Students and activists block the entrance of Prishtina University building, demanding dismissal of professor Xhevat Krasniqi on sexual harassment claims. Photo: BIRN/Arbrita Uka

Police Intervenes as Protesting Students Push University’s Council of Ethics to Decide on Sexual Harassment Claims

The Council of Ethics of the University of Prishtina, on Monday, did not reach a verdict on Professor Xhevat Krasniqi, accused of sexual harassment by 27 students from the Faculty of Medicine, despite students and activists protesting.

Amidst students and activists loud protest demanding the dismissal of the mathematics professor, Xhevat Krasniqi, accused by students of the Faculty of Medicine of sexual harassment, the University of Prishtina’s Council of Ethics failed to make a verdict.

“To be honest, we were supposed to make the decision today,” Arben Hajdari, a member of the Council of Ethics, said, blaming the protest for hindering them.

On Monday, April 22, students and activists demanded accountability from the council members and interrupted the meeting considering that the council, composed of four male members in violation of Kosovo law on Gender Equality, was handling the professor too leniently during his statement.

“If 27 people report and there is no reaction, what example are we setting when later there are only one or two reports?,” the activists called during the protest.

Allegations against Krasniqi surfaced after 27 students of the Faculty of Medicine filed an official complaint on February 27, 2024, accusing the professor of sexually harassing several of the female students.  On March 4, 2024, Krasniqi was dismissed by the Faculty of Medicine and the dean forwarded the complaint to the Council of Ethics.

Krasniqi continues to appear as a regular professor at the Faculty of Education.

On Monday, Krasniqi expressed that the students had distorted his statements and that the allegations of sexual harassment against him were unfounded.

Referring to one of the incidents in which Krasniqi is accused of asking a student what she had under her skirt, he justified the question saying that “they write mathematical formulas in their legs , even their hands … It’s not my nature to comment on clothing or appearances”.

After his statement ended, Krasniqi called the police asking to “ help me to get out of the facility,” because the students and activists had blocked the entrance. Krasniqi and members of the Council of Ethics were accompanied outside by the police after around two hours of protest.

Similar protests and police interventions also occurred on April 11 and 17 during the meetings of the Council of Ethics.

On April 17, the Council of Ethics asked the Faculty of Medicine to once again send the list of signatures of the students within a week because Krasniqi claimed that 9 of the signatures were forged. The council also asked to receive the end of semester student evaluations from the Faculty of Education.

Several students testified about their personal experiences or what they had witnessed for Kallxo Përnime TV programme which aired on April 7. 

After the broadcast, two additional allegations of sexual harassment by Krasniqi emerged. BIRN received testimonies that Krasniqi allegedly sexually harassed minor students at Sami Frashëri High School in Prishtina in 2000 and a female student, who eventually dropped out, at the Faculty of Education in Gjakova in the 2012/13 academic year.

Krasniqi has denied commenting on the allegations against him for BIRN. 

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22 April 2024 - 19:30

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.