Protesters clash with police in Kosovo over MP’s arrest

Protesters lobbed petrol bombs and stones at main police station in Pristina over arrest of opposition MP

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police are seen next to fire caused by molotov cocktail thrown by protesters, at Kosovo's capital Pristina October 12, 2015.

Demonstrators in Kosovo capital, Pristina, clashed with police after the arrest of a opposition politician and founder of the opposition's Self-Determination party Albin Kurti who opened a teargas canister in parliament last week over a deal between Kosovo and Serbia.

About 200 protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police during the clashes in Pristina streets to be released Albin Kurdi. After that, police used tear gas to fight off the protesters.

A Reuters reporter said a number of vehicles belonging to state officials were set on fire. 

Kurti was freed later on Monday. He has been behind a campaign to overturn a landmark agreement with Serbia and has forced the evacuation of MPs in parliament last week on a European Union-brokered deal that approves giving more power to the mainly Serb minority in Kosovo.

Kurti indicates the deal will lead to cause ethnic divide and increase Serbia's power in the country.

The opposition demands that the government backtrack from this  deal, fearing it will put Kosovo’s territorial unity in danger. While the ruling coalition objects to this, saying the opposition wants to come to power via anti-constitutional means.

Kurti addressed supporters, blaming police of "being in the service of daily politics."

"I call on you not to stop until we prevent the creation of the 'community,'" he underlined, in regards to ethnic Serb municipalities in Kosovo that will have greater control on local affairs.

Kosova declaration of independence from Serbia was adopted on 17 February 2008 by the Assembly of Kosovo. The legality of the declaration has been disputed by Serbia who sought international validation and support for its stance that it was illegal.

Serbia requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Juctice in October 2008. The court determined that the declaration did not violate international law.

Ultimately, Kosovo has been recognised by over 100 countries as a self-determined state although the Russian Federation, a close ally of Serbia, vetoed Kosovo’s recognition as a state.

TRTWorld and agencies