Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has called on Kosovo’s judicial authorities to prosecute members of the Romanian police unit believed to be responsible for the death of two men during protests held in Pristina two years ago.
“On the second anniversary of the unlawful killing of Mon Balaj and Arben Xheladini, Amnesty International calls for an end to impunity for members of a Romanian police unit believed to be responsible for their deaths”, announced the organisation in a statement today.
Both men were part of a February 10, 2007 protest by the activist group “Vetvendosje” against United Nations resolutions for the status of Kosovo.
They were shot at with rubber bullets by Romanian police officers of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, sent to the demonstration to keep the peace.
Amnesty International said that the use of rubber bullets was unlawful.
“An internal UNMIK investigation in 2007 found that the cause of death of the protesters was the improper use of rubber bullets by unknown members of the Romanian police unit. By the time these conclusions had been drawn, members of the police unit had been repatriated”, the statement read.
Kosovo prosecutors have yet to investigate the case, burdened by a backlog of thousands of cases. UNMIK authorities and Romanian officials have also remained vague on the issue of jurisdiction.
No independent criminal investigation by the Kosovo authorities has ever been opened into the killings. An investigation by a military prosecutor in Romania was not, as far as the organization has been informed, able to identify the perpetrators.