September 2018

September started with tragic news: a 15-year-old boy stabbed and killed a 14-year-old boy, due to a quarrel occurred during a football match. The newspapers reported that the young murderer’s father pushed his son to commit this crime, saying: “If you don’t do it, you’re not a man’s man!”. Furthermore, on 6th September a man has been killed for hakmarrja reasons. In 2012, the victim injured another person, so the murder was committed as a form of retaliation for the damage previously caused. Moreover, the victim had just been repatriated from abroad, where he applied for asylum because he feared vendetta, but his application had been refused. As in April, we issued a statement and sent it to local and international institutions in Albania, with the hope that appropriate measures will be taken in order to ensure the effective protection of those involved in the blood feud phenomenon. Finally, during this month, we recorded several cases of injuries and murders related to property disputes.

The last remnants of Summer have allowed us to accompany to the seaside a woman with her three children. Her husband is in jail for murder and the family lives in serious economic difficulties, while maintaining a dignity that for us is always an example and inspiration. Offering them a carefree day is one of the reasons why we are here.
At the end of the month we had the honor of hosting a woman who undertook a very profound process of re-elaborating the loss for her daughter, which happened three years ago. Thanks to her presence, we organized a meeting with the women of the families in revenge, which was preceded by many home visits to invite them to the event. During this time, our guest shared his personal experience and touched very intimate chords in each of the participants to “let that”, according to her words, “tears do not tell just pain and death, but also the great love that a mother has for her child, even when the child is gone”. This kind of intervention supports paths of restorative justice, as it helps the victims of the phenomenon in the re-elaboration of the mourning and the conflict, promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution. If the members of the families in blood feud are able to reconcile with their emotional wounds, the level of empathy towards the counterpart can increase and, consequently, the process of mediation is encouraged. For this purpose a home visit has been also made to a mother who lost her daughter for blood feud, to help her in the process of overcoming her trauma.

Relationship with institutions and civil society
At the beginning of the month, we took part in a meeting organized by “Save the Children”, with the aim of putting into contact the associations that receive its support to promote access to justice for vulnerable groups. At the end of the month, we met an imam from Shkodër, who works to foster the overcoming of the blood feud phenomenon, in order to get some information about a Muslim family involved in a feud. Religious representatives often have direct contact with families in blood feud and, therefore, their collaboration is invaluable in order to carry out effective actions.