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Astrit Dehari Jailed Kosovo activist committed suicide: prosecutor

A prosecutor in Kosovo has said that 26-year old Astrit Dehari who died in jail for his activism had committed suicide.

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Kosovo Albanians pay their respects beside the casket of opposition activist Astrit Dehari after his death in prison, which authorities said was suicide play

Kosovo Albanians pay their respects beside the casket of opposition activist Astrit Dehari after his death in prison, which authorities said was suicide

(AFP/File)

An autopsy on the body of a Kosovo opposition activist who died in prison found that he committed suicide, authorities in the Balkan nation said, after his death drew protesters onto the streets.

Medical student Astrit Dehari, 26, died in jail earlier this month in the southeastern city of Prizren, where he had been detained since August along with five fellow members of the opposition Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) party.

"All our evidence and the tests done during the inquiry showed he committed suicide," public prosecutor Syle Hoxha said.

Dehari and his fellow activists were arrested on suspicion of throwing an explosive device at Kosovo's parliamentary building, one in a series of recent attacks on institutions that have rattled the former Serbian province.

There have been tensions between the opposition and government of President Hashim Thaci over a border demarcation deal with neighbouring Montenegro, and the implementation of an EU-backed deal with Serbia, which is set to grant more autonomy to Kosovo's Serb minority.

The opposition had expressed doubt over the cause of Dehari's death, saying it was "the result of strangulation".

According to Kosovo authorities however, it was caused by "a blockage of the upper respiratory tract" but was "self-inflicted".

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