* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty

International *

News Service: 186/99 AI INDEX: EUR 70/112/99 5 October1999



Amnesty International urges KLA Leader to stop human rights abuses

Amnesty International today called on Hashim Thaçi, former political

representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), to take a strong and

visible stand against all killings, abductions, ill-treatment, house

burnings and attempts at expulsion committed against members of ethnic

minorities in Kosovo.

In its letter, the human rights organization is urging Mr Thaçi, one of

the most prominent ethnic Albanian political figures, to use his

position of moral authority and influence among the Albanians of Kosovo,


- bring to an end human rights abuses against ethnic Serbs, Roma or

members of other minority groups;

- ensure that all individuals and organizations cooperate with KFOR, the

police and the judicial system being set up under United Nations Mission

in Kosovo (UNMIK) supervision, to ensure that the perpetrators are

brought to justice.

Amnesty International has campaigned for many years against the

institutionalized human rights violations perpetrated by the Serbian

police in Kosovo, and against the appalling level of human rights

violations committed during the conflict, of which ethnic Albanians were

overwhelmingly the victims. This suffering, however, cannot in any

circumstances justify further human rights abuses.

The judicial system is the mechanism for achieving justice and Amnesty

International will never cease to maintain pressure for suspects from

the former Yugoslavia to be brought to justice both in the International

Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and national courts.


Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street,

WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom


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