Kosovo, Denmark ironing out prison rent agreement

Dec 16, 2021, 5:03 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2021, 8:11 am
Kosovo prison guards inspect the fence of the 300-cell prison in Gjilan, 50 kilometers south east o...

Kosovo prison guards inspect the fence of the 300-cell prison in Gjilan, 50 kilometers south east of the capital Pristina, Kosovo where Denmark's would run the new 300-cell facility, on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. Kosovo's Justice Ministry said on Thursday that it has struck a preliminary agreement to rent 300 prison cells to Denmark, to help the Scandinavian country cope with its over-populated prison system. (AP Photo/str)

(AP Photo/str)

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo is hopeful that a deal with Denmark to rent 300 prison cells to help the Scandinavian country cope with its overpopulated prison system would help upgrade its correctional service and also cope with the energy crisis.

The justice ministry has said the small Balkan country would be paid 210 million euros ($236 million) from Denmark for a 10-year agreement, which will fund Kosovo’s justice system and renewable energy projects.

Earlier this week, Danish Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup said the agreement with Kosovo would help “expand the prison capacity in Denmark by several hundred places.”

Eris Hana, a senior legal adviser with Kosovo’s justice ministry and also part of the negotiating team, said the deal also included a donation of “more than 60 million euros ($68 million) for 10 years” to help Kosovo build green energy.

Kosovo’s energy system, totally based on coal production, is in crisis, producing only 60% of daily consumption, which has resulted in daily cuts.

The Danes have conducted a research study from that concluded that Kosovo’s correctional institutions “have the best infrastructure in the region and also have the capacity to take 300 inmates,” Hana said.

Haekkerup, the Danish minister, said Friday that “it will be a groundbreaking and historic agreement that will both create space in our prisons and ease the pressure on our prison officers,” Denmark will expand the capacity of Danish prisons by creating 326 new places in existing jails.

Kosovo’s prison system has a capacity of up to 2,000 from which about 400 are still free.

The plan is for the 300-cell prison in Gjilan, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the capital, Pristina, to be used to house the inmates from Denmark, according to Hana.

A Danish warden will run the new 300-cell facility, accompanied by an Albanian one and other local staff.

Fatmira Haliti of the Kosovo Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims, a nonprofit organization that monitors the system, said that transferring about 200 inmates from Gjilan prison to make way for Danish prisoners would naturally overpopulate other prisons.

Despite systemic improvements and some new facilities in recent years, “Kosovo’s correctional service leaves much to desire and can hardly be compared to those in Denmark,” Haliti said.

Hana said they aren’t speeding up negotiations, which are considering every detail. The Danish delegation is requesting investment in infrastructure.

“We want to create the same standard for them and we will achieve it,” he said, referring to Denmark’s prison standards.

Following the letter of intent to be signed next week, the agreement is expected to be signed early next year and then both countries’ parliaments should ratify it.

“One of the strongest and biggest benefit is that we are returning the Kingdom of Denmark as a strategic partner to the Republic of Kosovo, and we are making them one of our strongest donors,” he said.


Llazar Semini reported from Tirana, Albania. Jan M. Olsen contributed to this report from Copenhagen, Denmark.


Follow Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A Norwegian national flag flutters over flowers and rainbow flags that are placed at the sce...
Associated Press

2 more arrests in deadly attack during Norway Pride festival

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with a deadly shooting during the Norwegian capital’s annual LGBTQ Pride festival, police said Monday. The total number of suspects is now at four. A 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran was arrested shortly after the June shootings in Oslo’s nightlife district that […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Building collapses outside Kenyan capital, deaths reported

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A multi-story building collapsed outside Kenya’s capital Monday, and rescuers are picking through the debris in search of several people reported missing. Kenya’s national broadcaster reported that at least three people died in the accident in Kirigiti. It is not immediately clear what caused the building collapse. Such events are not […]
1 day ago
In this photo made available by the United Arab Emirates Presidential Court, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zay...
Associated Press

German chancellor Scholz tests positive for coronavirus

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for the coronavirus, his spokesman told the news agency dpa on Monday. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said Scholz has mild symptoms and immediately entered isolation. He has canceled all public appearances this week but plans to take part virtually in internal government meetings, Hebestreit said. […]
1 day ago
Fog drifts by the banking district in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael...
Associated Press

Recession clouds gather in Germany, Europe’s largest economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s largest economy is sending recession signals. Germany’s key future indicator, the IFO survey of business confidence, pointed down for the fourth month in a row as high inflation fed by astronomical natural gas prices undermines consumer pricing power and imposes heavy costs on businesses. The index compiled by the Munich-based […]
1 day ago
FILE- New iPhone 14 models on display at an Apple event on the campus of Apple's headquarters in Cu...
Associated Press

Apple Inc will manufacture iPhone 14 in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Apple Inc. will make its iPhone 14 in India, the company said on Monday, as manufacturers shift production from China amid geopolitical tensions and pandemic restrictions that have disrupted supply chains for many industries. “The new iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking new technologies and important safety capabilities. We’re excited to be […]
1 day ago
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is welcomed by Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Akasak...
Associated Press

In Tokyo, Harris calls US-Japan alliance ‘a cornerstone’

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Monday shortly after arriving in Tokyo for the state funeral of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe. Abe, who was assassinated in July, will be honored on Tuesday, and Harris is leading a U.S. delegation to pay its respects. “The alliance […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Kosovo, Denmark ironing out prison rent agreement