Artan Zumberi (Zymberi), a Norwegian citizen originally from Kosovo, who died in a prison in Serbia on November 27, “refused to be treated for the disease he had”, Radio Free Europe (RSE) was told today in the Ministry of Justice of Serbia. and it denied that his death had anything to do with ill-treatment.
As RSE writes, the media in Kosovo reported in recent days that family members of the deceased expressed their suspicion that Zumberi, 28 years old, may have been killed because of several tattoos on his body, such as those with the image of Adem Jašari, who was killed by Serbian forces during the war in Kosovo. 1998, as well as the eagle and emblem of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The Ministry of Justice of Serbia announced that from February 3, 2022, Zumberi was serving a prison sentence in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia, for three years and eight months, for the criminal offense of unauthorized production and distribution of narcotic drugs.
According to RSE, the Serbian ministry said that Zumberi stated during his arrest that he was being treated for a “certain type of illness”, but that due to the Law on Personal Data and Protection and the Law on Health Care, it was not possible to specify what kind of illness it was.
The Ministry also announced that Zumberi did not have medical documentation with him, but that he was examined by a doctor several times and that, based on his condition, he received adequate therapy.
The Serbian ministry said he had “full medical care” and “regular examinations”.
As further stated, Zumberi was sent to a special prison hospital in Belgrade several times during his sentence.
It was said that he refused medicine and food on several occasions and that he last stayed in this special hospital from July 28 to September 17, 2022, and that after this period he was returned to the prison in Sremska Mitrovica with instructions for therapy and further treatment, which “this convict resolutely refused”, according to RSE.
“It was discussed with the convict several times that by refusing therapy, he is intentionally endangering his health,” the Serbian Ministry of Justice said in a written statement to RSE.
As further stated, the doctor found Zumberija dead on November 27 at 7:15 a.m. in his bed in the prison in Sremska Mitrovica.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway told RSE’s Kosovo editorial office that it had been informed of the death of Zumberi in prison in Serbia, but added that “all questions about the circumstances of the death should be directed to the Serbian authorities.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Kosovo stated for the same newsroom that it requested information about the circumstances of Zumberi’s death from the Liaison Office of Serbia in Kosovo.
“Until now, they have not given us any information that would confirm the case,” the Kosovo ministry said, as reported by RSE.
According to the Ministry of Justice of Serbia, the Serbian police were also informed about this case, which conducted an investigation and informed the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Sremska Mitrovica.
The prosecution ordered an autopsy of the body at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Novi Sad. The autopsy report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office, but it is not publicly known.
The legal representative, as well as the embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Serbia, were informed of Zumber’s death. His body was received by the family on December 6, the Ministry of Justice of Serbia stated.
Relatives of the deceased said they were not given an opportunity to meet or contact Zumberi. But, the Serbian ministry stated that it rejects “all the lies that individuals are spreading on social networks about this case”.
It is also added that representatives of the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade, as well as his father, visited Zumberi. As it is stated, the prison approached the embassy for, as it is explained, the provision of psychosocial assistance to the prisoner, because he refused to communicate with the employees of the institution, as well as with the doctor and others.
The office of the Ombudsman of Serbia told RSE that Zumberi did not turn to that institution for help.