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Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Kosovo province): Further information on fear of ill-treatment / possible extrajudicial executions and new concern: death in custody

, N° d'index: EUR 70/008/1997

Besnik Restelica (new name), an ethnic Albanian from Podujevo in Kosovo province, who was arrested on 31 January 1997, is reported to have died in custody in Pristina. He was among some 90 ethnic Albanians arrested on charges of having committed or planned terrorist acts against Serbs, mainly police officers. Another 16 ethnic Albanians have been under investigation on similar charges since 5 February. Police reportedly told his family on 23 February that he had committed suicide in his cell. However, ethnic Albanian sources state that his body was marked by severe bruising indicating that he had been tortured in police, and may have died as a result of this ill-treament. Of those arrested, at least 40 have been released, and many have alleged that they were tortured in police custody.

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