EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 70/31/96
11 October 1996
Further information on EXTRA 153/96 (EUR 70/29/96, 2 October 1996) and follow-up
(EUR 70/30/96, 7 October) - "Disappearance" / Fear of torture and new concern:
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIABesim Sokol Rama
Avni Smajl Nura
Osman Sokol Rama
new name: Idriz Halit Asllani
- ethnic Albanians
Amnesty International has learned that Osman Sokol Rama was released on 3 October
1996 after having been detained, apparently by police, for six days. (He had
previously been detained from 17 September to 23 September 1996).
According to reports in the local Albanian-language press, Osman Rama has
testified that on 27 September he was detained by men who were unknown to him,
but who he believes (on the basis of their subsequent conduct) were plainclothes
police. They put a sack over his head and drove him in an unknown direction.
According to his testimony, they took him to a house and interrogated him
about weapons they claimed he possessed, about his son currently living in
Germany, about Besim Rama (his brother in detention), and about local ethnic
Albanian political leaders. He reportedly stated: "While they interrogated
me they tortured me so badly that I lost consciousness several times. They
punched me and struck me with truncheons all over my body, but mostly my head
and face, although they even hit my genitals. They used a ruler to hit my ears,
nose, head and neck. They grabbed me by the throat and lifted me up. At the
end, they tied my legs and hung me upside down. While I was hanging upside
down they threw water at my nose and also cigarette ash. They would blow cigarette
smoke at my nose".
Osman Rama stated that on 3 October at 1pm he was taken, again with his head
covered, to a place some three kilometres away from his home, and was left
there. He said that while he was in custody the men who had detained him made
him sign blank papers and he fears now that his signature may be misused.
On 7 October 1996 the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug reported that a third ethnic
Albanian, Idriz Halit Asllani, had been arrested in connection with bomb attacks
on a police station and a refugee camp in Vu_itrn in Kosovo province earlier
this year. These attacks did not cause casualties. The limited available
information suggests that Besim Rama and Avni Nura are not suspected of
involvement in the latter attacks.
It has since been reported that Besim Rama, Avni Nura and Idriz Asllani were
questioned by an investigating judge without their lawyers being present and
(in the case of Besim Rama and Avni Nura) that this first questioning took
place over two weeks after their arrest on 17 September, in violation of Yugoslav
law which stipulates that detainees must be brought before the investigating
judge within three days of arrest. The lawyers have also complained that they
were not permitted access to their clients, who are being held in Priština,
until 8 October, and then were not allowed to speak to them about the charges
against them. They were permitted only to ask their clients if they needed
clothes brought. They said they believed their clients had been ill-treated.