Operazione Colomba, Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, learns from Albanian media sources about Indrit Pepa’s homicide, 27 years old killed on 6th September 2018 in Mamurras, in the prefecture of Kurbin, to revenge the wounding of Azis Markola, committed by Pepa in 2013. Agron Markola, Azis Markola’s brother, is wanted for Indrit Pepa’s murder.
Since 2013, following the attempted murder against Azis Markola, which ended with the latter’s legs injury, Indrit Pepa’s family lived self-isolated for fear of blood feud. Moreover, in 2015 Indrit Pepa went to Germany as asylum seeker, declaring that in Albania he was in danger of life. According to Albanian sources, “after a year and a half the victim would have been repatriated”. In fact, for German State, Albania is a safe country.
Last April, following Mario Majollari’s murder in Tirana, Operazione Colomba denounced the lack of protection to people and families in blood feud. After Indrit Pepa’s murder, Operazione Colomba renews its concern over the failure to adopt national and international measures to protect and guarantee the right to life of those involved in the blood feud phenomenon..
Operazione Colomba renews its appeal to State institutions to commit themselves to acting to eliminate the phenomenon and to protect its victims.
At the end of the month, an explosion has damaged a man’s house, fortunately leaving no one wounded. According to the victim, the bombing was a form of retaliation for a homicide committed by his son in 2015. Ever since, this family has
sustained four attacks with explosive and a further assassination attempt directed to their son in jail. The family has stated that they will take justice into their own hands if there will not be any intervention from State justice.
Also, in the same days, someone has fired some gunshots at a man’s house in Fierza, a village in the Tropoja mountains. In the press the episode is thought to be linked to an escalation of violence between the alleged aggressors and a local minivan driver. Allegedly, the spiral of violence had begun when some gunshots were fired against the minivan, followed by armed threats by the driver’s son. Situations like this one can often degenerate into cases of blood feud. (more…)
In June there have been at least two episodes related to blood feuds.
At the beginning of the month, the police arrested a man who is charged with attempted murder for an attack with explosives that took place in July 2017. Investigations uncovered that the attack was carried out in the attempt to avenge another violent episode that dates back to 1997, when the man was injured and two others were killed.
Near the middle of the month, a man was killed in Shkodër, near his garage. The murder was probably executed on commission and it is likely to be rooted in a previous conflict that involved the victim’s family. (more…)
In May, we recorded a certain number of homicides motivated by futile reasons or allegedly related to property conflicts. Besides, the death of a Roma boy, while he was in pre-trial detention in a police station in Korça, has revealed the level of discrimination towards ethnic minorities and the low level of public trust towards state justice in the country. Indeed, while the police has stated that the boy died of natural causes, the family of the deceased has accused the police force of his death and cited his ethnicity as the main motivation. Moreover, the family has publicly stated that, if there will not be justice from the state, they will resort to forms of private justice.
Sharing with others, activities and news about the peaceworkers
At the beginning of the month, we went to Tropoja to stay close to the blood feud families in the region. In a particular case, we are promoting the access to state justice, to help them understand why the killer of their close relative came out of prison after serving only a few years sentence. Thanks to the collaboration with our legal advisor, we have learned that the family has to apply directly to the Office of the Regional Public Prosecutor. We believe that it is crucial to support the decision of the family to prosecute along this route, as this takes away the risk of resorting to vengeance. Moreover, this choice reinforces the will declared by the family itself to forgive the one who committed the murder.
Unfortunately, the month of April opens with a homicide committed in the suburbs of Tirana. The crime is the result of a bar fight sparked by trivial reasons between two friends.
Halfway through the month, a 28-year-old man has been killed in downtown Tirana in the middle of the day as a revenge for the murder committed by his father in 2000. The case has particularly shaken the Albanian public opinion. Operazione Colomba believes that this case is of particular gravity because the victim was denied the right to asylum by Sweden in 2014 due to Albania numerous statements about its own efforts to safeguard and protect people who risk their lives because of blood feuds. Consequently, the peaceworkers have issued a press release to urge the institutions to effectively protect the victims of this phenomenon.