An interview with Matteo Caponetti, the representative of European Solidarity Front for Kosovo

март 29, 2016

 

Матео Капонети

Matteo Caponetti

 

European Solidarity Front for Kosovo is an organization founded in 2012 whose members are now young enthusiasts from all over Europe  Germany, Finland, Spain, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, etc.)  Matteo Caponetti and Patrik Vondràk’s idea of concept of national identity in the World was the base and start for this organization. The main goal is to help the Serbs in enclaves in Kosovo and Metochia. Every year there are 2-3 humanitarian missions organized and this year’s took place from 7th to 10th of September, 2015, when European Solidarity Front for Kosovo (ESFK) visited Kosovska Mitrovica, Prizren, Strpce, Velika Hoca and Orahovac. Matteo Caponetti is telling us more about the mission and the ESFK:

I’m responsible for an organization that is called Zenit. It is a political movement in Italy and Belgium, we work in Rome and Bruxelles. But, in the same time, we are also  responsible for a humanity association called ESFK that was founded 3 years ago together with other European friends. That means that we have people who still fight, in the 2015, for the concept of identity in the world. So when we started with this project we thought about this, so we chose to help people that have this feeling. We have a lot of volunteers from all European countries: Finland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Poland and Greece… After one year of work we came here to Belgrade and decided to go to Kosovo for our first official mission. ESFK is not linked with any political party. We have volunteers from all over Europe that have been helping us during this three years to collect money to buy materials that Serbian people in Kosovo need.

…I was there for the first time in 2010 with another association. I had other goals so we built a new humanity association that can involve more young volunteers from all over Europe, from the age  from 20 to 40 years old. The reason why I had chosen this and felt something for this mission is because from the first time that I was here I saw that in Europe exist a people that need help, not only because they are poor, but because they are concerned with identity even this was very difficult. I fell in love immediately because it’s not easy anymore to meet people like this in our western countries. We live in the world where people don’t care about their identities and don’t have feelings for their countries and their nationalities. And this is a dream, to unite humanity help with political fight.

…This year, for example, we were to Prizren to help Milica, the last child that still lives in Prizren and the last student there who goes to school inside the Church of Saint George, so we brought them some materials, books, pens… In Prizren there were 12.000 Serbs and now it is about 30 only. It is very difficult in Prizren, Pristina and maybe Decani because Albanians are still aggressive to the Serbs. It’s not like in Strpce or Kosovska Mitrovica where you can feel the big Serbian community. We were in Orahovac this year and in Velika Hoca. We helped the elementary school in Orahovac, the Kindergarten of Orahovac and Velika Hoca and some families too. Then we visited Strpce again and Brezovica enclave, where we went last year to bring sports equipment. In the past I visited Gorazdevac enclave and, of course, Velika Hoca. Then we were to Decani monastery and met monks there. We visited of course Gazimestan, Kosovska Mitrovica and Pec Patriarchy, Zociste monastery and the monastery of Holy Archangels in Prizren. We came here to visit some holy places of Serbian land, because otherwise you won’t understand why we are there, why we go there and help people there. It is important also to show the history, the culture of this people. It’s the holy land of Serbia so it’s important to understand this.

…For the Serbians, if, for example, guys from Belgrade want to go there, they have to go. It’s their people. They don’t have to support us, they have just to go to bring their solidarity to them!

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An interview with Matteo Caponetti, the representative of European Solidarity Front for Kosovo

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We Opposed the Demonization of Serbs

фебруар 11, 2014

FFInfoPokretZaSlobodu

Interview with Mick Hume, British author and editor

By Milenko Srećković (Pokret za slobodu)

In 1997 British magazine “LM” published a translation of the article “The picture that fooled the world” by German journalist Thomas Deichmann, where the way in which big media corporation ITN reported on war in Bosnia in 1992 was called into question. In his article Deichmann concluded that ITN’s video record, where strikingly skinny Bosnian Muslim Fikret Alić stands behind barbed wire, was intentionally edited to remind the viewers of Nazi concentration camp. The picture of this malnourished man behind the wire went around the world, was published on the front pages of many world journals and, according to Deichmann, served to equate Serbs with Nazis in the mind of the readers, and to present the entire conflict in paradigmatic, black-and-white manner. Deichmann, by the way, had for the first time opportunity to see the whole unedited ITN’s recording in Hague, where he stayed in 1994 as expert witness before the war crimes tribunal.

