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AI INDEX: EUR 70/009/2004     1 April 2004


Serbia and Montenegro (Kosovo)
The legacy of past human rights abuses

2.1 The lack of legal basis for KFOR detentions

Amnesty International believes that there is no legal basis for the continuation of such KFOR detentions. The organization has also repeatedly expressed its view that the detention of people by KFOR without review by any judicial body violates national and international laws and standards. Amnesty International understands from previous correspondence with both KFOR and the Special Representative of the (UN) Secretary General (SRSG) that KFOR considers that their authority to arrest derives from UNSC resolution 1244/99, which at Para. 9(d) charges the international security presence in Kosovo with responsibility for "ensuring public safety and order until the international civilian presence can take responsibility for this task". Amnesty International believes that, given the progress made by UNMIK in establishing the rule of law in Kosovo over the past three years - and in particular, the existence of a fully-functioning international (UN CIVPOL) and domestic (KPS) police service - this justification is no longer applicable. In this period, Kosovo has seen the development of a comprehensive body of applicable law and UNMIK Regulations with regard to arrest and detention and the establishment of a functioning judicial system, and Memoranda of Understanding have been signed between KFOR and CIVPOL, within each of the KFOR Multi-National Brigade (MNB) Boundaries. Under these Memoranda, investigative primacy, including the power of arrest and detention, has been transferred from KFOR to CIVPOL in each of the KFOR Multi-National Brigade areas.

In addition, Amnesty International considers that any detentions carried out on the basis of UNSC resolution 1244/99 which fail to guarantee detainees' rights set out under applicable law and in international standards are unlawful.


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