The tragic news of Andrew Strong’s premature death, the devoted attorney who defended former Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli, reached the legal community and supporters of Kosovo’s fight for justice on Monday. Strong, a notable character in Kosovo’s judicial scene and an exceptional human rights campaigner, went yesterday, leaving a legacy of unwavering devotion to justice and the cause of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The announcement of Andrew Strong’s passing came from Ramush Haradinaj, the head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), who shared the news on Facebook. Haradinaj expressed profound sadness at the loss of a dear friend and an exceptional advocate for human rights. Strong had been an integral part of Haradinaj’s defense team during his trial in The Hague, showcasing his commitment to upholding justice in the face of adversity.
Haradinaj’s tribute on Facebook read, “Saddened by the untimely death of attorney Andre Strong, an extraordinary fighter for human rights and a dear friend of mine. He joined my defense team as a student from Chicago, later becoming one of the most respected attorneys for his passion for justice. Condolences to family and friends! Your legacy will be remembered Andy. May you rest in peace.”
The impact of Andrew Strong’s work extended beyond his association with Haradinaj. Avni Bytyçi, former adviser to Kadri Veseli, also shared heartfelt words about Strong’s passing. Bytyçi described Strong as the embodiment of idealism, loyalty, and an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of truth. Strong’s dedication earned him the title of the defense lawyer of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a symbol of his involvement in advocating for justice during the challenging times of the liberation war.
Bytyçi’s tribute to Strong painted a vivid picture of the man behind the legal battles, revealing that, despite being an American, Strong’s heart was deeply connected to Kosovo. He spoke the beautiful Albanian language fluently and held a profound love for the region. Strong lived his life defending the history of Kosovo’s liberation war, leaving an indelible mark on those who knew and worked with him.
“A few moments ago, Andrew Strong, the lawyer of Mr. Kadri Veseli. Andrew for all of us has represented the ideal, the loyalty, and the tireless one who fights for the truth. Andrew Strong fully deserves the title of defense lawyer of the Kosovo Liberation Army. He had also defended Mr. Haradinaj in The Hague. Andrew was American, but at heart he was Albanian. He spoke beautiful Albanian and loved Kosovo very much. He lived defending the history of our liberation war. He called me brother in Albanian and treated me as such. He will be greatly missed by all of us who knew and worked with him. Condolences to his wife Rachel, and the three children he leaves behind. Thanks for everything bro!” Bytyçi’s heartfelt words captured the deep bond and camaraderie shared with Strong.
Andrew Strong’s passing leaves a significant void in Kosovo’s legal community and the broader human rights advocacy sphere. His legacy is not only marked by his legal prowess but also by his commitment to truth, justice, and the enduring struggle for liberation. As friends, colleagues, and supporters mourn the loss of a passionate defender of human rights, the memory of Andrew Strong will continue to inspire those who follow in his footsteps. May he rest in peace, knowing that his contributions to the pursuit of justice in Kosovo will be remembered for generations to come.