War crime selected – organ harvesting from Serbs by KLA

One of the most macabre recent war crime is harvesting organs from captured Serbs by Kosovo Albanian guerrillas during Kosovo conflict 1998-99.  The story was kept undercover by western mainstream media until last April 2008 before former UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte opened her mouth.    New reportages was made e.g. by German Der Spiegel magazine and justice departments from Albania and Serbia have started high level cooperation for case.  Council of Europe has decided to re-examine the case, which maybe has also link to illegal organ transplant clinic raided in Pristina, Kosovo, early November 2008.

The Guardian article

A new article by Paul Lewis appeared in the Guardian on Nov. 25th 2008 giving a quite complementary picture of events.  His story includes also a video clip over trip of Mr. Lewis to “slaughterhouse” a country house in northern Albania’s mountain region near town Burrel.

Here a comprehensive quote about background:

Of all the many atrocities that human rights groups want investigated from the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, the alleged harvesting of organs from Serbian soldiers by ethnic Albanians is one of the most gruesome. Hundreds of Serbian families have for a decade been demanding what happened to those who disappeared during and after the war. In April, Carla Del Ponte the former UN war crimes prosecutor, gave greater credence to suggestions of a macabre operation, in which as many as 300 Serbs were allegedly abducted and transported to Albania to have their organs removed. In a memoir, she wrote: “Victims deprived of only their first kidney were sewn up and confined again inside the shack until they were killed for their vital organs.”

UN examination 2004

After Mrs. Del Ponte’s sensational disclosure started a work to verify her statements.  For example UN had made some checking based ICTY testimonials. However, the UN examination, commissioned by Del Ponte, was previously believed to be missing.   Now the Guardian has obtained the report of a UN forensic examination,  by a UN expert, José Pablo Baraybar of the Katuci house – aka “yellow house” aka “Burrel house” aka “slaughterhouse” – and it can be found from here.

Baraybar, the former director of the UN’s missing persons and forensics unit in Kosovo, said his team found “highly indicative evidence” that pointed to organ removal at the Burrel house, and prosecutors received testimony from eight witnesses. They comprised “foot soldiers” who claimed to be present during the surgery, he said, and a driver who claimed he brought small groups of Serb soldiers to the house from across the Kosovo border. The driver then described taking conspicuous packages to Tirana airport, bound for flights to Turkey. The surgeon conducting the operations was identified as a Kosovan doctor from Pec, Baraybar said.

Re-examination and a new link

The Council of Europe has decided to re-examine the organ case.  A special investigator Dick Marty and his team are starting their work by gathering data from Belgrade, Pristina and Tirana.

Marty’s investigation could gain additional impetus from the recent discovery of an illegal organ transplant clinic in neighbouring Kosovo. Police there raided a clinic in the suburbs of Pristina three weeks ago, arresting two doctors and the country’s acting permanent secretary at the ministry of health, Ilir Rexhaj. Interpol is helping to search for a third doctor, Yusuf Ercin Sonmez, a notorious Turkish surgeon who they believe was behind the operation. (Source the Guardian article).

Selected war crimes – Why?

Why these events are coming public now after ten years?  My claim is that only selected war crimes go forward.  Some reasons for this from my point of view are following:

  • The Anglo-American mainstream media selected its side in Balkan wars already middle 90s .  The partly fabricated reports about brutalities of Serbs were published almost real-time;  same time and later too the media was silent about the opposite reports of investigations or brutalities made by other sides.
  • Politically it was not reasonable to change this created one-side picture about the Serbs as “bad guys” too soon to secure ground for further development of western interests in Balkans.
  • The “good guys” were allies of western powers and gained local political leadership e.g. in Kosovo so of course Misters Thaci, Ceku and Haradinaj could not be guilty for some war crimes – they were representing poor Albanian victims (before side selection – middle 0s – US was treating their organisation as terrorist and criminal one).
  • The witness protection in Balkans is too weak in pressure of tribe society and criminal – now political  clans to get any sentence like it as case in Hague with Mr Oric (leader of Mujahedeen brigade in Bosnia) and with Mr. Haradianj (KLA leader and later PM of Kosovo).

