Illegal organ trafficking in Kosovo: PACE demands high-level support for international follow-up investigations

Strasbourg, 25.01.2011 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called for international and Albanian investigations into crimes committed in the aftermath of the conflict in Kosovo, including “numerous indications” that organs were removed from prisoners on Albanian territory to be taken abroad for transplantation.

Adopting a resolution based on the report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), the Assembly demanded follow-up investigations into indications of secret detention centres under the control of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and disappearances linked to the Kosovo war, as well as “the collusion so often complained of between organised criminal groups and political circles”.

It called for EULEX, the EU mission in Kosovo, be given a clear mandate, the resources and high-level political support it needed to carry out its “extraordinarily complex and important role”. In particular, the Assembly emphasised the need for effective witness protection programmes.

The parliamentarians said the “appalling crimes committed by Serbian forces” had stirred up very strong feelings worldwide, giving rise to the assumption that it was invariably one side which were the perpetrators of crimes and the other side the victims. “The reality is less clear-cut and more complex,” the resolution reads. “There cannot be one justice for the winners and another for the losers.”

The resolution calls on the Albanian authorities and Kosovo administration to “co-operate unreservedly” with EULEX or any other international body mandated to find out the truth about crimes linked to the conflict in Kosovo, irrespective of the origins of the suspects or victims.

. All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.