Kosovo Police disperses students and activists protesting at the Prishtina University rectorate building, demanding dismissal of professor Xhevat Krasniqi on sexual harassment claims. Photo: BIRN/ Agon Ismajli

Protests Continue as Students Await Prishtina University’s Council Decision Over Sexual Harassment Claims

The University of Prishtina's Council of Ethics requested resubmission of complaint from 27 students on allegations of sexual harassment against professor Xhevat Krasniqi and Faculty of Eduction’s students’ evaluations, prior to making a decision on his dismissal.

The Council of Ethics of University of Prishtina, UP,  Wednesday’s meeting ended without any decision on the case on sexual harassment allegations against Xhevat Krasniqi, professor of mathematics.

The harassment claims surfaced in late February when 27 medical students filed a formal complaint against Krasniqi.

Arben Hajdari, a Council member, told BIRN that they have requested the official student evaluations from the Faculty of Education, made by students, about the professors’ performance and subject, at the end of each semester. 

We “requested to see what was the official evaluation by the students for the professor’s [Xhevat Krasniqi] performance at the Faculty of Education”, Hajdari told BIRN, on Wednesday, April 17, after the meeting in which Council members heard testimonies from two deans and….

Xhevat Krasniqi continues to appear as a regular professor at the Faculty of Education. He had previously been also engaged as a mathematics professor at the Faculty of Medicine.

The management of the Faculty of Medicine dismissed Krasniqi in early March and the faculty’s dean, Suzana Manxhuka-Kërliu, officially forwarded the students’ complaint to the university’s Council of Ethics. 

The Council of Ethics also 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 are forged.

BIRN monitored Wednesday’s meeting in which the Council’s members did not refer to the sexual harassment incidents the students had described in their February 27 complaint. Instead, they referred to them as ‘inadequate’ and ‘inappropriate’ language.

Students and activists protested at the University of Prishtina’s rectorate building while the Council’s meeting was being held, blocking the entrance door opposing the Council’s demands for resubmission of complaints and for students’ evaluations.

The students and activists had also blocked the entry to the rectorate building on April 11, demanding Krasniqi’s dismissal. The Kosovo Police had forcibly dispersed the protest.

One day after, the Basic Prosecution of Prishtina had started investigating allegations of sexual harassment against Krasniqi after Kallxo Përnime TV programme broadcasted, on April 7,  the investigation in which several students testified about their personal experiences or what they had witnessed.

“After the publication (of the BIRN investigation in Albanian), four witnesses have been questioned” by the Kosovo Police, the chief prosecutor of Prishtina Basic Prosecutor, Zejnullah Gashi, told BIRN on April 12, adding that that the “television interviews have been included in the police file”.

After the broadcast, two additional allegations of sexual harassment by Krasniqi surfaced. 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 the February 2024 allegations against him by the 27 students. He also did not respond to BIRN’s request for a comment about the claims that emerged after the broadcast.

Krasniqi was questioned by the Council of Ethics on April 4, five weeks after the complaint against him was filed.

According to the University of Pristina’s regulations on disciplinary action against academic staff, the Council of Ethics should question an accused professor within five working days from the submission of the complaint, and a decision should be made within 30 days.

When questioned by the council, Krasniqi denied the initial claims made in the complaint filed by the 27 students. He accused the students of taking revenge against him due to his harsh grading criteria.

, and 17/04/2024 - 17:47

17 April 2024 - 17:47

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