ITN corporation denied Deichmann’s claim that it “intentionally” deceived the public by its way of reporting and filed a lawsuit for defamation against “LM” magazine. Since the magazine, not being able to prove the existence of “intent”, lost the trial, the amount of fine it had to pay led to its shutdown. Noam Chomsky has repeatedly pointed out this case as an example of the violation of the freedom of speech and characterized British legislation on defamation as “grotesque” and “absolutely horrible”.

After the shutdown of “LM”, its chief editor Mick Hume became the editor of internet magazine “Spiked. His last book, “There Is No Such Thing As a Free Press – and we need one more than ever”, was praised by Daniel Finkelstein, the executive editor of “The Times”, as “a masterclass in the writing of polemic”. We spoke with Hume about how he looks at this case today.

Milenko Srećković: How did you feel after losing a libel suit brought by ITN and what that made you think about the freedom of expression in your country?

Mick Hume: I was not surprised that we lost. We expected it, although our lawyer won every argument in court, because the UK libel laws are biased against defendants and freedom of expression. As I said to the media on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice after the trial, “The only thing this case has proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ is that the libel laws are a menace to free speech and a disgrace to democracy.”

What was the reaction of the public on the outcome of this court procedure.

We had a lot of support from people who understood and supported the two key principles we were fighting for. First, we were taking a stand for the historic right to freedom of expression. And second, we were challenging the idiotic idea that the Bosnian civil war could be compared to the Nazi Holocaust. That was a dangerous notion which could only diminish the horrors of the past, and distort the conflicts of the present. Without the support of those who sided with LM, we could not have fought the case at all. But we were also bitterly opposed by other liberal intellectuals and journalists, who could not comprehend that we opposed their moral crusade to brand the Serbs as “the new Nazis”. They still cannot understand it and still despise our stand – even many of those who campaign to reform the UK libel laws will say it was right to sue LM! So our case was an important moment in dividing opinion.

READ MOREhttp://www.freedomfight.net/we-opposed-the-demonization-of-serbs/

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Balkanist: In Serbia, the mask slips

јануар 31, 2014

Balkanist-Magazine-cover

BY 

(…) In a long and detailed resignation letter, Radulovic alleged that Vucic and his staff have been directly involved in covering up numerous instances of corruption.

(…) Radulovic was also a supporter of the so-called “white ballot” movement during the 2012 elections that brought Vucic’s Progressive Party (SNS) to power, calling on voters to cast a blank ballot in protest against all political options on offer. He is still non-partisan today. Vucic tapped him for the position of economy minister after a major reshuffling of the government in September.

(…) Vucic, who has been accused of using allegations of crime and corruption to jail opponents and keep other politicians compliant, moved swiftly this time: Earlier today, his Progressive party called for an “urgent investigation” into the “variety of criminal acts” supposedly perpetrated by Radulovic — a minister Vucic selected himself just months ago.

read morehttp://balkanist.net/in-serbia-the-mask-slips/

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Полиција упала у стан оснивача Балканиста

јануар 20, 2014

Прошле ноћи два полицајца ушла су у стан мојих пријатеља Срећка Шекељића и Лили Линч, оснивача интернет магазина Балканист. Током последњих пар месеци, од како постоји Балканист, објављено је више текстова који се нису свидели властима у Београду и Приштини, онима који су задужени за спровођење “Бриселског споразума“. Лили Линч је држављанка САД.

Balkanist-Magazine-cover

LAST NIGHT BY LILY LYNCH

Sometime after midnight last night, I awoke to find police officers in my bedroom.

(…) They repeatedly asked me why I was in Serbia. They also asked how long I’d been in Serbia, and when I’d visited Serbia for the first time. They knew details about my personal life; for instance, they asked if my fiance, Srecko Sekeljic, was a journalist too.

(…) The senior officer again asked to see my passport and documents, which I said I needed to find in my file folder that holds all of my important paperwork. At this point they said “nevermind”. As they left, the senior officer said, “Make sure you keep your door closed”.

