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11.2.2007

Acting Ombudsperson calls for swift, thorough and independent investigation into protest deaths

Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari has expressed his condolences to the families of two citizens who lost their lives during yesterday’s demonstrations by supporters of the “Vetëvendosje” [Self-Determination] movement.
Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari has expressed his condolences to the families of two citizens who lost their lives during yesterday’s demonstrations by supporters of the “Vetëvendosje” [Self-Determination] movement.
Apart from the Ombudsperson Institution conducting its own independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths, Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Jashari is sending letters to the Prime Minister, Ministers of Interior and Justice, as well as the SRSG calling for swift, thorough and fully impartial investigations into yesterday’s protests and deaths.

“There must be a sufficient element of public scrutiny into the circumstances surrounding these deaths,” Mr. Jashari said today. “The authorities owe this not only to the families affected, but also to the wider public, in the interests of maintaining public confidence in the authorities’ adherence to the rule of law.”

The Acting Ombudsperson reiterated that the investigations, although swift, should proceed with caution and pay particular attention to what is at stake: The right of activists to exercise freedom of expression in a democratic society.

“Whatever findings these investigations yield, the fact remains that two lives were cut short during yesterday’s demonstrations,” Mr. Jashari said. “Such a tragedy must not be repeated.”
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