Statement on Congressional “Bytyqi” Resolution
June 28, 2018 – Today, on the eve of the 19th Anniversary of the Bytyqi murders, the U.S. Congress’ House Foreign Affairs Committee marked up H.Con.Res. 20, a resolution regarding Serbia’s state-sponsored murders of three American citizens, clearing its way for passage by the full congress. Surviving family members and their representative were present for the markup and had this to say:
Ilir Bytyqi, brother to Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi:
“Until Goran Radosavljevic and others responsible for my brothers’ murders are brought to justice, we will not stop, we will not rest, and we will not be ignored. We are very grateful to Congressmen Zeldin and all the other members of the committee for supporting our family and this cause. They have lifted our spirits and sent a strong message to the Serbian government that the Congress will never let the Serbian government off the hook for protecting the war criminals that killed my brothers.”
Praveen Madhiraju, Executive Director of Pretrial Rights International and the family’s pro bono attorney:
“Today’s vote made one thing clear. Serbia is again becoming known for protecting war criminals. President Aleksandar Vucic can no longer bluff his way into becoming a trusted partner of the United States. Congress is showing that President Vucic has alot of work to do.”
H.Con.Res. 20 recounts the factual history of the Bytyqi case, including that a main suspect, Goran “Guri” Radosavljevic, is a prominent member of the governing political party in Serbia, which President Aleksandar Vucic leads. It’s final paragraph states that “progress in resolving this case, or the lack thereof, should remain a significant factor determining the further development of relations between the United States and the Republic of Serbia.” Then Secretary Rex Tillerson made similar remarks in December 2017 as have countless other U.S. officials and members of Congress.
(Information and photos by Praveen Madhiraju)