Target: Atifete Jahajaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo
Goal: Improve human rights record in Kosovo
The Republic of Kosovo must improve its human rights record and criminal justice system if it has any ambition to be taken seriously by the European and Global communities. The small country recently took a big step toward this improvement, when it held its second general election since declaring independence. With a new house of parliament sworn in, Kosovo must renew its commitment to fair trials, a transparent justice system, and a devotion to human rights. However, the country still has a long road to travel in order to comply with international human rights standards. President Atifete Jhajaga must work with the new parliament to comply with international standards and improve the lives of those living in her country.
The Human Rights Campaign has called out Kosovo’s record saying, “The inadequate progress on justice for serious wartime and post-war abuses is a black spot on Kosovo’s human rights record and needs the incoming government’s full attention and commitment.” Much of the problem results from a lack of transparency in the government and accusations of corruption, at all levels. The country promised in 2010 to enact a strategy to integrate ethnic Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities. Although the governments of Kosovo and Serbia have been making some progress, ethnic tensions remain high among Albanians and Serbs in the North. Threats of violence and stigma are prevalent on social media, as well. Journalists are frequently harassed and threatened by public officials.
The people of Kosovo suffered greatly through years of war and ethnic violence. They deserve to now live in a country where transparency and fairness reign. Human rights and judicial proceedings must be improved and brought up to the standards of the European community. President Atifete Jahajaga must commit to work to better her country in the international community, and to improve the lives of citizens.
Dear President Atifete Jahajaga,
The recent success of general elections in Kosovo is to be commended. However, more must be done to improve human rights in your country. The citizens of Kosovo deserve to feel free from fear or intimidation when expressing a political opinion, even ones that are unpopular.
I am writing today to urge you to commit to improving human rights and the criminal justice system in your country. The continued growth of Kosovo depends on it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrea Anastasakis via Flickr