Abdula 1

Safe. At home

May, 2020

Incredible times. In just few months, almost the whole humanity got isolated. Inside their own houses. Quite some reflection will be needed to be able to crystalize all the learning and insights we have all gained in these, rather odd times. In meantime, we have heard many reports of the nature reviving, as we, the humans, have been calmer than usual…

By the power of our own fear, in a hostile setting, we are being forced to stay where we truly belong – home. We are re-discovering our freedom from the attachments outside that we have perceived as necessary parts of our days. We are re-discovering the cosiness of the place where we are being obliged to stay. Re-discovering our own duties toward that place. We have been missed, home.

How important in these fragile times to remember those that have lost the luxury of having that safe space called “home”; milions of refugees in camps near the borders, many more IDPs, just not being able to go back home, and massive number of homeless people, all around the world, that have never had such a feeling of belonging to a place. Also to remember those that in such times feel abandoned; at the beginning of the “pandemic panic”, a journalist from Gracanica, central Kosovo, writes:

At a time when almost the entire world is panicking about the spread of the Covid-19, for whom not much is known, my question is: to whom do Serbs from central Kosovo belong? Whom to contact and whom to listen to? In fact, the real question is – is anyone interested in them?

Such a feeling of not belonging is a consequence of longer hostile relations between the governments these ordinary people’s lives are related to; in Prishtina, and in Belgrade. This is a small indicator of the need for relationship-building between the two. Otro mundo es possible; we have discovered in these odd time that, if we invest some will and creativity, it is possible to do many things differently, better.

Sure, this situation will end, and many say that world will not be the same. We don’t know how that will look like, but we do know we will go back outside, and our chaotic rush between the “inner” and the “outer” of our lives, will continue. And let it be so, that is us, the humans; needing a place to call home, yet eager to explore everything outside of that home. But, keep in mind that just because we, the humans, are not disturbing it, the nature is reviving… And also keep in mind – you are not stuck home, you are safe there. Hold on, few more days…

Abdullah b. FERIZI
for KCR. May 2020
Abdullah comes from Mitrovica, lives in Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, and is engaged in peace work in Kosovo and wider, for the last twenty years.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of NGO AKTIV and members of the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Kosovo report 2019 ALB SRB ENG cover-page-001

HLCK – “War Crimes Trials – Still at The Beginning”


Within the regular activities of the “Monitoring Conflict Related Crime Trials in Kosovo and the Inclusion of the Youth in the Justice Sector” project, in the second half of February 2020, the Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo (HLCK) finished drafting its planned yearly report on the most significant trials monitored during past year, titled “War Crimes Trials – Still at The Beginning”.

The report itself includes an analysis of trials monitored by HLCK monitors during 2019. In addition, we have analyzed the results of attempts by the Kosovo judicial institutions to prosecute war crimes. We have also included recommendations for the country’s judicial institutions, should they be interested in overcoming the major issues faced by the Kosovo judiciary and achieve the best possible results in prosecuting war crimes in the coming period – this based on our experience both as monitors of war crimes trials over many years and the HLC’s wider experience in monitoring war crimes in the Western Balkan region.

Sadly, the previous year was also marked by a very small number of sessions held in cases related to war crimes charges. The HLCK report for 2019 included 19 cases, in all stages of criminal procedure.  Pretrial procedure was initiated against eight (8) persons who were arrested during the year on the basis of a reasonable doubt of having committed war crime against civilian population. They were mainly arrested at border crossings, when entering the territory of Kosovo. On this occasion, they were placed in detention and investigations were also initiated against them. In relation to two (2) of the arrested persons, and after obtaining evidence, investigations were suspended and they were released from detention. In relation to four (4) suspects, late in the year, three (3) indictments were filed, while the investigative procedure continued in relation to the remaining two (2).

Two (2) main trials initiated in previous years in relation to war crimes continued in the reporting period. The report includes published an analysis of appeals procedures in relation to these charges, as well certain cases connected with war crimes cases, that are politically or ethnically motivated. You may find more details on these and other observations that, according to the HLCK, marked the Kosovo judiciary in 2019, in the online version of our yearly report “War Crimes Trials – Still at the Beginning”.

The Project “Monitoring Conflict Related Crime Trials in Kosovo and the Inclusion of the Youth in the Justice Sector” is funded by Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the British Embassy in Pristina and the European Union in Kosovo through the project “Transforming conflicting perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo”.


Feminist Spring School – Second virtual meeting


Art and Community Center – Artpolis from Kosovo and Alternative Girl’s Center from Serbia on 7 May, 2020 organized the second virtual meeting with girls selected to participate on Feminist Spring school 2020 – the first part.

This meeting was facilitated by Jelena Memet, Agnesa Xheladini , Jetbardha Selmani and Sandra Farkaš. On this meeting, the girls shared with each other their personal experiences during this pandemic, and the supportive mechanisms that are helping them during this period.

