JOE DIOGUARDI'S 1985-88 CONGRESSIONAL RECORDS 

 

The work of the Albanian American Civic League for Kosova and the Albanian national cause since 1989 is well documented on this web site (please see the AACL twenty-year history). But what is not so well known are the many Congressional Resolutions, statements, letters, and hearings that were sponsored and promoted by Congressman Joe DioGuardi from 1985 to 1988 to publicize the terrible plight of the Albanian people of Kosova and to expose the terror imposed on them by Slobodan Milosevic. Here is the first instalment of this important part of the foundation on which the independent State of Kosova is being built today.

Congressional Resolutions

Building a nation is in many ways similar to building a good house. One of the most important elements for both is the foundation on which they rest. The strength of the foundation will play a big part in the longevity and utility of the entire structure.

The independence of Kosova will be the result of many things, including the democratic aspirations of the Albanian people and the great sacrifice of blood, sweat, and tears made by the Albanian people since Kosova was separated from Albania, western Macedonia, southeast Montenegro, and Presheva, and especially since Milosevic came to power in Serbia. But one main ingredient in the foundation of work leading to the independence of Kosova is the work of the Albanian American Civic League, its members, former Congressman Joe DioGuardi and Balkan Affairs Adviser Shirley Cloyes in Washington from 1985 to the present.

The work of the Albanian American Civic League for Kosova and the Albanian national cause since 1989 is well documented on this web site (please see the AACL ten-year history). But what is not so well known are the many Congressional Resolutions, statements, letters, and hearings that were sponsored and promoted by Congressman Joe DioGuardi from 1985 to 1988 to publicize the terrible plight of the Albanian people of Kosova and to expose the terror imposed on them by Slobodan Milosevic. Below is the first installment of this important part of the foundation on which the independent State of Kosova is being built today.

 

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THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 1

JOSEPH J. Di0GUARDI Washington Office
20TH DISTRICT NEW YORK Washington DC 20615
(202) 225—6506

BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS

GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
House of Representatives (914) 997-6440

SELECT COMMITTEE ON NARCOTICS
ABUSE AND CONTROL 
Washington, DC 20515

Congress of the United States 
House of Representatives
June 18 1986

Dear Colleague:
Yesterday, I introduced a concurrent resolution to express Congress’s deep concern over the political and economic conditions facing ethnic Albanians living in Yugoslavia. Despite more than 40 years of ongoing repression, most Americans are unaware of the dire situation facing Yugoslavia's ethnic Albanian community. While Albanians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups within Yugoslavia, numbering 2 million people, due to political repression they are forced to endure some of that nation's harshest economic circumstances. Albanians who express their cultural heritage are routinely fired from their jobs and are denied new employment opportunities. Many are thrown into jail. In fact, the majority of political prisoners in Yugoslavia are ethnic Albanians. Incredibly, this systemic repression by the Yugoslav Government goes even further. Amnesty International has published allegations of torture and assassination of ethnic Albanians in exile by the Yugoslav secret police. It is time for the United States Congress to let the Yugoslav Government know that their repressive tactics will not be tolerated. We invite you to join us in cosponsoring the resolution which appears on the back of this page. To join us in speaking out on human rights, please call Wayne Cimons at 5-6506.

Joseph J. DioGuardi
Member of Congress


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THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 2
 

99TH CONGRESS
2D SESSION
H. CON. RES. 358
Condemning the repression of ethnic Albanians by the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

JUNE 17, 1986
Mr. DIOGUARDI submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Condemning the repression of ethnic Albanians by the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.

Whereas there are more than two million ethnic Albanians living within the international borders of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia;

Whereas ethnic Albanians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups within Yugoslavia;

Whereas the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia has suppressed the human and economic rights of ethnic Albanians;

Whereas according to Western press reports since 1981, hundred of ethnic Albanians have been killed and thousands have been arrested by the Yugoslav Government for expressing their views in a nonviolent manner;

Whereas the preponderance of political prisoners within Yugoslavia are ethnic Albanians;   

Whereas those arrested have been sentenced to excessive terms of imprisonment ranging from one to fifteen years;

Whereas thousands of ethnic Albanians have lost their jobs because they refuse to abandon their cultural heritage;

Whereas Amnesty International, a highly respected international human rights organization, has published allegations of torture and assassination of ethnic Albanians in exile by the Yugoslav secret police;

