The Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) condemns hate speech used against citizens by Alexander Jabllanovic, Minister for Community and Return in the Republic of Kosovo. Additionally, he publicly denied the statehood of the Republic of Kosovo, referring to it as “Kosovo and Metohija”.
On 6 Jan. 2015, citizens of Gjakova organized a protest to express their concern regarding the arrival of Serb pilgrims who visited the Orthodox Church in Gjakova for Orthodox Christmas. Gjakova citizens believed that some of these pilgrims were responsible for committing war crimes in Gjakova.
Prevented by the protest, the same pilgrims went to Zoqisht Monastery in Rahovec instead, where Minister Jabllanovic referred to the protesters in Gjakova as “savages”:
This is a holy and important holiday. The savages that stopped Serbs from visiting their burned houses will not serve anyone. We will demand an explanation from the Minister of Internal Affairs for this. The return of Serbs in Kosovo must be accompanied with security by the government of Kosovo and Metohija.
KWN recognizes the right to religious worship, as it recognizes the right to public protest and democratic expression of concerns, guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. However, the hate speech used by Minister Jabllanovic and the denial of the Republic of Kosovo as an independent country represents a violation of the constitutionality and legality of the Republic of Kosovo.
KWN stands behind and in support of the Mothers of Missing Persons, an organization based in Gjakova that continues to seek information regarding their loved ones who disappeared during the war 16 years ago. Further, KWN continues to uphold
that the issue of missing persons should be non-negotiable in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
KWN urges the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to respond as soon as possible and to take action in accordance with the law.