Violence, nationalism, and lies: A case of abuse in a nursing home in Kosovo

Freepik/@ vectorjuice

Original article (in Montenegrin) was published on 03/11/2022

A disturbing video showing a nurse physically abusing an elderly woman is circulating in the region. The video was recorded in a nursing home in Peja. The situation resulted in a swift judicial epilogue, while horrific images were used to fuel inter-ethnic tensions in Kosovo. published an article titled:

VIOLENCE IN A NURSING HOME: An Albanian nurse slaps and mistreats an elderly Serbian woman (VIDEO).

Similar interpretations of the event in the media and Facebook posts soon followed:

Nurses who abused an elderly Serbian woman in Peja arrested (VIDEO) – a post on the TVK3 website read.

Similar posts, accompanied by claims that this was a case of harassment targeting an elderly Serbian woman, were also published on Instagram and Twitter:

“In Peja, a Shiptar (colloquial pejorative term for a person of Albanian origin, transl. note) nurse slaps and harasses an elderly Serbian woman in the hospital, while her colleagues clearly support her and laugh at it,” read the description of the post on the “Montenegro Serbian Sparta” page.

In the meantime, the description was edited, and the following was added: “it seems that the victim is an Albanian woman, but that does not change (anything), we have to fight (against) violence”.

The video also found its way to YouTube, stating that “a Shiptar nurse harasses an elderly Serbian woman “, that is, “nurses slap and make fun of an elderly Serbian woman”.

The victim, however, is not Serbian, which certainly does not matter in this case.

Kosovar fact-checkers from wrote about it.

“These claims are false. The elderly woman who was physically abused by the nurses in the nursing home in Peja is a resident of Kosovo and comes from the Albanian community. From yesterday’s media reports from Kosovo, we learned that an elderly woman whose family name is Nura moved into her daughter’s house,” this website states.

The elderly woman’s daughter, Zaneta Nura, spoke in Albanian for Dukadjini TV. In an interview, which was shared in the regional media, she said:

“I would visit her at least once or twice a week, and four or five days ago, I saw signs of violence on her face, but I could not believe that a nursing home worker could do such a thing. I immediately got my mother out of there, and now I hope that justice will be done and the case will be solved. It happened to my mother, but let us ensure it never happens to others.”

“To use violence against a seventy-year-old woman… There were three nurses, one of them held her hands while the others laughed at her – it could not be worse. I am very shaken up,” the daughter of the woman from the video added.

The nurses were arrested and suspended.

The violence against the old woman occurred in the “Orenda” nursing home in Peja. In the video, three women can be seen – one of whom is assaulting a resident with her legs and arms, two are watching, while one is filming. Three persons were arrested.

Kosovar published the statement of Fadilj Gashi, the police spokesman for the Peja region, who clarified that three people were arrested.

“Three persons have been arrested. They are charged with three different criminal offences – the first is charged with the criminal offence of ‘assault’, the second for ‘aiding in the commission of a criminal offence of assault’, and the third is for ‘unauthorised recording’, Gashi said.

In the meantime, there was news that four nurses from the nursing home where the incident took place were suspended because of this case.

Although the ethnicity of the elderly woman in the video is irrelevant, it is clear that adding a national prefix to this incident led to the creation of fake news.

The “Fake news” rating is given to an original media report (completely produced by the media that published it) that contains factually incorrect claims or information. Content that is rated as fake news can be reliably determined to have been created and disseminated with the intent to misinform the public, that is, to present a completely false claim as fact.