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EXTRA 21/94 - Yugoslavia: torture and ill-treatment / trial concern: Ismet Mahmuti, Faik Ajeti, Shemsi Veseli, Salih Mustafa, Ismet Veliqi, Avdi Behrami, Azem Gashi (held in Kosovska Mitrovica prison); Fehmi Lestrani, Shkelzen Bajrami, Nexhmedin Sadriu, L

, Index number: EUR 70/007/1994

The ethnic Albanians form Kosovo province named above have allegedly been subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention. As a result, some of them have made statements incriminating themselves or others. AI fears that they may be subjected to more torture or ill-treatment to extract more confessions or to attempt to stop them retracting statements they have already made. They are detained pending trial or following conviction on charges of conspiring to undermine, by violent means, Yugoslavia's territorial integrity.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 70/07/94
Distr: UA/SC
EXTRA 21/94 Torture and ill-treatment / Trial concern 12 March 1994
YUGOSLAVIAIsmet MAHMUTI, Faik AJETI, Shemsi VESELI, Salih MUSTAFA, Ismet
VELIQI, Avdi BEHRAMI, Azem GASHI (held in Kosovska Mitrovica
prison);
Fehmi LESTRANI, Shkëlzen BAJRAMI, Nexhmedin SADRIU, Luan HETA, Beqir MULECI
and Hysni FRANCI (held in Priština district prison).
- ethnic Albanians from Kosovo province in southern Serbia
Amnesty International is concerned by allegations that the ethnic Albanians
named above have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment and that, as a
result, some may have made statements incriminating themselves or others.
The organization fears they may be subjected to more torture or ill-treatment
in order to extract further "confessions", or to attempt to stop them retracting
statements they have already made. The men are detained pending trial or
following conviction on charges of conspiring to undermine, by violent means,
Yugoslavia's territorial integrity under Articles 116 and 136 of the Yugoslav
Criminal Code.
Ismet Mahmuti, Faik Ajeti, Shemsi Veseli and Salih Mustafa were detained in
August 1993 and convicted on 27 February 1994, together with 13 others by the
district court of Priština [see EXTRA 73/94 (EUR 70/18/93, 25 August 1993)
and follow-ups (EUR 70/24/93, 9 December; and EUR 70/04/94, 3 March 1994)].
At the end of March 1994 it was reported that Ismet Mahmuti and Faik Ajeti
were among another group of defendants under investigation - again on charges
under Articles 116 and 136. Lawyers for the four have alleged that, since
transfer from Priština to Kosovska Mitrovica prison in late March, they have
been severely tortured, apparently with the aim of forcing them to make further
statements incriminating themselves or others.
Ismet Veliqi, Avdi Behrami and Azem Gashi, former officers of the Yugoslav
National Army, were arrested at the end of February 1994 and held for
investigation in Kosovska Mitrovica prison. It is alleged that they have been
beaten and tortured with electric batons.
Fehmi Lestrani, Shkëlzen Bajrami, Nexhmedin Sadriu, Luan Heta, Beqir Muleci
and Hysni Franci were arrested in February 1994 and have been charged with
undergoing military training in neighbouring Albania in preparation for
carrying out terrorist acts in Yugoslavia. On 7 April it was reported that
their lawyers had alleged that they had made statements under torture confessing
to the charges against them. However, a lawyer for Shkëlzen Bajrami denied
that his client had engaged in military training in Albania. He said that
Shkëlzen Bajrami had fled to Albania at the end of 1992 in order to avoid
conscription into the Yugoslav Army, spending only a few months there before
going on to work on a farm in Greece.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In the last six months over 60 ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province have been
convicted and sentenced to up to 10 years' imprisonment on charges of making
preparations for armed uprising in order to achieve the province's secession
from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Amnesty International believes that
some of these are prisoners of conscience convicted for the non-violent exercise
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of their human rights. The organization is particularly concerned by repeated
allegations it has received that the defendants, following arrest, were tortured
and otherwise ill-treated in order to obtain self-incriminating statements
from them. The organization documented these concerns in a report published
in February 1994: Yugoslavia - Ethnic Albanians - Trial by Truncheon (EUR
70/01/94).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in either English, French or German or your own language:
- expressing concern about allegations that the above defendants, held in
Kosovska Mitrovica and Priština prisons, have been tortured or otherwise
ill-treated;
- urging that the allegations be thoroughly and impartially investigated and
that any police officer found to be responsible be brought to justice;
- expressing concern that as a result of ill-treatment some defendants may
have made statements incriminating themselves or others which could be used
against them at trial.
APPEALS TO:
1.Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia
Arandjel Marki_evi_
Ministar pravde
Republi_ko Ministarstvo za pravosudje i opštu upravu
Nemanjina 26
11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia
Faxes: +381 11 683 041
Telegrams: Ministar Pravde, Ministarstvo za pravosudje, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Salutation: Dear Minister
2. Director of Kosovska Mitrovica prison
Upravnik zatvora
38220 Kosovska Mitrovica
Yugoslavia
Telegrams: Upravnik zatvora, Kosovska Mitrovica, Yugoslavia
Salutation: Dear Sir
3. Director of Priština district prison
Upravnik okru_nog zatvora
38000 Priština
Yugoslavia
Telegrams: Upravnik okru_nog zatvora, Priština, Yugoslavia
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1. President of the Republic of Serbia
Mr Slobodan Miloševi_
Predsednik Republike Srbije
Andri_ev venac 1
11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia
Faxes: +381 11 682 167
2. Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Priština:
Xhavit Mitrovica 15
38000 Priština, Yugoslavia.
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3. Federal Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs
Ms Margit Savovi_
Bulevar Lenjina 2
11070 Beograd
Yugoslavia
Faxes: +281 11 636 775
and to diplomatic representatives of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 May 1994.

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