January 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

The new year started with some “blood feuds” episodes. In Vlore, a 22 year-old guy was killed by two other guys and in Visselhovede (Germany) an Albanian citizen was shot dead in front of his daughter. An year earlier he was released from jail where he was imprisoned for a murder he committed in 2011. He sought asylum in Germany for fear of retaliations. The revenge, unconcerned of borders and legal justice, reached him right there. Albanian justice system is trying to face the phenomenon by continuing asking extradition for those who committed murders for “blood feud” reasons. Indeed, recently another detainee was extradited from Great Britain. The feud he is involved in started on 1992 and caused three deaths and two casualties in the region of Mirdita.


SHARING, WORK AND NEWS ON VOLUNTEERS

Although the number of volunteers is still small, we try to keep alive the project heart by visiting families affected by the phenomenon and accompanying them to the hospital or to jail. Many of the families have at least one relative in prison. Our presence allows them to see each other. On January we accompanied a guy who, after spending six years in jail, had the chance to see his brother, who in turn is detained in an other prison. During those moments it is possible to feel the happiness coming from seeing each other again; but at the same time it is hard not to perceive the pain and the burden these families have to bear. To worsen the situation, the detention conditions are dramatic. During the winter it is not provided neither heat nor water.

During the month of January we met twice a self-recluded’s wife. His husband stays always home because of a murder committed by his brother. The woman showed us to be extremely kind: she works hard and feels the need to talk about her situation that lasts for six years. We visit them because we would like to build a relationship of trust.

In the meanwhile, we have been keeping on our mediation activity between families in conflict. During one of our visit, a mother confirmed her will to grow up her children in peace. She showed this will by going to the funeral of her father-in-law who tried to take her son away from her. We told her rival family her choice to abandon any will of revenge. Moreover, at the end of January in Tropoja we kept working on a letter of apologies. It could reveal to be a useful tool for reconciling two families in “blood feud” for about four years.

In Tirane, together with a guy of our youth group, we met some players of the local rugby team to talk about its experience. The project is still unripe, but it would be nice to make them meet the youth group in order to help the guys canalize their feelings through the tool of sport.

INSTITUTIONS AND NETWORKING

We have been contacted by the Belgian research department “Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons” because of the high number of asylum seekers for “blood feud” reasons coming from Albania. The department wanted to meet us in order to better understand the “blood feud” phenomenon.
Our collaboration with the Social Services of Shkoder keeps on working. The director’s goal is to offer a job to blood feud families’ women, in order to give them more economical independence