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Organ-trafficking investigation sought

Feb. 29, 2012 at 5:32 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Wednesday an investigation of Kosovo organ trafficking must be under the auspices of the U.N. Security Council.

Speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Jeremic called on European Union member states to support Serbia's bid to devise a convention on organ trafficking, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.

"Those who are tasked with following the trail of evidence must not be impeded in their work in any way -- whether on temporal or territorial jurisdiction pretexts, or on the scope or legitimacy of their mandate to do so. In our view, this cannot be achieved without the explicit support of the Security Council," Jeremic said.

Members of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army have been accused of removing body parts of their civilian victims, mostly Serbs from Kosovo, in 1999 and 2000.

Jeremic said Serbia was prepared to initiate negotiations that would lead to adoption of legally binding prohibitions, under U.N. auspices, against harvesting and trafficking in human organs, tissues and cells.

He also warned of human rights violations against Serbs in Kosovo.

"Multiple reports by successive U.N. secretary-generals have indicated widespread and persistent violations of the Kosovo Serb community's basic human rights," Jeremic said. "These include numerous ethnically motivated murders, assaults, home invasions, burglaries, vehicle stoning, arson, private property usurpation, desecration of holy sites and cemeteries and attacks on pilgrims and returning internally displaced persons."

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