Latvian, Estonian journalists reportedly arrested in Kosovo

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A Latvian journalist on assignment with Estonian colleagues was arrested and detained in Kosovo August 23, report Kosovan and Estonian media.

Kosovan news portal RTV Puls said three journalists "of Russian nationality" were detained at around 11:30 a.m. and released at 17:00 without charge.

The trio were reported to be compiling a report about Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries.

According to ERR News in Estonia, the Latvian journalist was one 'Juri Aleksejev'. According to the Facebook profile of an individual by that name, he is already in Serbia. The postings would suggest he has a strongly pro-Kremlin view of the world. He is listed as residing in Riga but hailing from Norilsk in Russia.

He can also be seen wearing a T-shirt a few days ago that appears to imply Kosovo is Serbian.

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Clearly possessing a penchant for provocative if badly-designed T-shirts, here he is coyly posing in a number apparently depicting a Russian tank on the rampage in New York.

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Estonian journalist Rodion Denissov and his wife Vera have been confirmed as the two other detainees.

Details of their alleged offences are sketchy but seem to relate to an interview with the mayor of the town of Parteš, Dragan Nikolić to which the mayor possibly took exception on the subject of Kosovo's Albanian population.

LSM asked Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm if it had been informed of the arrest of any Latvian citizens or residents. 

"The Kosovan embassy in Prague has confirmed by telephone that a Latvian dependent [usually used to mean non-citizen with residency rights - Editor] was briefly detained. Presently the individual has been released and is no longer in Kosovo," the ministry said.

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