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Danish soldiers beat prioress of Sokolica Monastery in Northern Mitrovica
'Politika' [Yugoslav newspaper]
The arrogant behavior of members of KFOR and the UNMIK police in the northern part of Kosovo during "routine" controls at permanent and temporary check-points has exceeded all measure in recent days. For three days now hardly anyone can pass along the main road from Kosovska Mitrovica - Leposavic by the newly formed checkpoint at the spot called "Kod Simonide" ("At Simonida's"), held by Danish soldiers, without being subjected to mistreatment, a detailed search and beatings as well. Danish soldiers at this check-point are especially rough toward the clergy. Recently they stopped the prioress of Sokolica Monastery, Mother Dr. Makarija (Obradovic), who was returning from Kraljevo to the monastery, and forced her to get out of the automobile by beating her.
"They stopped me and since I could not understand what they were saying, I answered that I could communicate with them in either Serbian, or in the English, German, Greek or Slovenian languages and I simply did not understand what they were saying. At that moment, one of the soldiers swung his arm and struck me on the neck. Humiliated, in pain which caused me to see stars in the middle of the day, I reacted humanly, as any elderly woman would. I cried while they searched my automobile," the prioress of Sokolica Monastery, Dr. Makarija, told us.
An artist herself and a former professer of Byzantine art at the Swedish Royal Academy, Dr. Makarija was a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Belgrade prior to taking her vows; for the past ten years, she has been the head of the one of the most renowned schools of iconography, besides Krska, which is located inside Sokolica Monastery, seven kilometers from Kosovska Mitrovica.
Even more ironically, she subsequently received a cynical explanation from KFOR that the Danish soldiers thought she was an Egyptian woman because women of that country wear black dresses similiar to the robes worn by Christian Orthodox nuns.
Translated by S. Lazovic (August 23, 2000)
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