ICRC and director Hysaj produce play depicting agony of families of those missing for 20 years

ICRC and director Hysaj produce play depicting agony of families of those missing for 20 years

News release 30 August 2019 Kosovo

Pristina (ICRC) – A theatrical play titled The Stools, directed by renowned Kosovo director Fadil Hysaj and supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was staged before a select audience on the eve of the International Day of the Disappeared. The audience comprised top local politicians, international diplomats, family members of those who have been missing in relation to the 1998–1999 armed conflict in Kosovo and members of the Red Cross family.

The play showcased, from a unique perspective, the life of a married couple struggling to cope with the harsh reality of their missing son.

Addressing the audience before the play, head of the ICRC's mission in Pristina, Agim Gashi said: "We have invited you here today to live through – via the actors who will perform on this stage tonight – the lives of those mothers who refuse to accept that their sons or daughters, or other loved ones like husband or siblings might not come back, and to live through the lives of those husbands who invest their entire being into consoling them, and themselves."

Besides the theatrical production, the ICRC has also released a video animation to sensitize the society to the plight of the families whose loved ones went missing during the armed conflict in Kosovo. 

Over 6,000 people have been reported as missing to the ICRC as a consequence of the 1998–1999 armed conflict in Kosovo. The tracing process has yielded results, enabling the families of more than 4,400 people to find solace, but that is of little consolation to the 1,653 families that are still living in uncertainty.

Under the international humanitarian law, the former parties to conflict bear the prime responsibility of providing information on the fate and whereabouts of the people who have gone missing on the territories under their control. The same law enshrines families' inalienable right to know about the fate of their missing loved ones.

For further information, please contact:
Rrahim Beqiri, ICRC Pristina, tel.: + 383 38 220 384 119 or +383 44 141 586