June 21, 2012 | 10:38
Serbs harassed by Kosovo police over plates
GNJILANE — At the Bela Zemlja administrative crossing, Kosovo police are performing detailed inspections of cars owned by Serbs.
They are confiscating license plates issued by the Serbian Interior Ministry from the drivers in a humiliating way, local TV Plus reported late on Wednesday.
Goran Milošević from the eastern Kosovo village of Parteš said he had suffered humiliation and harassment only because Kosovo police had not found the new license plates in his vehicle during the control at the administrative crossing.
“I was harassed at the Bela Zemlja administrative crossing for more than an hour,” he told the TV station, adding that Kosovo police had asked him to hand over the plates he had not had with him at all.
Ljubinko Todorović, president of Humkos, a human and minority rights organization, said that Kosovo police had no legal grounds to seize from Serbs the new Serbian license plates that had initial letters of Kosovo cities inscribed on them, and were found inside the vehicle.
Todorović, who is also a former deputy ombudsman of Kosovo, said that the plates could only be taken away from the driver if certain offenses were involved.
Earlier this month, the Priština government adopted a decision that bans the use of license plates with the initial letters of Kosovo towns issued by the Serbian Interior Ministry.
Kosovo police seize the license plates even if they are not mounted on the vehicle and are found inside the car.