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31.5.2006

PRESS RELEASE

On 24 May 2006, after having received information from the administration of the Detention Center in Mitrovica (hereinafter “DCM”) about a hunger strike in their facility, the representatives of the Ombudsperson Institution met with the Director


On 24 May 2006, after having received information from the administration of the Detention Center in Mitrovica (hereinafter “DCM”) about a hunger strike in their facility, the representatives of the Ombudsperson Institution met with the Director of the DCM, which is located in the northern part of Mitrovica, where they received first hand information about the reasons for which eleven detainees and the prisoners of Serbian ethnicity started their hunger strike.

According to the Director of the DCM, the health situation of the strikers is good and they were examined by medical personnel. He also said that the strikers had refused food but they were drinking water. Furthermore, the Director said that there were no complaints from the strikers as regards the conduct of personnel or conditions in the DCM, but the reasons causing the strike were court proceedings and judgments involving the strikers.

The detainees and prisoners were discontented because their cases were tried by judges of Albanian ethnicity and they requested that their cased be reviewed by international judges.

Based on the obtained information, the Ombudsperson representatives took the initiative to find ways to put an end to the hunger strike, and on 25 May 2006, they talked with some other strikers and listened to their concerns regarding court proceedings involving them.

Finally, as a result of direct talks between the Ombudsperson representatives and the strikers, the latter agreed to stop the strike under the condition that the UNMIK Judicial Department, within 15 days, gives an answer to their request for review of their cases by international judges.
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