In recent weeks, we’ve published articles about Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s consolidation of power, the crisis in north Kosovo, and the dismissal of several high-ranking Serbian military officials. Perhaps more significantly, we published an article about possible corruption in the Serbian Import and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA), after receiving hundreds of leaks from the Serbian government’s own servers.

read morehttp://balkanist.net/last-night/

isti tekst na srpskom:

(…) U članku o agenciji SIEPA, kritički smo se osvrnuli na okolnosti u kojima informacije o visokoj korupciji često “procure” medijima poput Balkanista pre završetka zvanične istrage. Istog dana kada smo objavili taj tekst, isključena nam je struja u stanu. Budući da ostatak zgrade nije imao problema sa električnom energijom, otišli smo u korisnički servis elektrodistribucije da proverimo o čemu se radi. Nakon što su utvrdili da nemamo nikakvih dugovanja, službenici elektrodistribucije su nam se izvinili i rekli da su “greškom” poslali ekipu da nam iseku struju. Pritom su dodali da ćemo električnu energiju ponovo dobiti tek za tri dana.

http://balkanist.net/bcs/protekla-noc/

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Balkanist: Meet Serbia’s Freedom Fight Movement

јануар 14, 2014

Balkanist-Magazine-cover

Meet Serbia’s Freedom Fight Movement

Last month, members of the organization removed the Serbian Privatization Agency’s plaque as an act of protest against what they call the “systematic destruction of the economy”. Balkanist recently spoke with founder Milenko Sreckovic via email about privatization in Serbia and the movement’s mission to reach out to similar movements around the world.

Osnivači Pokreta za slobodu sa tablom skinutom sa zgrade Agencije za privatizaciju

Osnivači Pokreta za slobodu sa tablom skinutom sa zgrade Agencije za privatizaciju

read morehttp://balkanist.net/meet-serbian-freedom-fight-movement/

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Balkanist: The year in bad reporting about the Balkans

децембар 28, 2013

Balkanist-Magazine-cover

Unfortunately, people continued to get paid to write pieces in “prestigious” newspapers that were utterly nonsensical or factually incorrect in the year 2013. We apologize in advance for the following list.

1) Kati Marton, Bosnia, in Peril Once More”, op-ed in the New York Times

Kati Marton, author of Paris: A Love Story, wife of the late Richard Holbrooke (and therefore a Balkan expert), tells us that Bosnia is about to return to 1992 any day now. She provides a vivid description of traumatizing events taken from the Bosnian War and then cruelly warns readers that it’s all going to happen again. Bosnia can’t help itself from slipping back into its natural state of tribal warfare. The only thing that can save Bosnia now is the United States of America, because Europe is fucking useless. The EU or the UN (or whatever) is an incompetent, inefficient institution of lazy horse-riding European socialists, who’ve unfortunately lost whatever ability they once had to manage colonies.

2) Matthew Parris, “I Don’t Think it’s Over in the Balkans”, in the Spectator

Matthew Parris took a brief trip to the Balkans and believes another war is imminent because young men on a train were smoking cigarettes and ignoring the “no smoking” sign. They also kept closing the train’s windows, undoubtedly destroying what might have been a pleasant, smoke-free breeze on a summery day. These young men didn’t care that Parris had kindly ventured to their obscure little statelets for his summer holiday. One youth even shouted that he hated Tony Blair — a sentiment unheard of anywhere else in the world. With teenagers ignoring basic manners and the “no smoking” sign, soon they may be ignoring moral precepts like “thou shalt not kill”.

Read morehttp://balkanist.net/year-bad-reporting-balkans/

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Balkanist: Inside Serbia’s anti-corruption war

децембар 23, 2013

Balkanist-Magazine-cover

(…) Vucic pursues individuals suspected of corruption by completely circumventing the law: “In the past several months, all potential arrests of businessmen and opposition politicians have been planned at sessions of the party presidency. The party’s top decision-making body resembles Cold War-era UDBA [Yugoslavia’s secret service] meetings. Vucic has usurped all power and removed it from legitimate state institutions.”

(…) “Vucic’s first reaction to my candidacy was rage,” Cvijan told Balkanist in a recent interview at his office in the Serbian parliament building. “He couldn’t believe that anyone would run against him.”

(…) In July 2012, Vucic succeeded in changing the law on the Organization of Security Services, eliminating the requirement that the President’s Chief of Staff serve as the Secretary of the National Security Council. With the law revised, he seized the position for himself. This gave him full controlover all of Serbia’s security agencies, including the notorious BIA, or secret service.

Read morehttp://balkanist.net/inside-serbias-anti-corruption-war/

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