Albanian protests for profs

July 26, 1996

Two professors at the unofficial Albanophone University of Kosovo have become the focus of a new civil rights campaign by ethnic Albanian organisations in Kosovo.

They are Ukshin Hoti, jailed for his political writings, and Agim Vinca, arrested at the end of last month for attempting to travel to Albania without the permission of the Serbian authorities in Kosovo.

A petition for their release has been signed by more than 100 leading ethnic Albanians. Following a one-hour protest meeting to launch the campaign in the Kosovar capital, Pristina, Rexhep Qosja, chairman of the Albanian Forum of Intellectuals, said there are 114 ethnic Albanian political prisoners in Kosovo, most of them scholars and intellectuals.

Many other scholars, artists and writers, he said, are subjected to other forms of harassment, including being summoned to police headquarters for "information talks".

Meanwhile, the activities of the unofficial university continues, holding lectures in private homes and other makeshift premises, since the campus itself is now used for Serbian-taught courses.

Enrolment for next year is now under way with some 6,000 applicants to date, around 4,500 for full-time studies and the rest for part-time correspondence courses.

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