The project: “Young women build peace in Kosovo and Serbia” was implemented in cooperation with Artpolis – Art and Community Center and Alternativni Centar za Devojke while supported from European Union in Kosovo and Kvinna till Kvinna.

Miodrag Marinkovic-Photo

Viral Dialogue


Author: Miodrag Miki Marinkovic

Program Director of NGO AKTIV

In last couple of weeks the world has changed before our eyes. It changed to extent greater than it had in last two decades. If by chance, someone slept through those tormenting two weeks in March or embarked on journey to some, off the grid destinations, the changes that awaited were astonishing.

Once he/she, for the purpose of this piece, let’s call it a traveler, left the Kosovo, along with passport and baggage, he brought along the unwavering persuasion of rightfulness of developed world.  The traveler left home with outmost piety toward fabled European values, solidarity, tolerance, unity, cooperation. Coming from restless Balkan, where differences are often treated with insults, disrespect and fear, where people seeks comfort solely among those alike, the traveler envied the Europeans that embraced such a way of life. He felt butterflies in his stomach at the airport as being a few steps away from such a world.

When traveler finally came back, world that he left, was no more. In just 15 days the unthinkable has happen; Germany closed its borders, Italy closed its people, USA closed the cashbox, Europe has closed its schools, factories, Starbucks’s and Zara’s. Everyone got closed. The images of famous squares in Europe, Plazza de Orient, Champs Elysees, Santa Maria Piazza, he knew only packed with annoying tourists with cameras and socks with sandals, were now deserted in broad daylight. The images resembled the apocalyptic movies scenes.  The fear prevailed and took over a minds of people.

So the people started to act out of fear. The media headlines flashed before travelers eyes, shattered the myths of EU solidarity into thousand little selfish pieces

“Italian authorities have seized a shipment of 1,840 manual respirators intended for patients receiving hospital treatment for COVID-19 in Greece”

“French border guards impounded lorries filled with 130,000 face masks bound for the UK”

Czech Republic seizes more than 100,000 face masks sent by China to help Italy tackle spread” ….

The very same European solidarity, we all heard a million times as, for us, unattainable value, imploded into state protectionisms, self-centeredness and unprecedented Machiavellianism of European Union states. It proved what theorists and analysts suspected, there is no EU identity. It’s counts more for being Spaniard, German or Italian then European.

One would thought that, once the EU civility as exemplary political and social model vanished, traded for the boxes of surgical masks, Balkan states would resort to deeply embedded animosities and rivalry. Especially because now there is few left to scrutinize them. But no. That was not what happened. Balkan nations, especially Serbs and Albanians as epitome of its calamity, practiced one skill, believed to be long forgotten;


The borders were opened for food, medicine, doctors to travel freely to his patients. Medical aid was shared. Politicians has meet without EU patronage, to discuss how to tackle the pandemic, ministries meet to exchange expertise and information, And no one paid attention to formalities, whether Kosovo is Republic or Kosovo * on the declaration of the aid that was sent, or the flags on the desks of ministers.  There was no time for such a formalities.  Leaders set a differences aside and acted with intention not to harm. Of course, it’s not that we achieved a miracles, groundbreaking improvements or something of such magnitude. But it was obvious that there was an effort invested, conscious effort, not to make things harder for each other. Knowing where we were just a while ago, I dare to say, this was great improvement.

So, once the first shock with the news ended, our traveler start to wonder how come we acted more mature and responsible than renowned EU democracies. How come our politicians, populists as they are, refrained from cashing in our enmities like so many times so far, and acted with consideration? What have happened?

The empathy happened. Pure and simple understanding what ‘others’ are experiencing and newly found ability to relate with them. This tiny submicroscopic agent, deconstructed and reshuffled all divisions that we created. It was no longer important were we born as Serbs and Albanians, Christians or Muslims. It became us versus virus. It made us understood that living next to each other we share not only claims, but concerns as well. That we depend on each other wellbeing.

The question is, was such epiphany exclusive to the end-of-the-world scenarios, or could have we acted more responsible in all our petty grudges in the past. Could have we acted with empathy if not for our mutually exclusive national ideas but for the victims they left behind. The decades has passed but we as society have not succeeded to build an understanding and acknowledge the victims beyond its national identity.  Centuries has passed and we have failed to overcome the urge of subordination of the other as the only possible way to co-existence.

Last couple weeks showed that, despite the common belief, we do have such capacity. This crisis revealed a glimpse of it. We as society demonstrated that we are capable of more responsible and considerate actions toward each other. It’s not popular, for sure. We can already hear a voices to restore “natural order” in which we hate each other. But, regardless of that, one things has changed irreversibly.   The idea that Serbs and Albanian cannot live together is proven wrong.

The end