Albanians riot over verdict in quintuple murder case

A protest was held in Skopje on Friday in front of a court after six ethnic Albanians were sentenced to life in prison earlier in the week.

Source: B92, Tanjug

The group was found guilty of murdering five Macedonian men in April 2012, just before Orthodox Easter.

The local media are reporting today that thousands of mostly young Albanians gathered for the protest, and threw rocks at the police, who responded with stun grenades, tear gas, and water canons.

The protesters were carrying Albanian flags with Islamic markings, and beside chanting "UCK" - the Albanian language acronym for the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA - they were also shouting "Allahu Akbar."

The demonstration was called via social networks, and is reportedly organized by human rights activists and family members of those convicted for the brutal killing of the five men.

The invitation to the protest was circulated on the internet, specifying that the gathering would be held after Friday prayers in mosques, and added:

"We organize a protest against staged trials, injustice, unpunished murders, mistreatment of families, ethnic and religious hatred. People, this is not merely a protest, it is a national duty. Unless we intervene today when injustice has reached its peak, let the seed of the cowards be erased."

The text added that the protest was supported by "many associations and societies for human rights, Albanian organizations, and public figures."

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