Rather than remaining silent at the anti-Serb graffiti at the Christ the Savior church in Prishtina, the burning of the Gracanica monastery flag and the lynching of returnee Dragica Gasic in Djakovica, the Kosovar government must clearly condemn and stop this wave of violence.
We especially call on the government of Kosovo to uphold the rights and safety of returnees, as in the case of Dragica Gasic, whose public persecution and lynching was joined by 11 associations of victims and non-governmental organizations from Djakovica. Such violence and intolerance are not the civic values that civil society should represent, and they neither contribute to dialogue nor to memory culture in Kosovar society. Unprocessed war crimes, the unresolved fates of missing ethnic Albanians, and political battles over local elections in this town cannot be the justification for retaliatory violence against one woman.
Reconciliation between two peoples and creating lasting peace between Serbia and Kosovo cannot happen in Brussels – it needs to happen in our countries. Peace can only be built and sustained through the full respect of democratic values and principles, as well as access to human rights for all citizens. The responsibility for this lies both on the institutions of Kosovo and the institutions of Serbia.