Ivanović pens letter explaining hunger strike

GI SDP leader Oliver Ivanović has written in a letter published by the Belgrade daily Politika that he "does not feel safe in prison in Priština."

Source: Politika, Tanjug

Ivanović, who began a hunger strike on Tuesday after his requests to be transferred to a detention unit in Kosovska Mitrovica was rejected for the third time, added that "a political and completely nonsensical process" was being conducted against him.

"Such procedure would be doomed to failure in advance before any legal institution, which is what the prosecution is apparently also aware of, but the obvious intention is to exhaust, discourage and eventually break me in this way," Ivanović said in the letter.

"Even thought I have a legal basis, and legal, human and economic reasons which should be more than enough for any true legal institution or for humane people, it seems to me I expect justice and humanity in the wrong place," wrote Ivanović, who also said this was the only way to explain the persistent refusal to transfer him to a place close to his family.

He said that his family was subjected to harassment and had to take trips to Priština, which is no longer safe for them.

'' All this rejection, beside violating the law, constitutes a violation of my human rights," he said.

Ivanović added that "because of the well-founded sense of insecurity in his surroundings, which are one hundred percent Albanian," he does not use the right to take indoor walks, while the only television programs available are in Albanian.

"Because of everything I am going through, which I considered extremely inhumane and inhuman, I decided to embark on a hunger strike," he said.

"Your support means a lot to me, and everything that the Serbian government has been doing, but it obviously was not enough, so I must choose this form of protest to draw the attention to the injustice that I perceive," said Ivanović, who is one of the political leaders of Serbs in northern Kosovo.

He believes that it is important to use "reason and constructive cooperation to maintain order and peace in Kosovska Mitrovica and start solving the accumulated problems in the town related to utilities, and at the same make sure not to allow the imposition of some political decisions that are not in the interest of the people."

Ivanović believes that both himself and the citizens of Kosovska Mitrovica are being pressured, and adds that they already showed political maturity and the ability to resist.

''The constitution of municipal authorities needs to be completed, because they hope in Priština that this will not succeed, so they could get another 'argument' against Serbs in northern Mitrovica and the community of Serb municipalities," he wrote, adding that "it was clear that the Serbs are not forgiven for surviving in Kosovska Mitrovica and in northern Kosovo."

Ivanović was arrested in late January and is accused of taking part in alleged war crimes in 1999, and in post-war incidents that included aggravated murder.


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