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The report stated that, from July 1999 to mid-2000, elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and affiliates held scores of "disappeared" persons at temporary locations at Bicaq, Burrel, Rripe, and Fushe-Kruje.

The report alleged that some of these persons had their kidneys extracted for use by an international organ-trafficking ring.

The killings of two political figures--Socialist Party Member of Parliament Fatmir Xhindi and a Christian Democrat leader, Alex Keka--were under investigation and remained unresolved at year's end.

On December 12, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (COE) released COE rapporteur Dick Marty's report on allegations concerning inhuman treatment of persons and illicit trafficking in human organs.

In its report on the visit, the CPT noted credible allegations of physical mistreatment, at times severe, mostly during police questioning.

The December 12 COE report on inhuman treatment of persons and illicit trafficking in human organs (see section 1.a.) alleged that, in 1998 to June 1999, the KLA with the cooperation of SHIK, detained "prisoners of war" from Kosovo at locations it Durres, Cahan, and Kukes, where they were held in makeshift cellblocks, left in insanitary conditions without food and water, and were visited periodically by KLA soldiers to be questioned under harsh treatment, or indiscriminately beaten.

The report also stated that the head of the Drenica Group, Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Thaqi, operated with the "support and complicity" of Albania's government, secret service, and the mafia.

Albanian authorities denounced the content of the report but pledged their cooperation with any investigation.

Following the release of the COE report, EULEX indicated that it lacked jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes committed on the territory of Albania.

Albanian prosecutors believed that they had traced Ilir Kumbaro, on trial with three of his National Intelligence Service (SHISH) colleagues for the 1995 kidnapping and torture of Remzi Hoxha and two other citizens, to the United Kingdom, where he was allegedly living under an assumed name and had applied for asylum. The trial and the extradition request were pending at year's end. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment The constitution and law prohibit such actions; however, police and prison guards sometimes beat and abused suspects and detainees.

During the year the government continued to implement recommendations resulting from the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) 2008 visit to the country's prisons and detention centers.

Police sometimes used threats and violence to extract confessions.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions The Ministry of Justice operated all detention facilities, while the Ministry of Interior oversaw police detention facilities.

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