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UNS info

30. 08. 2018.

Author: Jelena L. Petkovic ???source???: UNS

Maroević: SHIK archives could lead to evidence of journalists' killings

- The background of the killing of journalists in Kosovo is clear - they were an obstacle in millions of ways. It was also a way of disciplining the Albanians. First of all, Enver Maloku, who led the media fight for independence, although at any moment Koha Ditore daily newspaper was more influential than the Kosovo Information Center (KIC) headed by him. All of them are victims of a complicated time with a bunch of unknown details and no serious evidence, as there was no investigation - says for the Journalists Association of Serbia (UNS), Rade Maroevic, who was a reporter of the Beta news agency from Pristina during and after the war.

- I know that Maloku was threatened continuously because he was not on the side of the KLA. He was a decent man and part of the current who thought that problems could be solved without much violence. After his murder, two stories were out. First one, that he was killed by Serbs to start the fight within Albanians and the KLA, and the other one, that the KLA did it to scare the leader of the LDK, Ibrahim Rugova, who was very influential, along with Fehmi Agani and Bujar Bukoshi at that time. Anyone who was exposed within the LDK was a possible victim, but the LDK also had a "dangerous crew". It was led by Gani Geci. He was the only one at whom they were not allowed to shoot, because he shot at them with the same power. If the Albanian SHIK (intelligence agency of the KLA during the war) opened the archives, it might be possible to get some data. Except that, I do not see any other address that could lead to the truth about this murder - says Maroević.

Rade Maroević recalls the journalist's fights for the life of his colleagues, that is, the 40 days of protests after Nebojša Radošević and Vladimir Dobričić correspondents of the Tanjug news agency, were abducted at Slatina airport on October 18, 1998, where they were supposed to report on the situation on the ground following Holbrook - Milošević agreement, i.e. the arrival of the OSCE verification mission, whose chief was US diplomat William Walker.

- All the journalists, both Serbian and foreign, protested every day in front of the KLA base near Lipljan. Colleagues, cameramen and photo-reporters put their cameras on the ground, we sat every day and asked them to let them go. We immediately found out about this abduction, unfortunately for the kidnapping of Radio Pristina's journalists Ranko Perenić and Djuro Slavuj, who were kidnapped in August of that same year, we learned too late.

Former Beta journalist, and today the editor at RTS, Rade Maroević also reported in early September when Marjan Melonaši, a journalist of the Serbian desk at Radio Kosova, disappeared. He entered the cab in front of his editorial office, and since then, every track of him is lost.

- I know this story perfectly, because at that time, my friend Agim Fetahaj, a former correspondent of the Voice of America, took over the leadership of Radio Television of Kosovo. He asked me to urge some Serbian journalists to come, to work for the RTK 2, second program in the Serbian language. Fetahaj was honest in his intention. He returned from Washington to Pristina thinking that everything bad is over and that life now would be happiness and joy. The abduction of Marjan Melonaši was a direct blow to the idea of the RTK2 in Serbian language. A journalist that Fatahaj was responsible for was kidnapped and shortly afterwards he left RTK and Kosovo. International representatives gave support, though verbal, but nobody moved the finger to investigate the case - says Maroević.

He reminds that the post-war time in Kosovo, especially ahead of the first local elections in 2000, was extremely dangerous for the work of journalists.

- It was not a day without attack or threats to Bota Sota, Koha Ditore or Zeri journalists. A female colleague who helped me a lot, after writing a series of articles about how the murders among Albanians should stop, was attacked by KLA man. He slapped her face, right out at the street. And she forever left Kosovo - adds Maroević, emphasizing that "the investigations have never been launched or have been stopped at the point of the deputy head of UNMIK who is always an American."

- It was simply a damage control, what is the greater benefit - whether by investigating the killings we will cause even more violence. This is the logic that Americans apply everywhere in the world. It is clear what is the conclusion. Everything that happened in Kosovo in those days was the history of various dirtiness, in which human lives have no relevance, whether it's Enver Maloku or Marjan Melonaši.

- The KIC was created as a counterweight to the Serbian Media Center in Pristina, led by colleague Milivoje Miki Mihajlović. And this is the only case where Serbia had some micro advantage in the media war, because all the journalists, both domestic and foreign, came to Miki because it was more fun - says Rade Maroević.

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