Geneva (ICRC) – Following the recent examination of their appeals by the Serbian Supreme Court, 143 Kosovo Albanians who had been arrested in Gjakova/Djakovica in May 1999 were released on 25 April 2001. They are currently being transferred by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from their places of detention in Serbia to Gjakova/Djakovica in Kosovo.
The former detainees will be reunited with their families in the village of Bec, near Gjakova/Djakovica, where they are expected to arrive Wednesday afternoon. First aid and psycho-social assistance will be provided in cooperation with the local Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The process of liberating Kosovo Albanian detainees began in June 1999 and the ICRC has facilitated the return home of over 1,600 of them to date. The organization will continue to do so as more detainees are released. Approximately 300 of those registered and visited by the ICRC remain in captivity.