The Honorable Harold Rogers
Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
Dear Congressman Rogers,
The Board of Directors of the Serbian Institute is extremely concerned about reports of unfair treatment of Orthodox Christian Serbian people of Kosovo. In the past decade, nearly 7,000 attacks against Serbs have been reported of which 1,011 Serbs were killed or injured. Kosovo authorities have not taken adequate action to investigate and punish perpetrators of crimes committed against the Serbian population—including assaults on Serbs by groups of Albanians, pelting of stones on homes, vehicles and individuals, damage and looting of Serbian property, vandalizing important Serbian cultural, historical and religious sites, monasteries and churches, armed provocations, desecration of cemeteries, and armed attacks on Serbian vehicles and homes.
During Christmas services on January 7th this year at Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo in front of hundreds of Serbian families who gathered to celebrate, nine Serbian men were arbitrarily arrested and suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the Kosovo police. Although the individuals were released, one of them was hospitalized with severe injuries and no police have been prosecuted for this ethnically motivated injustice.
Kosovo authorities have time and again demonstrated that they are not interested in protecting the rights of Serbian people in Kosovo. Therefore, any assistance money designated for the government of Kosovo by the Senate Appropriations Committee should be conditioned on the Kosovo government demonstrating “respect for human rights and religious freedom for all people living in Kosovo.” We strongly encourage members of the Committee to undertake all efforts to protect the rights of the Orthodox Christian Serbian people in Kosovo.
July 19, 2013
Serbian Institute Board of Directors