Serbian Authorities Remove Albanian Mayor of Preševo Without Due Process

Elected Albanian official in Serbia's Preševo Valley abruptly dismissed, raising concerns about minority rights and democracy. Vows to continue fighting injustice and discrimination against Albanians in the region.

Trim Correspondents
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Serbian Authorities Remove Albanian Mayor of Preševo Without Due Process

Serbian Authorities Remove Albanian Mayor of Preševo Without Due Process

Šćiprim Arifi, the president of Preševo municipality, has been abruptly removed from office by the Belgrade authorities without any notice or legal procedure. The dismissal came just 24 hours after Arifi was sentenced by a Serbian court for placing the Albanian national flag on November 28.

Arifi claims that the decision was made following the latest threat from Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and is part of the anti-Albanian policies of Vučić's pro-Russian Serbia, which has a history of discrimination against Albanians. He alleges that his removal was carried out with the help of certain pro-Serbian Albanian figures, as well as local mafia companies that collaborate with the Serbian authorities.

Why this matters: The dismissal of an elected Albanian official without due process raises concerns about the treatment of the Albanian minority in Serbia and the state of democracy in the country. It also highlights the ongoing tensions between Serbs and Albanians in the Preševo Valley region.

The Serbian government has installed a temporary body to govern the municipality until the next elections. Arifi has informed his international partners, the USA and the EU, about his "violent dismissal" and has decided to end his active politics in the Preševo Valley. However, he has vowed to continue fighting against injustice and discrimination towards the Albanian people in the region.

In a statement, Arifi accused the Serbian regime of continuing the legacy of extreme Serbian nationalism and discrimination against Albanians, especially in the Preševo Valley. "This is part of the Serbian government's discriminatory and anti-Albanian policies, which have continued the legacy of the Milosevic regime," he said.

Despite this setback, Arifi remains determined to advocate for the rights of indigenous Albanians in the Preševo Valley. He has called on the international community to take notice of the situation and support the struggle against discrimination faced by Albanians in Serbia.

Key Takeaways

  • Preševo mayor Šćiprim Arifi abruptly dismissed by Belgrade authorities.
  • Dismissal came after Arifi was sentenced for displaying Albanian flag.
  • Arifi claims dismissal is part of Vučić's anti-Albanian policies in Serbia.
  • Dismissal raises concerns about treatment of Albanians and democracy in Serbia.
  • Arifi vows to continue fighting against discrimination towards Albanians in the region.