Man Imprisoned In Yugoslavia Expected Home Today, Family Says
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) _ A man imprisoned in Yugoslavia for political activity in the United States received a hero’s welcome upon his return to America.
Peter Ivezaj, 30, of Sterling Heights arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday and was hoisted upon the shoulders of family members and other well-wishers.
″It feels great to be home,″ said Ivezaj, holding roses and draped with an American flag. ″You saved my life ... you made history overseas.″
Family members say Ivezaj will return to Detroit tonight.
″We’re going to have a big party,″ said Ivezaj’s sister-in-law Sofi Ivezaj.
Ivezaj was arrested in August while visiting relatives in his native Yugoslavia. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Albanian heritage.
Ivejaz was convicted and sentenced earlier this month to seven years in prison for membership in an Albanian-American student group and for demonstrating outside the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington and two other cities on behalf of Albanian rights.
He was freed last week after protests from the U.S. State Department and threats by members of Congress to push for an end to Yugoslavia’s most-favored nation trading status.
Ivezaj’s departure from Yugoslavia was delayed for several days because his U.S. passport had been confiscated, Frano Ivezaj said.