PODGORICA — An 81-year-old refugee from Kosovo, entering the territory from Montenegro where he now resides, was brutally beaten by members of the Kosovo police (KPS).
The incident happened on the Savine Vode crossing.
The victim was identified as Kostadin Stijović, now a resident of the town of Andrijevica in Montenegro.
Stijović was the only non-Albanian traveling on a bus that was stopped at Savine Vode, when the KPS members took him outside, and immediately started hitting him with their fists and feet, a Montenegrin association of refugees from Kosovo said in a statement on Thursday.
The 81-year-old fell by the side of the road in a semi-conscious condition. The victim was then sent back to Montenegro.
While they were assaulting Stijović, the KPS members were saying that the documents he had produced were not valid in the “state of Kosovo”. That included his ID card issued by “the Serb police authority (SUP) in Dečane”, and his refugee ID issued by a Montenegrin government body.
As they were beating Stijović, the KPS members also told their victim that he could only pass through “if he recognized the state of Kosovo”.
The Association of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees in Montenegro said in the statement that it sent a demand to the EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, to start an investigation into the case and take appropriate measures against the perpetrators.
“The serious beating of Stijović is yet another proof that the security for Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo is at the lowest possible level, and that the interim Kosovo institutions are intentionally obstructing the process of return (of refugees), but also endangering the survival of the remaining Serb population in the province,” said the statement.