Komisari i Lartë për të Drejtat e Njeriut Amb Z.Lamberto Zannier
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Prinsessegracht 22. 2514 AP The Hague. Netherlands.
Ka konfirmuar takimin me asambleistin dhe kryetarin e degës nga APN në Medvegjë z.Muharrem Salihu.
Salihu e ka konrirmuar këtë lajm i cili tha se do të jetë i shoqeruar me ekspert ndërkombëtar dhe vendor.
Në vazhdim po ua përcjellim shkresën të cilën me datë 23 shtator 2019 z.Salihu ju kishte adresuar ambasadorit z.Zannier, e që do të jetë tema kryesore e këtij takimi.
‘’E thën e bër, persekutimi i shqiptarëve në Serbi veçanërisht në Medvegjë,duhet “miratohet”edhe nga Ndërkombëtarët !!! ose të ndërpritet me ndihmën e tyre, Salihu tha se letër e ngjajsheme tani më është dërguar në disa adresa relevante ndërkombëtare ku pret zhvillime pozitive.
Takimi në Hagë bëhet më datë 15 tetor 2019.
23 September, 2019
The Honorable AmbassadorLambertoZannier
The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
2514 Ap the Hague
Re: Serbia’s Silent EthnicCleansing Campaign in the Municipality of Medvegja (Presevo Valley)
Dear Honorable Ambassador,
I would like to extendmy warmest personal greetingstoyou and express my gratitude for your tireless work to promotenational minority rights, access to justice for minorities, and conflict prevention in general.
We live in troubled times. I write to you today on behalf of the Albanian minority in the municipality of Medvegja, which is located in southern Serbia, and only 83 kilometers south ofNiš. As you might be well-informed, the position of the Albanian minority in Serbia, historically, has always been a precarious one. Over the past few years, however, the situation has changed for the worse. As of September 2011, the Albanian minority in Medvegjahave become thetarget of a carefully planned ethnic-cleansing campaign by the Government of Serbia. By abusing a section of a law that allegedly regulates the residency status of the citizens of Serbia (in Serbian: PasiviziranjePrebivalištaiBoravištaČlan 18), the Serbian authorities are exclusively targeting residents oftheAlbanian community in Medvegja. As a result, they are being systematically deleted from the civil registry while still being legal permanent residents of this municipality. This affects their abilitytoaccessbasic citizen services ranging from social services and healthcare, totheright to privateproperty, andtheright to vote. If you don’t exist as a citizen in a civil registry, you are not entitled to any of these basic citizens’ rights.
This is an unheard form ofdiscrimination in Europe in the 21st century. Yet it has gone remarkably unnoticed in media and political circles.
The consequence of this state-induceddiscrimination was that when the last round of local elections was held on September 8th,2019, in Medvegja, only 1,800Albanianswerelistedaseligible to vote. In 2015, there were 5,000 Albaniansregisteredaseligibletovote. Therefore, within four years, the Government of Serbia is solely responsible for having deleted more than 4,000 Albanians from thecivil registry and the electoralregister. As a result, their voterturnout was minimized, their political representation rendered irrelevant, and theAlbanians of Medvegja have been turned into non-citizens.
I would like to emphasize that most of the Albanians in Medvegja are being deleted from thecivil registry while still being in possessionoftheirofficialdocuments of the Republic of Serbia. The state authorities in charge don’t distinguish between a handicapped citizen or a retired person, young or old, maleorfemale. The only condition is that they have to be Albanians. This is an outright assault on democracy. It is alsounacceptable behavior of a state that aspires to become a member of the European Union in the near future.
As a political representative of the Albanian community in Medvegja, I am deeply disturbed by the fact that until today neitheran international organization in Serbia nor a foreign embassy in Serbia has issued a statement about this silent ethnic cleansing of the Albanians in Medvegja. While the focus of the international community has beencenteredon bringing the Kosovar Albanian political leaders and those of the Republic of Serbia back to the negotiation table in Brussels, a silent ethnic-cleansing campaign against Albanians is taking place in Medvegja.
Honorable Ambassador, given the dramatic developments in our municipality, I urge you to raise this matter to all relevant political institutions and international political bodies. Please take a stand on behalf of the Albanian community in Medvegja, because in doing so you will stand up for a democratic Serbia. We ask you to help us to reinstate the status of Albanian citizens in Medvegja as equal citizens of Serbia. We don’t deny the state of Serbia; Serbia should not deny our existence as citizens.
I would be delighted to meet you in person, to supply you with more detailed information, or otherwise remain open to collaborate with you on this matter.
Municiaplity of Medvegja