Kosovo arrests two more opposition MPs for tear gas protests

Kosovo police arrest two more opposition lawmakers for throwing tear gas in parliament building in protest to revoke deal with Serbia, Montenegro

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Tear gas is launched into the Kosovo parliament debating chamber today during a protest by opposition MPs

Kosovo police arrested opposition lawmakers Haxhi Shala and Sami Kurteshi on Monday, after they released tear gas inside the parliament building in protest against a deal that will grant minority Serbs greater local powers in Kosovo.

Kosovo’s opposition demands the revoking of a deal brokered by the European Union with Serbia, granting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo more rights, and a border demarcation with Montenegro.

"We expect and request all procedures to be followed correctly in the spirit of transparency, especially in politically sensitive cases, and will continue to observe closely cases involving members of the Assembly [Kosovo parliament]," the  statement from Kosovo’s opposition said.

Kosovo’s opposition has marched in protest against the agreement several times in the capital city of Pristina.

Meanwhile, Kosovo’s opposition leader Albin Kurti and 86 of his colleagues were arrested, after police raided the opposition Self-Determination Movement Party's headquarters on Saturday.

Members of parliament don gas masks and breathing masks after being bombarded with tear gas

According to reports, after numerous instances of releasing tear gas and pepper spray in the parliament building, the opposition party members were arrested for causing violent disruptions in the parliament.

"We will protest inside the parliament and outside in the streets," Glauk Konjufca of the opposition Self-Determination party told Reuters.

"One of the options is also early elections; let them verify whether the Kosovo people support them."

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after a NATO intervention a decade earlier helped the ethnic Albanian majority region to split from the Belgrade government.

Serbia, however, is yet to recognise Kosovo’s independence.

TRTWorld and agencies