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Serbia and Montenegro: Treatment of members of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) by members of other political parties, especially the PDK; availability of state protection (January 2005 - March 2006)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 7 March 2006
Citation / Document Symbol SCG101003.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Serbia and Montenegro: Treatment of members of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) by members of other political parties, especially the PDK; availability of state protection (January 2005 - March 2006), 7 March 2006, SCG101003.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147a028.html [accessed 1 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Party

The Democratic Alliance of Kosovo (Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës – LDK), which advocates an independent Kosovo (Political Parties of the World 2005, 520; Political Handbook of the World: 2005-2006 2005, 1024), is the largest Albanian party in Kosovo (ibid.; IHF 27 June 2005). The LDK, together with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), leads a governing coalition in Kosovo's parliament (ibid.; RFE/RL 21 Mar. 2005; EU 9 Nov. 2005, 10).

Relations between the LDK and the PDK

As part of its 2005 efforts to increase local control over policing and judicial responsibilities the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) declared its intentions to grant limited Kosovar control over the newly created Interior, Justice, and Police ministries (IWPR 27 Jul. 2005). However, due to the divided political landscape in Kosovo, UNMIK has stated that full Kosovar control over these ministries would have to wait until it was ensured that these ministries would not fall under political influence (ibid.). For instance, there are two parallel security forces in Kosovo that are controlled by rival parties: the LDK's security force, Homeland Security, and the National Intelligence Service (SHIK) of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) (ibid.). According to Le Courrier des Balkans, the goal of the LDK's security force is to prevent the head of the PDK from joining the government (23 Dec. 2005), but this could not be corroborated within time constraints.

A 22 April 2005 report by KosovaLive indicated that the LDK-affiliated mayor of Ferizaj "was among a group of politicians recently threatened by a group calling itself Homeland Security," although it was unclear whether this was the same organization as the LDK's security force.

In its survey of the situation in Kosovo's municipalities, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported "tense" relations between the LDK and the PDK which mediation efforts had been unsuccessful in improving (OSCE Dec. 2005). There had, however, been reports of violence since December 2000 when an assassination attempt of an LDK member of the Municipal Assembly occurred (ibid.).

Alleged Treatment of Members of the LDK

On 16 March 2005, several media reports described an attack on Kosovar President Ibrahim Rugova using a remote-controlled bomb (The New York Times 16 Mar. 2005; Kosovo Information Centre 16 Mar. 2005; WHRC 16 Mar. 2005). Rugova escaped unscathed (ibid.; The New York Times 16 Mar. 2005). The World Markets Research Centre (WMRC) claimed that the unidentified attackers may have been former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), now supporters of the PDK, who did not wish to kill Rugova, the "pacifist" president of the LDK, but rather to threaten him (16 Mar. 2005). These allegations, however, could not be corroborated by the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints.

On 4 June 2005, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported on a drive-by shooting that "seriously wounded" Bardil Ajeti, a reporter from the Pristina daily Bota Sot (DPA 4 June 2005), a newspaper believed to be affiliated with the LDK (ibid.; IHF 27 June 2005; AP 4 June 2005). DPA indicated that since 1999, some 20 LDK "activists," including Bota Sot journalists, had been killed, possibly as a result of "the struggle for power between LDK and former ethnic Albanian guerrillas-turned politicians from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK)" (DPA 4 June 2005). The Associated Press (AP) added that Ajeti had been known to criticize the "former ethnic Albanian rebel leadership" (4 June 2005), but further corroboration of the above allegations could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints.

Earlier, in 2004, the International Helsinki Federation (IHF) noted that the Municipal Court in Pristina had found the editor of Bota Sot guilty of publishing "false" information that could endanger the life of a citizen following the publication of an article accusing a member of a rival political group of assassinating a former advisor to LDK President Ibrahim Rugova (IHF 27 June 2005). The IHF noted that Bota Sot had been blamed for publishing "inflammatory" reports in the past (ibid.).

On 23 May 2005, Kosovapress reported on a car explosion in Lipjan that injured three members of the LDK branch in Shtime. Aside from stating that security forces had been asked to conduct an investigation (Kosovapress 23 May 2005), more recent or corroborating information on this incident, and on the availability of state protection for LDK members, in particular, could not be found within time constraints.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Associated Press (AP). 4 June 2005. "Kosovo Reporter in Critical Condition After Being Shot in the Head." (Factiva)

Le Courrier des Balkans [Paris, in French]. 23 December 2005. Jeta Xharra. "Services de renseignements parallèles au Kosovo: l'inaction internationale." [Accessed 3 Jan. 2006]

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 4 June 2005. "Journalist Wounded in Kosovo." (Dialog)

European Union (EU). 9 November 2005. European Commission (EC). Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244) 2005 Progress Report. [Accessed 6 Mar. 2006]

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). 27 July 2005. Artan Mustafa. "Kosovars Concerned New Ministries May be Politicized." [Accessed 1 Mar. 2006]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). 27 June 2005. "Serbia and Montenegro." Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America Report 2005 (Events of 2004). [Accessed 6 Mar, 2006]

KosovaLive [Pristina]. 22 April 2005. "Threatened Kosovo Politician Dismissed by Party for 'Disobedience'." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

Kosovapress News Agency [Pristina, in Albanian]. 23 May 2005. "Three Kosovo LDK Activists Hurt in Car Explosion." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

Kosovo Information Centre [Pristina, in Albanian]. 16 March 2005. "Leading Kosovo Figures Condemn Assassination Attempt against President." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

The New York Times. 16 March 2005. "World Briefing Europe: Kosovo: President Survives Blast." (Factiva)

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). November 2005. Mission in Kosovo. "Malishevë/Mališevo." Municipal Profile. [Accessed 6 Mar. 2006]

Political Handbook of the World: 2005-2006. 2005. Edited by Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller and William R. Overstreet. "Serbia and Montenegro." Washington, DC. CQ Press.

Political Parties of the World. 2005. 6th Edition. Edited by Bogdan Szajkowski. "Serbia and Montenegro." London. John Harper Publishing.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 21 March 2005. "Kosovar President Nominates New Prime Minister." (NEXIS)

World Markets Research Centre (WMRC). 16 March 2005. Ben Wetherall. "Explosion Targets Kosovar President." (Factiva)

Additional Sources Consulted

Neither the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) nor the Kosovo Helsinki Monitor (KHM) responded to requests for information within time contraints.

Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), Kosovo Helsinki Monitor, United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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