KOSOVO-ALBANIAN REFUGEES' MEDICAL
CONDITION REFUTES THEIR CLAIMS OF PHYSICAL MISTREATMENT
www.slobodan-milosevic.org - March 1, 2005
Written by: Andy Wilcoxson
On Tuesday Slobodan Milosevic called two Macedonian witnesses to testify regarding the medical condition of Albanian refugees who crossed into Macedonia during the Kosovo war. The first witness was the head of Macedonia’s emergency medical services Dr. Dobre Aleksovski, M.D. The next witness was Goran Stojcic, a driver who worked for the emergency services.
Dr. Aleksovski traveled to the refugee camps at least three times everyday throughout the time of the NATO bombing campaign. As director of emergency services, it was his job to ensure that all of the refugees had access to proper medical treatment, and that the medical staff was properly equipped. He was the top person responsible for the medical care of the approximately 350,000 Kosovo refugees who came to Macedonia.
The medical teams kept records of the treatment they administered to the refugees, and Dr. Aleksovski brought all of those records to court with him today. The records showed that only 14 refugees had serious medical conditions that required hospitalization. One woman cut her finger on a tin can, and some other people slipped and fell on the wet ground sustaining injuries such as broken bones and twisted ankles, there were also a couple of pregnant women who were sent to the hospital to give birth.
Only one person required treatment for a gunshot wound. Dr. Aleksovski said that the wound was old, and that this particular man was armed and behaved in an insolent fashion towards the medical staff.
The Albanian refugees told the world that the Serbs beat them with truncheons, hit them with rifle butts, punched them, raped their women, shot at them, stole their money, stole their identification documents, and did every other nasty thing imaginable to them. I’m sure that we can all remember seeing the Albanian refugees saying those sorts of things on television during the NATO attack on Yugoslavia. Similar allegations are also contained in the indictment against Milosevic.
If the Albanian refugees really had been subjected to this type of awful treatment, then they would have required medical treatment. Had they been violently mistreated they would have had broken bones, bruises, lacerations, and all of the other injuries that one sustains if one is beaten-up or raped.
Dr. Aleksovski, who was in-charge of providing medical treatment for all of the refugees that came to Macedonia, did not see, either in person or in the medical records, any indication that the refugees had sustained injuries consistent with their claims of physical mistreatment.
Furthermore, Dr. Aleksovski testified that the refugees had money and identification documents; those things were not stolen from them by the Serbs or anybody else. He said that the refugees had money for cigarettes, and that kiosks were even set up in the refugee camps to sell magazines, cigarettes, snacks, etc… to the refugees.
He said that the refugees had proper clothing and did not look or behave like normal refugees. According to Dr. Aleksovski’s testimony, the Albanians refused to eat bread that was baked in Skopje. They would only eat bread from Tetovo. Whereas normal refugees would have been grateful for any food they got.
Dr. Aleksovski said that many of the Albanians were rude to the medical staff, and that some armed refugees even shot at the medical staff at the Macedonia-Kosovo border on one occasion.
The behavior of the Albanian refugees was so violent and hateful that the refugee camps had to be segregated according to ethnicity. Dr. Aleksovsky said that the Albanian refugees violently attacked the Roma refugees, so the Roma had to be taken to separate camps in order to save them from the Albanians. The Roma are still refugees; to this day they can not return to Kosovo for fear of what the Albanians will do to them.
As far as rape was concerned, Dr. Aleksovski said that no women sought treatment because the Serbs had raped them. The only cases of rape that any women sought treatment for, happened in the refugee camps themselves. In one case a female Israeli humanitarian worker was gang-raped by a group of Albanian refugees, and in another case an Albanian woman was raped by an Albanian man who hid in her tent.
Dr. Aleksovski and his staff had the chance to speak with thousands of Albanian refugees. Initially, the Albanians said that they were fleeing from the NATO bombs but later, about two weeks into the war, the refugees changed their story and began to saying that the Serbs had expelled them.
After Milosevic concluded his examination-in-chief, Mr. Nice cross-examined the witness.
Mr. Nice’s cross-examination did not damage the witness in the least, and it revealed some interesting information.
Under cross-examination from Mr. Nice, the witness said that he had seen Western journalists staging photos of Albanian refugees. In one case the journalists put a perfectly healthy man on crutches and took his picture so that he would look like he was hurt.
Realizing that his cross-examination was not going well, Mr. Nice resorted to insulting the witness. Mr. Nice read out reports from Western NGOs that accused the Macedonians of mistreating the refugees and refusing them medical care.
Dr. Aleksovski said that the accusations contained in the reports were untrue and that they constituted an insult to the state of Macedonia, and to the Macedonian medical workers who provided treatment for the refugees.
The next witness to testify was Goran Stojcic, a driver who worked for the Macedonian medical service in the refugee camps. He corroborated Dr. Aleksovski’s testimony. He also testified that the Albanian’s did not show any signs of being beaten, and that they changed their story about why they fled from Kosovo. Initially saying they fled from NATO bombs, but later changing their story to say that the Serbs had chased them away.
Mr. Stojcic confirmed that the Roma had to be separated from the Albanian refugees to protect them. He recalled one incident where the Albanians almost lynched a Roma man just because he asked for some food for his family.
Mr. Stojcic was also an eyewitness to the activities of Western journalists. He witnessed a CNN camera crew coaching refugees on how to act for the cameras. He eye-witnessed a man cross the border with two children. CNN spoke to the man and sent him back to cross the border so that he could cross again in front of the camera, the second time the man crossed over he had his children crying for the cameras.
Mr. Stojcic also witnessed a group of refugees throwing a child in to the mud; a CNN camera crew then filmed the child after it was crying and covered in mud. The witness identified Christiane Amanpour as the CNN reporter who was on the spot in the refugee camps. He said that CNN was the worst media outlet, as it was the most prone to staging scenes for its news broadcasts.
Stojcic corroborated Dr. Aleksovski’s testimony that the refugees were ungrateful. He said that they would not accept food that had been prepared in Skopje and that they insisted that their food should come from Tetovo, which is a town with a 90% Albanian majority..
Stojcic, who was in the camps every day, said that the refugees had money, it wasn’t stolen by the Serbs. He said that they had money to buy cigarettes, and that some of the refugees even had enough money to leave the camps and get hotel rooms. He said that the refugees had proper clothing, and some even had mobile phones, and walkmans.
The next witness will be Mirko Babic, a medical technician
who provided medical treatment directly to the refugees. He will testify on
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