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Crime

Vigil for Vetevendosje activist who died in “suspicious” circumstances

Opposition party Vetevendosje have demanded an investigation into the death of Astrit Dehari, an activist who died while in detention in Prizren.

On Sunday, Vetevendosje activists and citizens held a vigil for Astrit Dehari, a Vetevendosje activist who died in police custody the previous day. Dehari, 26 years old, was one of the six Vetevendosje activists suspected to have attacked the Kosovo Assembly building earlier this year. Dehari spent 68 days in custody on suspicion of terrorism, although he was not yet indicted.

Friends and family gathered in the central Skenderbeg square in Prishtina to pay their respects.

Crowds gathered outside of the National Theater on Sunday night at a candlelight vigil for Astrit Dehari. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla
Crowds gathered outside of the National Theater on Sunday night at a candlelight vigil for Astrit Dehari. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Earlier today, Vetevendosje leader Visar Ymeri and the party’s secretary Dardan Molliqaj blamed the death of Dehari on the government which had “persecuted him unjustly” and “the irresponsibility of institutions” including the correctional facility he was being held in.

Vetevendosje called for an investigation into the circumstances of his death, deemed “suspicious” by the Prizren prosecution.

The family of the deceased has also demanded that the autopsy be conducted in the presence of independent doctors appointed by them.

Mourners held a banner demanding justice. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla
Mourners held a banner demanding justice. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

On Saturday, the Kosovo Police confirmed Dehari’s death, claiming he had died on his way to the hospital. The police also maintained that the death was caused by medication the deceased had ingested.

“The responsibility of the state cannot be ignored,” said Ymeri on Sunday. “We won’t rest until the case is clarified.”

The Ministry of Justice has started an investigation into the circumstances of Dehari’s death.

Prishtina Insight

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