Several protests staged demanding inclusion in government’s COVID-19 emergency package
Between 26th November 2020 and 20th January 2021, the following protests took place:
- During electoral rallies held in Podujeva, activists from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Self-Determination Movement (LVV) clashed.
- A protest was held in front of the police station in Prishtina by Social Democratic Party (PSD) activists with the motto “Rallies for the parties, fines for the citizens”. They claimed that Kosovo police issued fines only to citizens and not to politicians holding indoor rallies in contravention of COVID-19 measures. The protest resulted in the detention of 16 activists from the party. The police claimed that the protest was not announced, that the protesters constantly manifested signs of aggression and damaged walls of the building with graffiti.
- Social Democratic Party (PSD) activists staged an action in Prishtina, carrying banners with the portrait of Self-Determination Movement (LVV) leader Albin Kurti, reading “Recycle Bin”. The police facilitated the exercise of the action. No incidents were reported.
- The Association for Persons with Cystic Fibrosis protested in front of the Ministry of Health demanding a sufficient supply of essential medicines for this category of patients.
- Part of the Office of the Prime Minister’s staff went on strike demanding the abrogation of Regulation no. 01/2020 on the internal organisation of the Office.
- Members of the NGO “Syri i Vizionit” marked International Anti-Corruption Day by placing an installation with the message “No Corruption” in the centre of Peja. They called on citizens to raise their voice against corruption.
- The Association of Gastronomists of Kosovo has continuously protested against the government’s COVID-19 measures, demanding the extension of working hours for the sector. Additionally, the President of the Association has called upon gastronomists not to pay fines issued to them, arguing that law enforcement institutions are implementing double standards regarding the penalties for non-compliance with COVID-19 measures.
- Several protests were announced by different groups (Union of the Kosovo Energy Corporation, Union of the Social Workers, Union of the Private Sector, Union of the Kosovo Police, Union of the Civil Servants, United Union of Education, Science and Technology) demanding inclusion in the government’s COVID-19 emergency package.
- Residents of a neighborhood in Peja sent a petition to the Municipality expressing their concerns and opposition towards an infrastructure project. Due to this pressure, the Municipality of Peja cancelled the project.
- Student organisation “Reforma”, through an online petition, urged competent bodies to reconsider the decision to continue university teaching online. They demanded the resumption of physical classes from next month/semester.
Between 26th November 2020 and 20th January 2021, the following cases related to freedom of expression were documented:
- Member of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Melihate Tërmkolli used offensive and threatening language towards journalist Arsim Lani. The Association of Journalists Kosovo (AJK) condemned this behaviour.
- The AJK denounced the physical attack against journalist Valon Syla by an unknown person. The incident was reported to the police and the person responsible was found guilty of "minor bodily injury".
- The AJK denounced the lynching vocabulary of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) towards RTV Dukagjini.
- 77 fake news pieces were detected and identified in the Factchecker’s monitoring report of media and social networks in Kosovo.
- The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo suspended the contract with the operator “Ekonomia Online” after the latter broadcast on the official website of the Assembly an electoral rally of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in Podujeva. “Ekonomia Online” has clarified that it wrongly broadcast the rally.