– 30 June 2011. Seminar: Kosova – 21st century international protectorate, Speaker: Albin Kurti, The seminar will take place at 6.00pm, Thursday 30 June, Venue is the Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW (nearest tube Oxford Circus).
– 02 July 2011. 8pm. Queens Arms, 1 Kilburn High Road London NW6 5SE
About Albin Kurti
Albin Kurti is the leading activist and party leader of VETËVENDOSJE!. He came to prominence in 1997 as the vice-president of UPSUP, the University of Prishtina Student Union, and the main organiser of the nonviolent demonstrations in autumn 1997 and spring 1998. When Adem Demaçi became the political representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Albin Kurti worked in his office. In April 1999, during the NATO’s air strikes on Yugoslavia, he was arrested by Serbian forces and beaten up. Later that year he was charged with “jeopardizing Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity and conspiring to commit an enemy activity linked to terrorism,” a crime that carries maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was freed in December 2001 by Serbia’s post-Milosevic government. Since 2000, Albin Kurti has stayed outside party politics in Kosovo, but has been a severe critic of the UNMIK and of corruption. He has organised nonviolent protests in support of the families of those whose relatives disappeared in the war, and in favour of Kosovo self-determination. However, after UN police killed two unarmed protesters and injured 80 others with plastic and rubber bullets at a Vetevendosje rally in February 2007, he was arrested. He was detained until July, and then kept under house arrest with police guarding his house. Amnesty International has criticised the irregularities in his prosecution, and his trial has yet to be concluded. Kurti remains an advocate of “active nonviolent resistance”.