Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Kosovo: Calls for Inquiry into Possible Human Organ Sales

(Feb. 23, 2011) On February 16, 2011, Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the United Nations in Kosovo, called for an inquiry into allegations of trafficking in human organs in the region in 1999. (Kosovo: UN Envoy Calls for Probe into Allegations of Human Organ Trafficking, UN NEWS CENTRE (Feb. 16, 2011),

It has been alleged that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) sold human organs in order to finance its fight against ethnic Serbs and the Yugoslav army. The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly received a report from Special Rapporteur Dick Marty on the matter and, in January 2011, also recommended an investigation. Commenting to the U.N. Security Council on the Marty report, Zannier stated that he believed it should be taken seriously, that a probe should be undertaken, and that “of course it is crucial that adequate protection be provided to all witnesses.” (Id.)

The Council of Europe report names Kosovo's Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, who led the KLA during the conflict, 27 times. The group he directly headedis accused of a variety of organized crimes, including trafficking in both drugs and human organs. Authorities in Kosovo have called the report, “baseless and defamatory.” (Kosovo Rejects Hashim Thaci Organ-Trafficking Claims, BBC NEWS (Dec. 15, 2010),