Kosovo PM Criticized for Appointing War Criminal as Adviser


The Youth Initiative for Human Rights group in Kosovo and Serbia (YIHR) said on Tuesday that Kosovo Premier Ramush Haradinaj was wrong to appoint Sylejman Selimi as his adviser because of his war crimes conviction.

Selimi was released on parole on January 25 after serving more than five years of his seven-year prison sentence for torturing a civilian prisoner at an improvised KLA detention center in the village of Likovc in the Skenderaj municipality in 1998 and early 1999. He was jailed for eight years by judges at Mitrovica Basic Court in May 2015, but the appeals court in Pristina cut his sentence to seven years in October 2016.

“People who committed war crimes do not belong in Kosovo state institutions. The decision to appoint Selimi as a political adviser points to… the government’s lack of commitment to justice, reconciliation, and peace,” the YIHR said in a statement. The YIHR also said that other Kosovo officials, such as President Hashim Thaci, have described Selimi as an Albanian hero, calling these statements “troublesome and unacceptable.”

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Balkan Insight