KWN reacts to the case of Haxhiaj: Another unjust sentence!

The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) reacts to the institutional neglect, non-qualification of the offense, and non-imposition of meritorious punishment, according to Article 173 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo.

Through this press release, KWN reacts against the   criminal offense and the imposition of the conviction of the man from Prizren, Ilir Haxhiaj, who killed his wife Hatije Dina.

The sentence of 15 years in prison for murder and the pronouncement of the offense in “slight bodily harm” normalizes the violence and killing of women that occurs constantly.

Women in Kosovo are living in a dangerous environment. There are no rehabilitative measures for abusers and victims of gender-based violence are left with no way to avoid the repeated violence. At the same time, women’s employment and property inheritance remain among the lowest in the Balkans, and this keeps women in abusive environments.

Dangerous environment assessments conducted by police officers are poor and result in recidivist cases. The Kosovo courts continue to impose low convictions for the offenders and absurd decisions of retrials for the accusers of the brutal killing of women. For these cases, they also apply mitigating circumstances during the criminal procedure.

The evaluations of the dangerousness by the police officers are weak, and the qualification of the crimes by the prosecutors is done in order to mitigate the crimes of violence and to stop the investigations.

Article 173 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo clearly defines the punishment for Aggravated Murder, by stating that long-life imprisonment shall be imposed on a person who kills a family member or a child. Therefore, the KWN requires that the crime be reclassified from “serious bodily injury” to “aggravated murder” and after the reclassification, the sentence be announced by the Court.

The chain of institutional failure shows us that the killing of women is a consequence of the institutional, social, and collective failure in dealing with gender-based violence as a primary issue within the rule of law framework and access to justice.

Through this press release, the KWN also requests from the Ministry of Justice a systematic review of all cases of violence that ended with fatality.

KWN remains open to cooperation and assistance to victims of gender-based violence through free legal advice and referrals to relevant institutions. If you need free legal aid for cases of gender-based violence or know someone who needs it, contact us at: 038 245 850.