Protesters in front of Police station in Fushe Kosova. Photo: BIRN.

Institutions condemned for releasing rape suspect prior to victim’s murder

The rape and murder of an 11-year-old child in Fushe Kosove last week has sparked protests in the town in response to the negligence of public institutions to prevent the child’s murder and investigate the allegations of rape.

An individual suspected of the rape of an 11-year-old child from Fushe Kosove remained free for almost eight months despite a report of the crime being submitted to the police, BIRN reports, before the child was then murdered earlier this month by the suspect that was released. 

The murder of the child on July 11 was condemned by the public, and a march took place on Friday at 14:00 in Fushe Kosove in response to the negligence of public institutions to prevent the rape and murder of the child.

Activist Gazmend Qyqalla, along with others, protested in front of the police station in Fushe Kosove on Thursday. He blamed the police and judicial institutions for failing to prevent the death of the child, a member of the Ashkali community. 

“Through this action we want to exhibit the institutional negligence of Kosovo Police and judiciary that caused the murder of an 11-year-old child from Fushe Kosove,” he said. “In the last six months, the police did nothing to protect the child from the rape or from being killed.”

“We call on everyone to protest against the police and not to allow rape and murder to be hidden behind these walls, inside the institutions that are supposed to be protecting us,” said Qyqalla, before announcing another protest for Friday.

BIRN viewed the police report delivered to the prosecutor working on the case on Thursday.

The report explains that the suspect, named only as S.O., was not arrested and sent into police custody because no request was made by the prosecutor that was already investigating when the rape was originally reported.

How did it happen?

On January 29, 2019, the suspects’ father reported to police that his 20-year-old son raped an 11-year-old boy back in November 2018. The alleged perpetrator is the neighbor of the victim and his family. 

Upon receiving the information, the police interviewed the persons involved in the case, including  the victim’s mother.

According to the criminal charges made against the suspect following the child’s death, the mother of the victim had refused to report any crime to the police prior to the child’s death in the course of the initial investigation. However, the charges say that the victim’s mother asked the suspect’s father to stay away from her children.

The suspect was known to the police prior to the incident due to his involvement in many other criminal offenses. The police managed to arrest him on April 4, 2019.

Following witness testimonies and interviews the suspect was released. No forensic examination was ordered by the prosecutor’s office. 

Three days later, on April 15, the prosecution in Prishtina took over this case file. Since April, the police have not received any information or taken action in relation to the case.

Details and explanations of the police and the prosecution’s conduct surrounding these incidents have not yet been revealed.

A few months later, on July 11, the child was found dead near the stairs of a building on Xhemajl Mustafa Street in Fushe Kosove.


According to police, the current investigation revealed that his death is being considered suspicious.

A few days later, the police reported the arrest of the same suspect that was investigated for his rape earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the Basic Court in Prishtina decided to keep the suspect in custody for the duration of the investigation. 

On Friday, the Office of the State Prosecutor released a statement expressing its condolences to the family of the victim and pledging to conduct an investigation on the “flaws” that occurred during the investigation phase.

Kosovo Police and the Office of the State Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo are working together to review all of the procedures, actions and circumstances of this terrible tragedy,” reads the statement.

This is not the first time this year that the institutional negligence of the Kosovo Police has become a subject of public outrage. In February, protests were held all over the country following allegations of rape of a minor were made against an employee of the Kosovo Police.

19/07/2019 - 13:55

19 July 2019 - 13:55

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