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Zeldin Joins Hampton Bays Family In Quest For Justice In Sons' Deaths

October 16, 2015
In The News

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin introduced a resolution last week reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to tracking down the people responsible for the death of three Hampton Bays men in Serbia nearly 16 years ago.

In 1999, brothers Ylli, Agron and Mehmet Bytyqi, all of whom had been living in Hampton Bays, were imprisoned by the Serbian government and ultimately executed while on a peace mission in the area following the Kosovo War.

Mr. Zeldin’s resolution, introduced last Thursday, May 21, calls for the Serbian government to make finding the people responsible for the execution a priority. The resolution also calls for the United States to contribute whatever resources it has available to aid the investigation and goes as far as to say the future of U.S.-Serbian relations should be contingent upon the examination.

The resolution resembles a similar document submitted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee by former U.S. Representative Tim Bishop last summer. Before losing his reelection bid to Mr. Zeldin, Mr. Bishop had been working with the Bytyqi family—including the men’s father, Ahmet, and their brother Fatose—who have been petitioning the federal government for help since Ylli Bytyqi, 25, Agron Bytyqi, 24, and Mehmet Bytyqi, 21, were all found in a mass grave, bound and with bullet wounds in their heads.

Mr. Zeldin said he picked up the effort shortly after arriving in Washington, D.C.

“Since taking office in January, my office has been working closely with the Bytyqi family,” Mr. Zeldin wrote in a prepared statement. “I introduced this resolution in the House because the Bytyqi family should receive the justice and closure they rightfully deserve. The Serbian government must hold accountable those responsible for the senseless murders of the Bytyqi brothers.”

Jennifer DiSiena, a spokeswoman for Mr. Zeldin, said the congressman thinks his position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will give his resolution more clout than that of Mr. Bishop’s.