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Meeting with the members of the minority communities in Prizren

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The Coalition for RECOM organized a meeting with the members of the minority communities, in Prizren, on 12th of April 2011. It was executed by the Centre for Research, Documentation and Publication, for the purpose of advocating and lobbying for the signature collection campaign for RECOM, planned to open on April 26th, 2011.

The Coalition for RECOM organized a meeting with the members of the minority communities, in Prizren, on 12th of April 2011. It was executed by the Centre for Research, Documentation and Publication, for the purpose of advocating and lobbying for the signature collection campaign for RECOM, planned to open on April 26th, 2011.

Participants were almost exclusively positive in assessment of their respective communities, and also supported the campaign to set up the Regional Commission for establishing facts of war crimes in the territories of the Former Yugoslavia.

Hamdi Bilurdagi, of Turkish community mentioned the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue and asked whether the issue of missing persons would constitute a part of such dialogue.  He supported the idea of setting up the RECOM and expressed readiness to inform his community about the signature collection.

A Bosniac and director of ‘Radio S”, Salih Jashari, who also works at the Municipal Assembly – in the office for communities in Ferizaj/Urosevac supported the idea, emphasizing the issue of missing persons as a priority for Kosovo society. He mentioned that within Roma/Ashkali/Egyptian community, there are many persons not evidenced as killed or missing.

Amir Jakupi from ‘Alim’ radio mentioned that during the conflict of 1999, some 65 Bosniacs were killed in Kosovo. Such Commission will be a positive sign that the truth appears in the ears of everyone.

Kujtim Pacaku, an adviser for communities to the President of Kosovo, and the head of Roma community said that he heard about RECOM and therefore he supported such initiative. He said that in Prizren, only 3 Roma are evidenced as missing, while the number might be bigger, one of the reasons is that Roma persons in most cases refuse to identify as Roma and they lose their identity. He mentioned the fact that in rural areas, the number of those missing and killed might be bigger, but never disclosed. He added that during the bombardment of 1999, some 20 Roma were killed in Prizren only.  He asked why the mandate of RECOM does not cover the period up to 2004. The detailed explanations about the mandate were given to him by Nora Ahmetaj.

Within the Turkish community, there were no killed or missing. However, this is not the reason for not supporting such idea. Mr. Pacaku ponted out the lack of witness protection program and how difficult would it be for witnesses to testify RECOM.

Boasniacs and Gorani also supported the idea. Bosniac participants claimed to be the second largest community in Prizren, and they confirmed the dedication of their communities to contribute to the signature collection campaign.