Photo: Shkodrane Dakaj/BIRN

Roma Community Protest Alleged Police Brutality in Gracanica

Dozens of Roma community members gathered in a peaceful protest in front of the police station in Gracanica, calling for awareness of the discriminatory approach of the police after suspicions arose that a member of this community was beaten by police inside the station.

Under the banner “Against violence, for equality, Roma rights are human rights,” on Tuesday, many members of the Roma community assembled in Gracanica to demand justice following claims that violence was inflicted upon a man in this station on August 19.

Photo: Shkodrane Dakaj/BIRN

The incident involved Burhan Ibrahimovic, a member of the Roma community who was taken to the police station after being accused of a conflict with a resident of Gracanica.

Sebastian Sherifovic from the ‘Opre Roma Kosovo’ organization announced the case details on August 25 and called on citizens to join the protest.

“Last Saturday, a Roma from Gracanica named Burhan was taken to the police station. Though he was in good health upon arrival, he left with serious physical injuries. A medical evaluation confirmed that Burhan had sustained significant bodily harm. Despite Burhan reporting this incident to the Police Inspectorate, we are currently awaiting justice to be served,” he declared.

Driton Berisha, also from ‘Opre Roma Kosovo’, stated in front of the protesters that Burhan’s experience reminded them of the injustices they face as a community.

“Our Roma brothers and sisters have endured violence, discrimination, and marginalization for generations. On August 19, a shameful incident occurred within the walls of the police station in Gracanica. Burhan fell victim to police brutality that day. His experience is a disturbing reminder of the injustices we face. Burhan’s pain is our pain, and his suffering is our call to action,” Berisha stated.

Burhan Ibrahimovic, who was also present at the protest, declared that he was a victim of violence. He thanked everyone who participated and emphasized the existence of democracy in Kosovo.

The Police Inspectorate of Kosovo, PIK, is also overseeing this case.

“In response to your inquiry, PIK confirms that it has received the complaint from the concerned citizen, and it is currently in the preliminary investigation phase,” stated PIK spokesman Arber Beka to BIRN.

Beka further added that subsequent actions will be determined based on the investigation findings and in accordance with the legal authority of PIK.

and 30/08/2023 - 13:31

30 August 2023 - 13:31

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.