Many graves in a Serbian Orthodox cemetery in Kosovo have been vandalized, as reported by police on Sunday. It is an incident that comes at a time of the escalating tensions between Pristina and Belgrade.
“Several gravestones in an Orthodox cemetery in Lipljan were damaged,” according to a statement released by the Kosovo police adding that an inquiry had been launched.
It is a community cemetery in the central part of Kosovo, where a small Serb community lives, among the Albanians who make up the majority.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) denounced the “desecration of tombstones” and called on Kosovo leaders to “to appeal against such acts.”
The graves in the cemetery had already been vandalized in December 2018.
The Serbian community in Kosovo denounced that its cemeteries were often targets of vandals.
About 120,000 Serbs live in Kosovo, out of a total of 1.8 million, of whom 90% are Albanians.
We condemn desecration of gravestones at Orthodox cemetery in Lipjan/Lipljan and call on local leaders to appeal against such acts. Graves are sacred to families/communities and desecration invokes painful feelings. #Kosovo Police have responded and we urge a swift followup.
— OSCE Kosovo (@OSCEKosovo) 14 Ιουλίου 2019