Human rights and justice issues? Sounds like a good venue to present the plight of the non-Albanians precariously surviving in the "Independent State of Kosovo," right? At least that's what the folks at RAS thought, when they recommended Boris Malagurski's documentary "Kosovo: Can You Imagine?" as one of the films to be featured at the festival.
Nothing doing, came the reply from AI. The film "does not fit with the atmosphere" they wanted to create, described as "advocating for a cause without advocating against another people." The movie, AI argued, "seems to be clearly anti-Albanian."
Zvezdana Scott of RAS replied to this dismissal with the following note, which she allowed me to make public:
Human rights are not violated without a perpetrator violating those rights, and it is puzzling to me as to why you believe this film is anti-Albanian. Is any film dealing with the topic of the Holocaust - anti-German perhaps? Or is this film supposedly anti-Albanian simply because it does not talk about crimes committed against Albanians during the 1990s, something that has generated more media attention than any crimes against Serbs for the last century.
This is not an anti-Albanian film, and I would love to hear your arguments as to why you classify it as such. The film is against what is happening to the Serbs in Kosovo, and the only ones currently responsible for such a state are representatives of the Albanian ethnic group who do have the power to change things, as well as the international community which is doing little to help.
I'm sure most people within that same community often react such as yourself - because the Serbs were thoroughly demonized during the 1990s, it has become irrelevant whether they have the same rights as Albanians or not, and anyone who voices their opinion in favor of even-handedness towards the Serbs - must be anti-Albanian by default. I suggest you look at the film once again and take a bold step because it's not easy breaking from the mainstream. The people want to see something new, original and different from what they've been fed for the last decade.
No thank you, replied the AI official. Not interested.
So there you have it, folks. "Human rights" are great when you can use them as an excuse to launch a war of aggression or three, occupy someone's territory, condone ethnic cleansing (and excuse it as "revenge attacks"), and deliberately turn the other way when an entire people and its heritage are systematically obliterated - so long as the people thus targeted are Serbs.
Any attempt to protest this sort of treatment is labeled "Islamophobic" or "anti-Albanian" or "anti-Croat" or whatever. Having been declared inhuman, how dare they claim to have human rights!? The nerve of these people! Why can't they just die already!?
Many "human rights" groups have eagerly supported the demonization of Serbs. Amnesty International seemed to be an exception, given that they actually dared accuse NATO of war crimes during its 1999 assault on Serbia. Turns out they weren't all that different after all.
Now, you can either take AI's word that pointing out what the KLA has done with occupied Kosovo is "anti-Albanian", or you can watch Malagurski's film, and judge for yourself.