Zarana Papic on Wed, 10 Nov 1999 06:50:54 +0100

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Syndicate: [Fwd: Proces de Flora Brovina]

-------- Original Message --------

Human Rights Watch
November 8, 1999


International Community Called to Monitor

(New York, November 8, 1999) -- The upcoming trial of a prominent
prisoner from Kosovo should be monitored by diplomats and members of the
media, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial will begin on November
11 in
the Serbian city of Nis.

Dr. Flora Brovina, 50, was arrested by Serbian police in civilian
clothes in
front of her Pristina apartment on April 20, 1999, during the NATO
of Yugoslavia. She is charged with committing terrorist acts against the
Yugoslav State, according to Article 136 of the Yugoslav criminal code.

The courts in Serbia are often controlled by the government. Defendants,
especially Kosovar Albanians in political cases, are often denied due
process. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned that Dr. Brovina will
not be
granted a fair trial.

A pediatrician and poet, Dr. Brovina was the founder and head of the
of Albanian Women. She is charged with providing food, clothing, and
supplies to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), as well as planning
acts. During the war, her clinic provided medical services to women and
children still in Pristina.

Dr. Brovina was originally held in Kosovo's Lipljan prison, where other
prisoners have told Human Rights Watch about regular beatings and
maltreatment by prison guards, including a cordon of baton-wielding
that met all new detainees. On June 10, two days before the entry of
into Kosovo, she and hundreds of other prisoners were transferred to
inside Serbia.

Dr. Brovina is being held in Pozarevac prison, where she has been
visited by
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), her lawyers, and
husband. However, her husband has not been able to meet with her alone
has had to speak Serbian, which can be monitored, rather than their
Albanian. Conditions in Pozarevac prison are better than in Kosovo, but
Brovina has had difficulty obtaining medicine for her weak heart, her
husband, Ajri Begu, told Human Rights Watch.

Dr. Brovina's trial will be held in the Nis municipal court on November
Human Rights Watch called on diplomats in Yugoslavia and representatives
the international community, as well as journalists, to monitor the
"It was a great mistake that the fate of Kosovar Albanian prisoners was
a part of the agreement between NATO and Yugoslavia that ended the war,"
said Holly Cartner, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Europe
Central Asia Division. "Now, at least, the international community
monitor the trials to make sure that they meet international standards."

The Yugoslav government has acknowledged that approximately 1,900
Albanians are being held in thirteen different detention facilities in
Serbia. All of them have been visited at least once by the ICRC. But
known detainees do not appear on the government's list, such as Albin
the well-known student activist and former KLA political representative,
is currently in Pozarevac prison. Kosovo-based human rights groups claim
that more than 5,000 Kosovar Albanians are currently missing, in
addition to
those in detention. It is not known whether these additional 5,000
are in detention or dead.

Photographs of Flora Brovina and Albin Kurti are available on the Human
Rights Watch website at:

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