BIRN Kosovo publishes report on the procedures of release of individuals convicted of terrorism

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On December 28, 2023 BIRN Kosovo has published a report titled “Conditional Release and Supervision of Persons Convicted of Terrorism” based on its direct monitoring of the advantages and disadvantages of the management of the process of the release of individuals convicted of terrorism.

Photo: BIRN

Kosovo ranks among the countries with the highest number of foreign fighters per capita who have joined the terrorist organization ISIS in the war in Syria and Iraq.

Kosovo also is one of the first countries to accept the repatriation of its citizens who had sided with terrorist organizations in conflict zones. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a specific law to prevent its citizens from participating in foreign conflicts. The justice system responded quickly to the issue, swiftly prosecuting, investigating, and adjudicating individuals involved in terrorist acts.

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) has analyzed the conditional release process of individuals convicted of criminal acts related to terrorism. BIRN selected a random sample for analysis, comprising of five cases handled between 2015 and 2020 by the Conditional Release Panel.

Based on the methodology, the analysis focused on five cases of individuals conditionally released, convicted of committing criminal acts related to terrorism, including terrorism with religious motives and other forms of terrorism.

In its analysis, BIRN looked into the conditional release procedure of individuals convicted of terrorism from the initial report of the Correctional Service, the Conditional Release Panel’s decision, to the final report of the Probation Service after the supervision period was concluded.

For the compilation of this report, BIRN utilized the archives of the Probation Service of Kosovo and the Conditional Release Panel.

Data analysis on the processes carried out for conditional release encompassed the entire chain of institutions, including the submission of requests for conditional release, to the compilation of the case file by the Correctional Service, processing of the file, decision-making by the Conditional Release Panel, and the supervision process and the drafting of the final report on the supervision process by the Probation Service of Kosovo.

The report also includes individual summary analyses of all analyzed cases, chronologically detailing the key moments in the handling of each case.

At the end of the report, BIRN included recommendations to justice institutions, such as the Ministry of Justice, the Conditional Release Panel, Probation Service, courts, etc.

Click here for the report on Albanian and English.

This activity is implemented as part of the “Media as a means to improve the transparency of the justice system and the fight against terrorism and extremism” project, supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian embassy in Prishtina.