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Ethnic Albanian journalist arrested in Kosovo

(HRW/IFEX) - On 19 August 1998, HRW expressed deep concern about the most
recent arrest of an ethnic Albanian journalist in the war-torn province of
Kosovo. Musa Kurhasku, correspondent for the largest Albanian-language daily
newspaper, "Koha Ditore", was taken into police custody on 19 August 1998,
around 3:00 p.m. (local time) from his home in Dakovica. Five policemen
reportedly raided his home and confiscated articles, documents, his
telephone book and telex machine.

According to the "Koha Ditore" editorial offices in Prishtina, Mr. Kurhasku
had been summoned to the Dakovica police station on the morning of 19 August
1998. The police allegedly told him to go to another city, Orahovac, in
order to negotiate the release of an ethnic Serb who had been captured by
members of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA).
Mr. Kurhasku reportedly refused to go, saying that it was not a journalist's
responsibility to act as a broker or to do the work of the Red Cross.

Although HRW could not confirm this story, it is consistent with other
reports of Serbian police ordering ethnic Albanian civilians to negotiate
with the KLA.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
  • calling for Mr. Kurhasku's immediate release
  • urging that full respect for freedom of the press be guaranteed

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Slobodan Milosevic
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    email: [email protected]
    Fax: +38 111 636 (775) / (682) / (167)

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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