Serbs were beaten in custody, Vučić says

BUJANOVAC -- Serbian Deputy PM and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vučić says it has been officially confirmed that Kosovo police brutally beat Serbs they arrested on Christmas.

The Kosovo police arrested ten young Serbs who attended Christmas liturgy in the Gračanica monastery together with Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo Director Aleksandar Vulin on January 7.

“I want to point out what we have so far known from testimonies of the arrested young men and now we have received an official confirmation that the Serbs who accompanied Vulin and who were arrested in Kosovo and Metohija were brutally beaten,” Vučić told reporters during his visit to Serbian Army (VS) Dobrosin Base near the southern town of Bujanovac on Sunday.

He explained that a young man who had an Albanian father and a Serb mother had been subjected to the worst beating. Vučić claims that the man was repeatedly kicked and hit in the groin and that the Kosovo police officers said they were doing it “so he could not have children”. The man suffered serious injuries to the urethra and is being treated in Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital.

The Kosovo police have denied beating up the Serbs while they were in custody.

“This actually tells us how important it is to have good, honest and fair relations with Albanians in Bujanovac and Preševo. Laws of the Republic of Serbia are in effect here and they will be respected,” the defense minister added, referring to a situation regarding a controversial monument in downtown Preševo.

Political representatives of ethnic Albanians in the south on Saturday rejected a proposal of the Serbian government to remove the memorial honoring members of the so-called Liberation Army of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa (UCPMB).