Kosovo: Nun arrested by UN police

 The Serbian Orthodox Church has demanded an apology from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) for the wrongful arrest of a 70 year old nun. Mother Efrosinia, Prioress of Gracanica Monastery was arrested last week and questioned about the growth and consumption of cannabis on approximately 100 square metres of monastery land, a short distance from Pristina. In making the arrest at 8.30pm on August 7, the police broke an 800 year old Monastery charter strictly prohibiting entry after dusk to anyone. Mother Efrosinia was questioned until close to midnight and then released. Speaking to the Raska & Prizren Diocesan Bulletin after the incident, the prioress revealed that the sisters had raised hemp until 1953, when it was accepted as "a plant of poor people once raised by everyone and used to make clothes". And she confirmed that it still grows wild on the edge of a meadow frequently used as a landing strip by UNMIK helicopters. Although neither Mother Efrosinia or the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has received an official apology yet, local UNMIK police have stated that the cannabis will be destroyed and "with it this case is closed for us". Source: Branko Bjelajac, Keston News Service, Keston Institute, Oxford, UK. The Institute monitors freedom of religion and researches religious affairs in communist and postcommunist countries. www.keston.org

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