Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians Win Seats in the Kosovo Assembly
07 May 2002
According to the January 20, 2002, report of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in the Assembly election held on November 17, 2001, in Kosovo, the Ashkali Albanian Party (PDASHK) gained two seats, the United Roma Party of Kosovo (PREBK) gained one seat and the New Democratic Initiative of Kosovo (the Egyptian party IRDK) gained two seats. A Romani man, Mr Haxhi Zylfi Merxha, president of the United Roma Party of Kosovo and member of the Kosovo Assembly, was elected Deputy President of the Kosovo Assembly.
The situation of Roma in Kosovo is extremely tenuous. According to the November 20, 2001 news release of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (AI), members of Serb and Romani minority communities have been subject to continuing human rights abuses by members of the ethnic Albanian community. An estimated 1,300 Serbs and 800 Roma are reported to have been abducted since July 1999, when Serb military forces left Kosovo. Few perpetrators have been identified or brought to justice. Background information on the situation of the Roma in Kosovo is available on the ERRC's Internet website at: www.errc.org
(AI, ERRC, OSCE)