Activists demand Justice for Zejnepe
03.05.2017

 Under the motto #JusticeForZejnepe (#DrejtësiPërZejnepen), on Apr. 14, starting from 12:00, civil society activists joined to demand from the Ministry of Justice to appeal and amend the decision taken for the sentence imposed to the killer Nebih Berisha, who killed his wife in a domestic violence act.

The news of the decision became known to the public on 12 April. With the decision of the Basic Court of Prizren, the killer of the victim of domestic violence was sentenced to only 12 years in prison. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, in Article 179 on Serious Murder states that "A punishment of not less than ten (10) years of imprisonment or life imprisonment shall be punishable by a person who: ... 1.3. Deprives family member of life ".
Kosovo Women's Network, through a press release, on that same day, reacted against this decision, which was assessed as a punishment that was not propitious to the offense, taking into account the circumstances of the murder, the weight of the offense and systematic violence the victim had experienced.
Following this press release, KWN together with civil society activists organized the protest #JusticeForZejnepe. The protest demand was clear: the decision on the sentence imposed on the killer of the victim of domestic violence, the late Zejnepe Bytyqi Berisha, to complain from the prosecution and to demand a maximum sentence for the commission of the criminal offense. Throughout this tragedy, their daughter also was hurt, so the relevant institutions would have to take appropriate action in accordance with the law.
Beside the civil society activists, the victims' family members also participated in the protest. The mother, the sisters and the son-in-law of the victim expressed their dissatisfaction over the sentence pronounced by the Basic Court in Prizren. Sister of the late, Mrs. Hajrije Thaqi, addressed the media that were present during this protest expressing her dissatisfaction with the sentence imposed by the court, and also showed the systemic suffering her late sister had experienced by her husband. Another concern raised by the family was the inefficiency of the institutions in providing assistance to the victim when addressing these institutions for 16 years in a row as it had disrupted systematic violence.
The Standard Operation for Protection from Domestic Violence clearly define the duties and obligations of institutions in providing protection from domestic violence. In the best case, if these procedures are implemented as required by the responsible institutions, Kosovar citizens would accept the right protection and treatment from domestic violence. Unfortunately, in the case of Zejnepe Bytyqi Berisha, the institutions have failed to provide this assistance. In 2012, the late attempted to commit suicide, but this did not alarm Kosovo's institutions to investigate who was the driving force behind this attempted assassination. Also, one year before his wife was killed, the perpetrator was arrested for domestic violence, but at the request of the late he was released. Justice and defense institutions in Kosovo have also failed to treat and respect standard operating procedures in this case. If the rehabilitation services were functional in Kosovo, and would work intensively on the rehabilitation and treatment of the perpetrators of such offenses, there would be fewer cases of murder and other forms of domestic violence today.
The initiative to help the family of the victim was not solved only by organizing a protest against the pronounced decision. KWN after this protest, continued co-operation with family members of the late, offering a legal expert who in cooperation with the prosecutor appointed for this case will appeal against the decision announced by the Court.
 
 
Kosova Women's Network