New York, September 14, 2000 — A well-known ethnic Albanian journalist was shot and killed in Kosovo on the evening of Sunday, September 10. It is currently unclear whether Shefki Popova’s death related to his journalism.
Popova, a journalist for the Albanian-language daily Rilindja, was gunned down at 11:25 p.m. near the municipal office building in his home town of Vucitrn, 12 miles northwest of Pristina, according to the United Nations police Web site [www.civpol.org/unmik/PressUpdateArchi/archive.htm] Two unidentified men were seen running from the scene.
Popova died shortly after arriving at a nearby hospital run by United Arab Emirates peacekeeping forces.
Popova was approximately 50 years old and well known in the province. Over the past 26 years, he had contributed numerous articles to Rilindja and had also reported for the newspaper’s local radio station.
Popova was also active in local politics. At the time of his death, he was running as the Vucitrn candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Kosova (PSDK) in the October 28 local body elections. And Popova had acted as a facilitator for the OSCE in recent months, assisting international officials in organizing meetings with non-governmental organizations in Vucitrn.
CPJ condemns the murder of Shefki Popova and calls on United Nations authorities to pursue the investigation vigorously. CPJ will continue to monitor the case.