According to Zeri Info, a Kosovo news portal, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has issued a statement condemning the attacks on Kosovo 2.0 that occurred on December 14th. This statement is now currently reflected on the official Prime Minister’s news section web page.
In the last paragraph of Thaci’s official statement he states: “The Government of the Republic of Kosovo demands law and order institutions to find the authors of these violent attacks and put them in front of justice.”
Thaci waited until today to address the violent attack on Kosovo 2.0, a magazine and subsequent attacks on Libertas and Qesh, local gay organizations, who were attacked and beaten on Sunday night.
Thaci has now emerged as one of the first heads of government in the Western Balkans to condemn anti-LGBT violence in the wake of an attack with this statement: “…ensure that every citizen of the Republic of Kosovo has the right to freedom of expression, and also ensure that no citizen is discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.”
According to the Zeri Info report, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the attacks of some extremist groups on the evening of Friday’s launch of the publication of the newspaper Kosovo 2.0, calling it and “endanger[ment of] the public order and the rights of expression and freedom of movement and freedom of the media”.
“Violence and threats expressed by these groups on Friday evening, but in the coming days to the organizers of the launch of this publication and the editorial staff of the magazine, are unacceptable and have no place in a modern and democratic state.
[The] Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo, according to Thaci, ensure that every citizen of the Republic of Kosovo has the right to freedom of expression, and also ensure that no citizen is discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo is committed to respect human rights and freedoms, political, and religious, respect and protect all constitutional categories of discrimination as a legal obligation and the principal direction of all institutions and political spectrum that supports the agenda European integration. Government, as the Minister requires the institutions of law and order to find the perpetrators of these violent attacks be brought to justice.”
Later this morning the Kosovo Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom issued a statement calling the “use of violence unacceptable and reprehensible”. The Council also stated that “ultimately perception of morality is a matter of the individual and the individual has not right to impose nor exercise violence in the name of protecting those values”.
Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues. She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
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