Kosovar students jailed

September 4, 1998

A Serbian-run court in Prizren, Kosovo, jailed nine Kosovar-Albanian students on charges of "terrorism" in late August.

The nine were students of the Xhedet Doda college of education and active in the Independent Student Union established by ethnic-Albanian students in Kosovo during a campaign to reclaim the "Serbianised" Pristina University for Albanian-taught courses.

Kosovar-Albanian academics were also the focus of protests alleging harassment when invited to a "pan-Albanian scholarly meeting" in Gostivar in neighbouring Macedonia, which itself has a large ethnic-Albanian minority.

Macedonian border guards subjected them to an intensive search, confiscated their personal papers and then refused them entry.

Scholars from Albania, including Ylli Popa, head of the Albanian Academy of Sciences, had problems on their way home from Gostivar. Their papers were scrutinised and photocopied. The Academy of Sciences has issued a strong protest, noting that the ban on the Kosovar-Albanian scholars entering Macedonia came when the prime ministers of Macedonia and Albania were talking of strengthening inter-state ties.

Letters, page 15

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