kosovo’s Police media statements, we understood that this woman was repatriated from Belgium in 2011. We recall that she does not know the local languages and this may be an additional risk for her life.
Hence we call upon the responsible institutions to find a safe place for this woman where she can stay these days till the situation calms down, as well as until the perpetrators of this violence get held responsible for the attack by the competent authorities. We profoundly believe that if there was a proper reaction a day before, when she was first attacked in Lipjan, and if her attackers would have faced with the justice, then it would have conveyed the message that our country does not tolerate violence, even less the violence based on the ethnic background of any citizen.
Furthermore, we demand from the State Prosecution to urgently act in investigating and prosecuting this case in accordance to the Article 141 of the New Penal Code of Kosovo, for both attacks on the Roma woman. In accordance with this article anyone who incites hatred and publicly uses hate speech, disunity, and intolerance must be held responsible by the law. As a society we must come up with a clear message that such kinds of violence and hatred speech should not be tolerated in any way possible.
We urge all citizens regardless of age, ethnicity, gender identity and/or sexual orientation to reflect on our role as citizens in respecting and defending dignity of each-other, and in punishing together racist, homophobic and other attacks intended to undermine a person’s dignity.