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Called for Violence Against Pride Paraders

(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…
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Prime Minister Should Refrain from Interfering in Case

(New York) - Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania should not interfere with the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of three anti-government protesters on January 21, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The three protesters were killed…
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Groundbreaking Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Shows Commitment to Rights and Freedoms

(New York) - The anti-discrimination bill approved by Albanian lawmakers on February 4, 2010, is an important step toward ensuring equality for all, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sali Berisha. The bill, which Albania's…
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World Report Highlights Gap Between Record and European Aspirations

(Brussels) - Human rights protections in the Western Balkans lag behind aspirations for European integration, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2010, Human Rights Watch documents human rights conditions and issues in Bosnia, Croatia,…
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  Summary This submission highlights two areas of concern which Human Rights Watch hopes to see reflected in the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of Albania - (1) the failure to investigate credible allegations of illegal detention and abuse of…
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Government Should Prosecute Violence, Prohibit Discrimination

(New York) - The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist, on March 10, 2009, shows a continuing climate of violence based on gender identity that authorities should urgently take steps to combat, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Accountability Must Be Central to Status Talks

The criminal justice system continues to fail victims in Kosovo, despite almost seven years of international administration, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Kosovo’s future status is currently the subject of intense negotiations…
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Weak Government Response and Lenient Sentences Encourage Extremists

The Serbian government is failing to tackle a rising tide of violence against the country’s ethnic and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today as the European Union enlargement commissioner visits Belgrade. The 52-page…
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Government Urged to Curb Violence, Intimidation, Legal and Financial Pressures

The media remains far from free in Albania, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Despite progress since the early 1990s, Human Rights Watch said journalists still risk harassment, physical assaults, and charges of criminal defamation,…
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International Community Should Push for a Full Investigation

Macedonian government forces arbitrarily shelled and burned the ethnic Albanian village of Runica and beat some of its civilian inhabitants last week. Six members of one family were wounded by mortar fire and one man was killed. Seven others civilians…
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Both the Macedonian authorities and the armed ethnic Albanians operating as a group called the National Liberation Army (NLA) must comply with basic principles of international humanitarian law applicable to internal armed conflicts. Last week Macedonian…
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Human Rights Watch today cautiously welcomed the Yugoslav Army's announcement this week that a reported 183 army members have been charged with committing crimes in Kosovo. "While we would welcome fair and independent trials of these lower-ranking…
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Defendants Allege Torture

Allegations of torture and a lack of evidence have marred a political trial against five ethnic Albanian students that resumed today in Belgrade, Human Rights Watch said. The five male defendants, all of them students at Belgrade University, are charged…
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Defendants Allege Torture

Allegations of torture and a lack of evidence have marred a political trial against five ethnic Albanian students in Belgrade. The five male defendants, all of them students at Belgrade University, are charged with terrorism and anti-state activities due…
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Human Rights Watch released a detailed report "Ethnic Cleansing" in the Glogovac Municipality on how Serbian and Yugoslav forces besieged and terrorized the ethnic Albanian population of Glogovac town and the surrounding villages in Kosovo. Human Rights…
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Calls for Transparent Selection Process

The Albanian Parliament has taken a positive step in creating a human rights ombudsman. The ombudsman can play an important role in Albania by acting as an independent monitor of human rights abuses," said Fred Abrahams, Balkans researcher at Human Rights…
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Thirteen Others Believed Executed

Today Human Rights Watch reported that Serb forces massacred an extended family of eighteen ethnic Albanian civilians, including five children, in a forest in the Drenica region of Kosovo on September 26. The massacre was clearly an attack on defenseless…