Prishtinë/Priština, 21 January 2013 – The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger, strongly condemned today the desecration of Orthodox graveyards and religious monuments throughout Kosovo.
Orthodox tombstones were damaged in the night in Klokot/Kllokot, Obiliq/Obilić and Prizren municipalities. Furthermore, a chapel at the Obiliq/Obilić Orthodox graveyard caught fire. These acts follow the desecration of an Orthodox graveyard in Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje a week ago.
“I strongly condemn these recent acts of desecration against Orthodox graveyards in Kosovo,” said Schlumberger. “The desecration of graveyards and religious monuments is unacceptable and does not only violate the rights of the religious and ethnic communities to which they belong, but those of society as a whole.”
“I am appalled by these repugnant acts of vandalism, and I welcome the Kosovo institutions’ condemnation. I join the institutions in calling on all communities to remain calm and refrain from any action that might lead to violence. I appreciate the readiness of Kosovo police to increase security around Orthodox religious sites and urge law enforcement officials to swiftly identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with human rights protection and promotion, democratization and public safety sector development.
In October 2011 the OSCE Mission in Kosovo published a catalogue and a report about the condition of Orthodox graveyards in Kosovo. Those documents can be accessed at: http://www.osce.org/kosovo/84453