Amnesty International and Yugoslav prisoner Fatmir Salihu

Programs | Midday | Topics | Politics | Types | Reports | Interviews | Grants | Legacy Amendment Digitization (2018-2019) | Social Issue |
Listen: 26540.wav

KCCM's Brigid Shea and the Fargo-Moorhead branch of Amnesty International make calls attempting to verify the imprisonment of Yugoslavian Fatmir Salihu in a Bosnian jail.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

(00:00:00) National to 039 Yugoslavia, I would like I would like to speak with the chief Warden at zenica prison. The federal republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina this long-distance phone call is being made by some members of the Fargo-Moorhead chapter of Amnesty International. They're trying to determine the whereabouts of a young Yugoslavian who's being held in one of his country's jails as a political prisoner. His name is fatmir. Salehi, his case was assigned to the Fargo-Moorhead chapter by the international Secretariat of Amnesty International in London that organization. You will remember receive the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to obtain the release of political prisoners in all parts of the world. You may recognize the voice of the person placing the call. It's Casey CM reported rigid Shay who is a member of the group. Hello. Yes, this is New York. I need the telephone number of zenica prison in the federal republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is zenica. Yes, and we need to telephone number of the zenica prison. Yeah, that mirrors to Lee who is not a well-known prisoner of conscience, like some of the Russian prisoners we've heard so much about recently. But Amnesty International researchers have determined that he is indeed a political prisoner arrested by the Yugoslavian government for his political activities in 1976 as we wait for the Yugoslavian operator to obtain the number of zenit's of prison Martius and do a member of the local amnesty group describes the case of their adopted prisoner. He was a student at the time of his arrest. He was arrested with other members other students of a minority group, which are called Kosovo as they are Yugoslavia albanians, that is people Yugoslavia citizens, but other minority group and they wish to circulate a petition to allow more. Say of this group of people. In the governing of their state and Country and they were arrested for this the charges were counter-revolutionary attacks on the state and social system endangering the territorial Unity of Yugoslavia because they fear movements like this as separatist movements, which will break up the country. Association against the people and the state and possibly hostile propaganda. This was the interpretation of the petition but that the government would have to make to convict him was he given a trial he had a trial it was in camera in 1976. And what was the sentence the sentence was seven years. He received an amnesty of one year last November. What is the local group here doing to try to obtain his release? How how can you obtain his release from Moorhead Minnesota from Fargo North Dakota? Well, we begin Always by writing letters Amnesty International provides us as much as they can with addresses. They told us for example that they didn't know what prison he was at, but they suggested for we wrote to for prisons and we got some rather cryptic information back which indicated he might be at 1 we write to of course the Yugoslavia Embassy we write to officials in Yugoslavia from Tito down when we think might be helpful. We want to make known in the country in the country that we are concerned and that we know we are aware that they have a political prisoner this particular man, and that we are concerned about him and we wish for his release and we remind them of the fact that in their own Constitution, they allow freedom of expression. Well, yes. Every two months to do want to do one zero one to sn-1. Mr. Connection your what is the area code for the city 72. Thank you. Tell him thank you. Hello United States calling for Mia Sally who? He's a prisoner there an inmate. He's in prison. He's a prisoner there and then it's not possible to speak with him. Hello, ma'am. Yes not possible to speak with him. Do you want to speak to the warden? Yes, what we're trying to do is confirm whether or not he's there have they acknowledge that we're trying to confirm whether or not he is there at the prison? We're trying to confirm if he is a prisoner there. Is it possible for us to speak to the warden the chief Warden? We're trying to verify whether this party is a prisoner there or not. He is a prisoner he is. She did say yes, okay. Hmm and well, why don't you see if the warden would accept? Is your father speaking my language? Yes, we do have someone who speaks a language because in a chef too much as I am lost the international amnesty group has asked. Dr. Yvonne burkas chairman of the North Dakota State University philosophy department and a native Yugoslavian to be their interpreter now, he is on the telephone with the chief Warden of zenit's a prison asking questions about sulli whose health and treatment there have been reports that members of his minority group are often mistreated in Yugoslavian prisons British inquires as to whether sulli who is able to correspond with his family as he get proper food and Medical Care British asks, and is he allowed to exercise a part of the to Dahlia? Dabra Dolly had Emma like our scope or much Dolly as the conversation continues the members of the amnesty group sit. And attentively they seem to be trying to sift bits of information from this conversation being carried on in a language. None of them understand then the phone call ends and Burke is translates what they've just heard one was willing to talk as a matter of fact, he was very very very easy going. He did not want to confirm that he is there but he said if he is there he won't have any trouble communicating with his family. There are no problems in Yugoslavia with the political prisoners and the rest any any inquiries should be directed through the consulate through the regular diplomatic channels American diplomatic channels in Yugoslavia period the rest was coffee and how are you pleasantries cliches that have the script there were well instructed and it was obvious that he was instructed that he must accept the call the water that there was no problem there. In other words. We have kid treating with them dealing with a sophisticated situation. They have instructions to Very courteous to the Americans the Amnesty International had no problems asking who's that is apparently knows that he should by now we have that's it. Do you think we can believe what the warden said though? Absolutely not. I mean we can after the report from British the group briefly discusses their next move. Although they had it first thought that the Yugoslavian operator had confirmed the fact that sulli who was in this prison after listening to a tape of the phone call. They find that this is not the case. They still do not know for sure. If Sully who was at this prison nevertheless, they seem encouraged by the fact that they've been able to talk directly with the warden of this prison who after all did not deny that Sally who might be there. It is the first direct response. They've had even though they've written many letters to Yugoslavia officials later after the rest of the group has left Martius and do reflects on the success of the phone call. I don't know whether you could call it a success of I I feel more strongly that he is there as strategy would probably be then to refer in letters to the call. We've made. Showing that we are working and concerned. I'm I think we still have to think of strategies next. We try everything. We can really we know that we can reach the prison. This is another we can talk with the warden. He doesn't have much information to give but perhaps at some time or other women may wish to speak with him again and to voice protest or something. We know now that we can make that call again. Do you have any more hope because of this phone call? Oh, yes. Yes. Yeah, it shows that you can make connections Martius and do a member of the local Fargo-Moorhead chapter of Amnesty International which is working to obtain the release of a young Yugoslavian political prisoner fatmir, Selita. (00:09:56) They say ever man must need protection. They say I have a male ball. Yeah, I swear I see my reflection someplace so high above the wall. I see my light could shine it. From the west down to thee and if they love anything. I shall be really down here next to me in this lonely crown. In the man who swears he's not to rain all day long. I am cry so loud calling out that he's been praying. I see my light come shining run the West up to the any day now any day?


Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

This Story Appears in the Following Collections

Views and opinions expressed in the content do not represent the opinions of APMG. APMG is not responsible for objectionable content and language represented on the site. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report a piece of content. Thank you.

Transcriptions provided are machine generated, and while APMG makes the best effort for accuracy, mistakes will happen. Please excuse these errors and use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report an error. Thank you.

< path d="M23.5-64c0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.2 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.3-0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.1 0 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.2 0 0.4-0.1 0.5-0.1 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.1-0.3 0.3-0.5 0.1-0.1 0.3 0 0.4-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.3-0.3 0.4-0.5 0-0.1 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1-0.3 0-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.2 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.3 0-0.2 0-0.4-0.1-0.5 -0.4-0.7-1.2-0.9-2-0.8 -0.2 0-0.3 0.1-0.4 0.2 -0.2 0.1-0.1 0.2-0.3 0.2 -0.1 0-0.2 0.1-0.2 0.2C23.5-64 23.5-64.1 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64"/>