The OSCE Mission and mayor of Gracanica have condemned the vandalism of over half-a-dozen Serbian graves in a village cemetery in the centre of the country, demanding a thorough investigation.

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OSCE Condemns Desecration of Serb Gravestones in Kosovo

View of Gracanica municipality. Photo: BIRN

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo has condemned the desecration of a Serbian Orthodox cemetery in Gracanice/Gracanica, a Serb-majority municipality where a number of tombstones were damaged.

“Incidents like this cause distress among local communities and require the active response of institutions to provide reassurance to the public and prevent such cases from reoccurring,” the OSCE Mission said on Thursday.

“The Mission joins the call of the Kosovo Police asking anyone with information about this incident to come forward to help resolve this case, and commends police for responding by sending regional investigative and forensic units to the cemetery,” it added.

Earlier this week, media have reported that unknown persons have damaged seven tombstones at the cemetry in the village of Kishnice/Kisnica in the central Gracanica municipality.

On December 27, Kosovo Police said they had engaged “specialized investigators to shed light to this case”.

“Competent investigations teams, including these from forensics, went to the scene and carried out examination procedures,” police said.

Local authorities have also condemned the incident. Gracanica mayor Ljiljana Subaric said that the “sacred sites of the Serbian people and property of the Serbian Orthodox Church continue to be targets of vandals and extremists.”

She added: “We are disappointed, but we are not surprised. Despite everything, we will continue to build our Gracanica for all people without any ethnic, religious or cultural differences.”

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