Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vetevendosje Clashes with Police

Kosovo Police clashed with Vetevendosje demonstrators as the Self-Determination Group gathered to block two Kosovo borders, protesting reciprocity measures against Serbia, on Saturday, 14 January.  Many people were injured, reportedly Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti, as protestors hurled rocks at the police and the police responded with pepper spray, water cannons, and tear gas.  More than 140 people were arrested and around 50 people, mostly police, were injured during the protest.

After the protests concluded, the blame game began with Kosovo politicians criticizing Vetevendosje's methods and Vetevendosje accussing the police of brutality and Prime Minister Haschim Thaci of encouraging the crackdown.  Protesting the use of force against the Vetevendosje demonstartion, 50 NGOs gathered outside the Kosovo government building today.

Many have criticized Vetevendosje's actions likening them to intimidation used in the 1999 war and the EU Rapporteur for the Western Balkans calls them a "provocation promoting isolation "