Now the one-sided picture is slowly starting to crack, more comprehensive picture e.g. over Srebrenica case will came public when both prosecutor and defence of Karadzic have made their case.  The today’s criminal activities of freedom fighters are coming public and their earlier war crimes will get new light.  The big players – e.g. USA with its use of depleted uranium in Kosovo and probably other places also – will of course escape again due the immunity granted in international courts.

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8 Responses to War crime selected – organ harvesting from Serbs by KLA

  1. jelen says:

    “To simpleton and jelen.

    It really is sad that readers won’t get a more comprehensive picture of topic through debate because instead of giving opposite arguments to my original post about organ trafficking or my comment you both have concentrated only to running down my personality. So I must assume that you agree all the facts I have mentioned in my entries :).

    If one internalizes the earlier propaganda to that degree that history is clear about recent Balkan events it is hard to change those brainwashed attitudes. However history will be rewrote and rewrote again when new evidence is coming to public and will be analyzed.”


    I guess you misunderstood my comment. Let me try another angle.

    Firstly, I wouldn’t say what you are mentioning to be facts as you say. The article you’re copying could be a fact but the contents of the article are not facts. It’s piece from what you call “mainstream media”. The investigation into the alleged incident didn’t even start yet but you assume that everything mentioned is true and conclude as fact. You would probably laugh if now a report came out based on a scanned page and claims of a “driver” and a “foot soldier” about Serbian atrocities in Kosovo.

    Why listen to the media? It’s the same media that was “publishing partly fabricated reports about brutalities of Serbs” during the Balkan wars. You claim that media “published partly fabricated reports about brutalities of Serbs” yet you use the “mainstream media” to support your own opinions about “brutalities against the Serbs”. It’s the same media that as you say “chose a side”. That was before the middle 90s. The wars you are reffering to were over in the middle 90s.

    Why listen to Del Ponte? Del Ponte has been talking about atrocities in former Yugoslavia for a long time and in Serbia she — as well as ICTY — is seen as Faust incarnate but interestingly all of a sudden, at a book fair, first few 100 copies of her book were sold out in two days. It’s the same person that was “selecting war crimes” yet you use her to support your own opinions about “brutalities against the Serbs”.

    The “good guys” weren’t allies of Western powers. Western powers stood by and watched systematic murder for 3 years until they did what they were saying all along wouldn’t work. If they really gained local political leadership how come that ethnically clean Republika Srpska still exists within Bosnia? If the system is too weak how come Mr. Oric is in jail right now and also waiting for a trial in Republika Srpska for his crimes?

    Karadzic’s trial is irrelevant since his project succeeded in Bosnia. He created an ethnically clean entity (less than 10% non-Serbs — even better than he could’ve hoped for in the beginning of war) within Bosnia, which was the aim of the conflict in Bosnia and former Yugoslavia. Look at Karadzic’s speeches during late 1991, he said it himself. To hope to some truth from Karadzic’s trial is as naive as Izetbegovic believing Karadzic wouldn’t attack Bosnia.

    I’m pretty sure you’re a nice guy and as charming as your pipe so there’s really no need to run down your personality. Pretentious tone to your articles speak for themselves. I’m more interested in exploring “the facts” that you mention in your entries. I listed several reasons why I think you get “your facts” leaning to one side. If that’s brainwashed attitude than how are we to have a debate when you think others are brainwashed? Running down others’ personality is not an answer to someone running down your logic. That’s a “brutality on all sides” thinking.

    I don’t buy your self-serving logic.

