We are not numb! We will not forget!

Statement on 21st Anniversary of Bytyqi Brothers Murders


July 8, 2020 – Twenty-one years ago, our family suffered the greatest of losses as Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet Bytyqi were taken from us by the Serbian government. President Aleksandar Vucic has promised the United States government and our family that he would resolve the cases for more than six years. Privately, he has given up Goran Radosavljevic by name. Vlastimir Djordjevic is responsible too. President Vucic has the evidence and the ability. The only thing he lacks is the will. Our family’s suffering is not the only suffering that he ignores. President Vucic protects and glorifies many other war criminals. The world, including the Trump administration, know this to be true. They have just grown numb to these facts.

We are not numb. We will not forget.

To be clear my family wishes for success in talks between Kosova and Serbia. The people of both countries deserve a better future. As neighbors, we must live and work together towards this goal. We find great hope and draw strength from the many Serbs who have helped us survive and fight for justice these past twenty-one years.

We hope that accusations against Kosova leaders like President Thaqi and Kadri Veseli do not stop the process of reconciliation. Equally important, they should not obscure the fact that Milosevic’s government was a criminal regime that was responsible for the worst mass atrocities in Europe since the Holocaust. The Kosova Liberation Army that Thaqi and Veseli led worked with the United States and NATO to stop even greater atrocities.

On this tragic anniversary of our family’s past and present, the United States and the world must remember that Ylli, Agron, and Mehmet’s unresolved murders are just symbolic of the fact that Serbia has never sought to reconcile its past. Until it does, we cannot reconcile our futures.

Until Justice is Served: A Promise for the Bytyqi Brothers from Praveen Madhiraju on Vimeo.