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Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Further information on "disappearance" / fear of torture and new concern: torture

, Index number: EUR 70/031/1996

Besim Sokol Rama, Avni Smajl Nura, Osman Sokol Rama and 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 reportedly stated that he had been tortured during interrogation. On 7 October 1996 the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug reported that Idriz Halit Asllani, had been arrested in connection with bomb attacks on a police station and a refugee camp earlier this year.

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:
Torture
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.
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FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English, French, German or Russian or your own language,
using as much of the following as you can:
- expressing deep concern about allegations that Osman Sokol Rama from Gornji
Prekaz was detained and tortured, apparently by police, from 27 September to
3 October 1996;
- calling for a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into these
allegations and previous similar allegations relating to his detention from
17 to 23 September;
- noting reports of the arrest of Idriz Halit Asllani in connection with
bomb attacks in Vu_itrn;
- acknowledging the gravity of the offences of which Besim Rama, Avni Nura
and (separately) Idriz Asllani are suspected and the duty of the authorities
to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes;
- emphasising, however, that it is also the duty of the authorities to carry
out investigations in conformity with national and international law;
- seeking assurances that Besim Rama, Avni Nura and Idriz Asllani are not being
subjected to torture or ill-treatment and that Osman Rama will be protected
from further torture and ill-treatment;
- urging that Besim Rama, Avni Nura and Idriz Asllani be granted full legal
safeguards, in conformity with national law and Yugoslavia's international
human rights undertakings, including access to their families and lawyers.
APPEALS TO:
1) President of the Republic of Serbia
Mr Slobodan Miloševi_
Predsednik Republike Srbije
Andri_ev venac 1
11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia
Fax: +381 11 682 167
Telegrams: President Milosevic, Beograd, Yugoslavia
Salutation: Dear President
2) Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
Mr Zoran Sokolovic
Ministar Unutrasnjih Poslova Republike Srbije
Kneza Milosa 101, 11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia
Fax: +381 11 683 041 or 685 937
Telegrams: MUP Srbije, Beograd, Yugoslavia
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
Milan Milutinovi_
Ministar za inostrane poslove
Savezno ministarstvo za inostrane poslove
Kneza Miloša 24
11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia
Fax: + 381 11 682 668
Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Pristina
Xhavit Mitrovica 15, 38000 Pristina, Yugoslavia
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and to diplomatic representatives of 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 13 November 1996.

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