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PACE committee demands investigations into organ-trafficking and disappearances in Kosovo and Albania

Strasbourg, 16.12.2010 – The Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called for a series of international and national investigations into evidence of disappearances, organ trafficking, corruption and collusion between organised criminal groups and political circles in Kosovo* revealed this week in a report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE).

According to a draft resolution unanimously approved today in Paris, based on Mr Marty’s report, the committee said there were “numerous concrete and convergent indications” confirming that Serbian and Albanian Kosovars were held prisoner in secret places of detention under Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) control in northern Albania and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing.

The committee added: “Numerous indications seem to confirm that, during the period immediately after the end of the armed conflict […], organs were removed from some prisoners at a clinic in Albanian territory, near Fushë-Kruje, to be taken abroad for transplantation”.

“The international organisations in place in Kosovo favoured a pragmatic political approach, taking the view that they needed to promote short-term stability at any price, thereby sacrificing some important principles of justice,” the parliamentarians said.

The committee called on EULEX, the EU mission in Kosovo, to persevere with its investigative work into these crimes, and on the EU and other contributing states to give the Mission the resources and political support it needed.

It also called on the Serbian and Albanian authorities, and the Kosovo administration, to fully co-operate with all investigations on the subject.

The Parliamentary Assembly is due to debate the report on Tuesday 25th January 2011 during its winter plenary session (24-28 January 2011).

*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.