Photo: Urim Krasniqi/BIRN

Murder of teenage woman sparks protest in Ferizaj

Protesters took to the streets of Ferizaj after the body of an 18-year-old woman, who doctors said died after being assaulted for two days, was left at the local hospital by her suspected assailants.

Dozens of locals and civil society activists protested on Tuesday in Ferizaj after the dead body of an 18-year-old woman was left near the door of the local hospital by two men who then immediately drove away.

“The police have blood on their hands,” the protesters shouted in front of the police station in Ferizaj, while throwing red paint at a policeman. They believe that the authorities have not done enough to prevent violence against women.

Doctors have confirmed that the victim, identified only as M.O., died as the result of physical abuse. The prosecution said that she was physically abused for two consecutive days before she died.

The police said they identified two suspects, Arber Sejdiu, 32, and Dardan Krivaqa, 29, from the hospital’s security camera footage.

Police confirmed the arrest of Sejdiu on Monday for involvement in a murder. On Tuesday, a court remanded him in custody for a month.

Krivaqa was arrested on Tuesday after police initiated a nationwide manhunt. They said he is the main suspect in the murder.

“There is a well-founded suspicion that on August 22, 2021, around 3pm, in Ramadan Rexhepi Street, in Ferizaj, at the apartment of the suspect D.K., he intentionally and cruelly, for base motives, mistreated the victim,” said the prosecution in its request for a custody remand.

Tuesday’s protest came after several other demonstrations in Kosovo against increased violence against women in May this year. Kosovo police have told BIRN there were 46 reported sexual assault in 2019, 56 in 2020, and 21 up to the end of April 2021.

There were 40 reports of sexual harassment in 2019, 48 in 2020, and 20 up to the end of April 2021. In April, BIRN reported that the number of cases of domestic violence reported to police in Kosovo has risen steadily, from 1,541 in 2018 to 1,915 in 2019 and just over 2,000 in 2020. In the first six months of 2021, a further 165 cases were registered.

However, the numbers could be higher as there is still a stigma about reporting domestic violence and sexual assaults to the police in Kosovo.

A policeman covered in red ink thrown by protesters in Ferizaj. Photo: BIRN/Urim Krasniqi
A man with a placard saying “Men are killing women, the state remains silent”. Photo: BIRN/Urim Krasniqi
A protester holds a placard with the words “Prosecution, your hands are bloody”. Photo: BIRN/Urim Krasniqi
Security camera footage showing the suspects dropping the body at the hospital in Ferizaj/Urosevac on August 22. Photo: Ferizaj/Urosevac Hospital
24/08/2021 - 16:35


24 August 2021 - 16:35

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.