  2. arirusila says:

    1) My critics towards mainstream media is related to their role during crucial points of recent conflicts such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Georgia. When some conflict has already practically finished also MSM some cases has published views and reports with other point of view like now with he Guardian.
    2) E.g. organ case was in knowledge but wider public it got after del Ponte’s outcome. There are similar cases where some public figures are telling true or other story after they have left their former position – recent examples are e.g. Florence Hartmann and Helena Ranta.
    I think that these persons can give some new light to events especially now if they do not need to follow media guidelines of their former organization.
    3) Even western powers selected sides I did not claim that they got some total win of war – both in Bosnia and Kosovo they partly achieved their goals and I see both Dayton Agreement and UNSC 1244 as compromise solutions.
    4) Mr. Oric walked free from Hague after trial. As I understand he was arrested in Bosnia for involvement to organized crime activities. Of course Serb entity would like to see him in court about massacres which he was doing with his mujahedeen brigade.
    5) By no means I look Karadzic trial irrelevant. I believe that the trial is good forum to update arguments from both sides – prosecutor and defense. Probably the trial will give new light also about the propaganda game behind Srebrenica events.
    6) Brainwashed thinking from my point of view is when a person has an attitude that the true story is already told, absolute truth is clear without more discussions. If one fanatically keeps this positions it is hard to get any debate with argumentation level.

  3. jelen says:

    You seem to criticize the media only when it serves your interest. What about, for example, Rwanda? Why don’t you criticize them there? The public figures you use only serve to support your interest. Why not write a detailed entry on what Florence Hartmann wrote about? You support the UN and the Western powers only when it serves your interests forgetting that the solutions they “provided” are barely being implemented. Just to get another perspective, why not write about how the Western powers and the UN were ineffectual in a parallel genocide in Rwanda? You only write about war criminals that serve your interests in the end because following your logic about Oric, Karadzic and every other war criminal should be in Sarajevo and Belgrade right after the Hague? You only write about trials that serve your interests. Expecting to hear the truth from Karadzic is like hiring Bin Laden to fight “war on terror”. You only write about “the new light” that will serve your version of truth which contradicts your claim that “your work in Kosovo (2 yrs.) gave you a clear picture of problems in the Balkans”. That’s like Lewis MacKenzie analyzing the conflict in Bosnia while stationed on an airport in one city.

    Can you explain how 2 years of work in Kosovo gave you the clear picture of problems in the Balkans to anyone who’s brainwashed?

  4. […] Market economy and free trade are the prevailing trend in today’s developed countries. One drastic phenomenon of its darker side is known as “medical apartheid” or the “New Cannibalism”. One of those cases in Europe got more light last week, when new evidence from the “Human Organ Trafficking” -case came public in Serbia. (More about case in my article “War crime selected – organ harvesting from Serbs by KLA“). […]

  5. Bob says:

    So it happened Ari? Where is the evidence, other than a few lines in Del Ponte’s book recounting the allegations?

    • arirusila says:

      Evidences so far are in ICTY files and UNMIK report, probably Serbian prosecutor has something extra like names of perpetrators and victims. Of cource investigation is ongoing both about case itself and about destroying evidences. Spiegel article gives some background also.

  6. Dragoslav says:

    there is absolutely no proof that this so-called massacre of “civilians took place other then here-say evidence.However Serbs have proof of muslim murders through pictures and from the war criminal oric himself when he showed videos he made of this slaughter to a reporter from the Canadian papaer”The Toronto star”.

  7. Dragoslav says:

    To bob Serbia sent alot of information and evidence to the court in the hague and supposedly the files were misplaced.AS to delponte we she spewed her anti-Serb views then she was absolutely credible and now that she reveals this horrific crime she is an absolute lier.She was supposedto go on a book signing tour when the book came out but was forbidden by her government because this book implicated a lot of upper people and they became very nervous as they should be. There is alot of evedence bob, unfortunatly because it shed a bad light on kla,their leaders and certain UN officials not to mention dissolve the good vs evil scenerio putting nato and especially US in the so called “shitter”.God bless Serbia.

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