Pristina, Kosovo, July 22, 2021
A Kosovo court sentenced a Serbian citizen of Montenegro to 6 months in prison yesterday after he peacefully defended an Orthodox nun against an unnecessary police search.
The man, Risto Jovanović, was convicted of “inciting hatred” when he intervened with the police, reports Pravoslavie.ru.
The incident occurred on the feast of Vidovdan on June 15/28, which commemorates Prince St. Lazar and all who fell during the Battle of Kosovo against the Ottoman Empire on June 15, 1389. Jovanović was taken by police at Gazimestan Memorial at the Kosovo Field after they began confiscating items with Serbian symbolism from those celebrating the feast. When he saw the police begin searching a nun, he tried to dissuade them, saying, “Why bother the holy woman?”
Kosovar media claimed, however, that he was taken into custody for shouting nationalistic slogans such as, “Kill the Albanians” and “Kosovo is Serbia.” The Montenegrin citizen was immediately taken into police custody and then sentenced to a month’s detention.
And yesterday, the Pristina court extended his time to 6 months. Alternatively, the court determined that he could pay a fine of $7,900 (6,700 euros), to which his family agreed. Jovanović was then released with a ban on entering Kosovo for 5 years.
The Democratic Front political coalition in Montenegro announced that it was ready to pay the fine for him.
Jovanović and his family expressed their gratitude to the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their hard working ensure his safe return home.
“Despite the complex circumstances and attempts to abuse and politicize this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro on this occasion, as always, has made every effort to assist Montenegrin citizens in protecting their rights, regardless of their national, religious, political or any other affiliation,” the Ministry said.