Serb bus driver beaten by Kosovo police admitted to hospital with contusions
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - June 15, 2009 Monday

Excerpt from report by Kosovska Mitrovica-based Serbian-language Kontakt Plus radio

[Announcer] The driver of a coach carrying around 40 ethnic Serb passengers, Igor Arsic, which this morning went from Gracanica to Kosovska Mitrovica was beaten up around 0730 hrs [0530 gmt] together with his father Vid after which he was taken to a police station in Pristina. Prof Dr Aleksandar Vasic, an orthopaedic surgeon in the Mitrovica hospital, where the Arsics had been admitted, said that both of them had been beaten up and had probably suffered concussion.

[Vasic] They both have contusions and bruises in the head and their extremities and also over their bodies, while the patient to my left side had also sustained an eye injury. We are in the stage of investigation and we will know more soon.

[Announcer] Vid Arsic said that they had started off from Gracanica towards Mitrovica this morning and that a van had then blocked their way in Pristina after which his son Igor, who was driving, warned the vehicle using a honking signal. Then, a member of the Kosovo Police Service [KPS] came to the coach and asked why he was honking to which he replied that he was warning the vehicle that had blocked his way. The policeman then started to hit him.

[Vid Arsic] All of the sudden, a vehicle came by and some four to five persons came out of it, wearing plain clothes. They twisted my arm and started to hit me. [He gets agitated, sobbing] I had to watch my son taking a beating.

Over there, inside the coach, there were all women and children and they started to scream and cry, saying: Run for your life! They then took us to a police station to issue statements. They kept us an hour or an hour and a half there. [Passage omitted]

[Announcer] He added that, following the incident this morning, he was planning to leave Kosovo-Metohija. His son Igor noted that he so far had no problems, but now did not know whether he would to deal with the transport business any more.

[Igor Arsic] I cannot say anything. It is very difficult for me. I have a lot of pain and I cannot see on this eye. This attack was sheer display of force, just because we are Serbs. I really do not know. I am deeply hurt and I do not know what I will do.

[Announcer] The commander of the police station in southern Mitrovica, Isak Ejupi, told Kontakt Plus radio that the bus driver had made a [traffic] offence because of which a policeman had stopped him. However, as the driver did not cooperate with the police, but rather belittled the policeman, Ejupi alleged.

[Ejupi, in Serbian] The policeman responded to this and told him that he should go to the police station. He refused this, too, and the policeman then sought assistance, he sought help and colleagues who were at the moment on their way to a school, for a traning course, noticed the incident and helped the policeman to strip them [the Arsics] of their freedom and take them to the station.

Inside the station we processed their case just as any other case. This man was disobedient and only because of this the incident took place. I am sorry that this happened, but it will happen every time someone disobeys the police.

[Announcer] Let us recall that Arsa Prevoz from Preoce near Pristina has been transporting passengers from Gracanica to Mitrovica for a long number of years.

Source: Kontakt Plus radio, Kosovska Mitrovica, in Serbian 1400gmt 15 Jun 09
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