Whereas Kosova, the province which is the homeland for the majority of ethnic Albanians, has been denied, by the Yugoslav Government, full-fledged status as a republic equal to Yugoslavia’s six other republics which are the homelands for other ethnic groups with much smaller numbers than ethnic Albanians;

Whereas the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia is a signatory to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Final Act;

Whereas Principle VII of the Final Act contains provisions concerning respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief;

Whereas one of these provisions states that “the participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the right of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and svill, in this manner, protect the legitimate interests in this sphere: Now, therefore, be it

(1) Resolved, by the House of Representatives (the Senate concerning), That the Congress- condemns the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia for their repressive actions against ethnic Albanians for the peaceful expression of their independent views; 

  

(2) calls upon the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia to review in a humanitarian spirit the cases of all ethnic Albanians currently imprisoned on political charges and to release all of those who have not used or advocated violence;

(3) urges the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia to act so as to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Helsinki Final Act and the Concluding Document of the Madrid CSCE Follow-Up Meeting are expected in regard to persons from all national and ethnic groups in the Kosova Autonomous Province;

(4) urges the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia to work with ethnic Albanian leaders to elevate Kosova to full republic status;

(5) requests the President of the United States to direct the Department of State to convey the contents of this resolution to the appropriate representatives of the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.

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THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 3
 

99TH CONGRESS
2nd session   

CON. RES. NO. 150

Expressing concern over the condition of ethnic Albanians living in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mr. Dole submitted the following concurrent resolution;
which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Expressing concern over the condition of ethnic Albanians living in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Whereas there are more than two million ethnic Albanians living within the international borders of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia;

Whereas ethnic Albanians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups within Yugoslavia;
Whereas the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia has suppressed the human and economic rights of ethnic Albanians;

Whereas according to Western press reports since 1981, hundred of ethnic Albanians have been killed and thousands have been arrested by the Yugoslav Government for expressing their views in a nonviolent manner;

Whereas most political prisoners within Yugoslavia are ethnic Albanians;

Whereas many of those arrested have been sentenced to harsh terms of imprisonment ranging from one to fifteen years;

Whereas many ethnic Albanians have been denied access to full economic opportunity because of alleged “Albanian nationalist” activities;

Whereas Amnesty International, a highly respected international human rights organization, has published allegations of torture and assassination of ethnic Albanians in exile by the Yugoslav secret police;

Whereas the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia is a signatory to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Final Act;

Whereas one of the provisions of the Act states that “the participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the right of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect the legitimate interests in this sphere” and:

Whereas the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has failed to protect fully the rights of ethnic Albanians, in accordance with its obligation under the Act: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by; the Senate ( the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress is deeply concern over the political and economic conditions of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia and over the failure of the Yugoslav Government to, fully protect theft political and economic’ tights urges the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to act so as to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Helsinki Final Act and the Concluding Document of the Madrid CSCE Follow-Up Meeting are respected in regard to persons from all national and ethnic groups in Yugoslavia; calls upon the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to review in a humanitarian spirit the cases of all ethnic Albanians currently imprisoned on political charges and to release all of those who have not used or advocated violence; requests the President of the United States to direct the Department of State to convey the contents of this resolution to the appropriate representatives of the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

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THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 4
 

JOSEPH J. Di0GUARDI Washington Office
20TH DISTRICT NEW YORK Washington DC 20615
(202) 225—6506  

 

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS
GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS House of Representatives(914) 997-6440
SELECT COMMITTEE ON NARCOTICS
ABUSE AND CONTROL Washington, DC 20515

August 6, 1986

The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
United States Representative
1513 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Steny:

I am writing you to request hearings of the Helsinki Commission on the treatment of ethnic Albanians by the Government of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.
Despite the fact that ethnic Albanians are Yugoslavia’s largest ethnic minority, they have suffered years of political and economic persecution in that Country. Much of this discrimination is in direct violation of the Helsinki Final Act, which Yugoslavia voluntarily signed.
Senator Dole and I have introduced Concurrent Resolutions expressing our concern with regard to the present plight of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia. It is my belief that hearings on this issue will give all Members of Congress a better understanding of the current situation facing these ethnic Albanians.
Steny, your assistance would be greatly appreciated. For your convenience, I am enclosing copies of the Dole and DioGuardi Concurrent Resolutions.

I look forward to your favorable response.

Sincerely,

Joseph J. DioGuardi
Member of Congress

 
 
 
 

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