No investigation into murder of journalist Afrim Maliqi

Earlier last year, the OSCE mission in Vienna added the name of Afrim Maliqi, journalist of the newspaper "Bujku" to the list of murdered journalists.

Source: UNS, Jelena L. Petkovic
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Afrim Maliqi (photographs taken from his book 'Vepra 1', published by Centar za kulturu Podujeva, 2007)
Afrim Maliqi (photographs taken from his book 'Vepra 1', published by Centar za kulturu Podujeva, 2007)

He was killed on December 2nd, 1998, in Prishtina, in the Sunny Hill neighborhood, and according to the Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS), an investigation into this crime is not conducted either by the authorities in Belgrade nor in Prishtina.

For the UNS Dossier, his daughter, Gresė Maliqi, said (earlier) that her father was killed together with his best friends, Hyzri Talla, one of the KLA commanders in the operational zone Llap, and student Ilir Durmishi.

- Witnesses, Albanians who could see what happened through apartment windows, heard that people who were shooting at them spoke Serbian. They saw a wounded girl, but she never wanted to testify. As far as we know, the Serbian police came quickly, a few minutes after they were killed. Also, the Serbian prosecutor, together with the police, went to the crime scene. We do not know what exactly happened, because we do not know anything for sure, says for the UNS Dossier Gresė Maliqi.

As she added, her family did not get any information from the police.

- Until the next day, they did not allow us to take over my father's body. My family members did not speak to members of the Serbian police about this case because it was not requested. The hospital report stated that three of them were killed from a rifle but does not mention with how many bullets. On the other hand, the Serbian police told one of my family members that my father was killed with more than 30 bullets. For now, there is no investigation into my father's and his friends case. Perhaps, because it was war time, and most of the casualties in the war remain largely unexplored – she stated.

The Kosovo Memory published by the Humanitarian Law Center states that Afrim Maliqi was killed as a member of armed formations. According to the KLA records, Maliqi was a member of the 152 Brigade. However, other information indicates that he was killed as a civilian.

- In order to emphasize the impunity for the killings of journalists, the Office of the High Representative for Freedom of the Media has created a list of media workers who have been killed in the OSCE region in the last 25 years. Mr. Afrim Maliqi was a journalist in the newspaper Bujku, killed in Prishtina in 1998. It was indeed very hard to determine whether a person was killed as a journalist, civilian or a member of the armed forces. For us, the most important thing is that he was a media professional, while it is on the local authorities to bring justice to all those responsible and transparently investigate all the circumstances surrounding those killings - OSCE mission in Vienna responded to UNS.

Afrim Maliqi was born on December 1, 1965. He graduated and began his MA in Albanian language at the University of Pristina. He was one of the founders of the Cultural Center in Podujevo in 1990. Since 1992, he worked as a teacher at Podujevo Elementary School, and two years later began his journalistic career in the newspaper "Rilindja," which he continued in "Bujku" newspapers. He initially reported on culture and education, and since 1995, on politics.

- The first such text was published on February 15, 1995 in "Bujku", and speaks about Albanians employed in the Serbian administration, that is, that they were discriminated and plundered. He wrote about the massacres, murders, burnt villages - says his daughter.

Afrim Maliqi, Hizri Talla and Ilir Durmishi in Kosovo have been proclaimed national martyrs, and three streets bear their names. Also, in 2013, former Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga awarded Maliqi the Order of Freedom, and in the cultural events "Kadri Kadriu," the award for best poetry is named after Maliqi.

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