OSCE Mission in Kosovo condemns desecration of Jewish cemetery
PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 2 December 2011 - Acting Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Edward P. Joseph, condemned today the recent desecration of the Jewish Cemetery in Prishtinë/Priština, calling on law enforcement to investigate, and the municipality to repair the damage.
Nazi swastikas were painted over a majority of the fifty tombstones, and a message “Jews out” was written in broken German on the foot of the central memorial monument.
"As the leading international human rights organization in Kosovo, the OSCE wholeheartedly condemns this disgraceful act. To damage or desecrate the graveyard of any community is a contemptible insult and expression of hate. To do so in this manner, towards a community whose members were hunted down for extermination within living memory is an obscenity.
"The swift condemnation issued by members of the Kosovo government is an encouraging rebuttal to this smear on democracy in Kosovo. It is our hope that law enforcement will likewise act responsibly by bringing the perpetrators to justice, and that the municipality with quickly remove the contemptible symbols of hate left by the perpetrators."
"The OSCE stands for tolerance, coexistence and mutual respect. We will not hesitate to call for justice wherever those norms are threatened,” said Joseph.
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is a mandated with human rights protection and promotion, democracy building and public safety development.