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.
We thank the institution of the People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) for publishing on the website avokatipopullit.gov.al our three-year report “Descriptive document on the phenomenon of ‘hakmarrja’ and ‘gjakmarrja’ to raise awareness among Albanian and international institutions – III edition -“. For us, the collaboration with this important institution is strategic in order to safeguard the fundamental rights of the people affected by the phenomenon of blood feuds.
The report is available in English here.
On April 17, 2018, the European Commission has released a working document on Albania before publicly recommending the opening of the negotiations for the country integration in the European Union. Despite the progresses Albania has made along its European path, regarding the right to life, and the contrast to the blood feuds phenomenon in particular, the European Commission points out at page 26 that the resolutions and recommendations adopted in the past still require follow-up.
read the report
On March 21st and 27th, 2018, in Shkodër and Tirane respectively, Operazione Colomba presented the report “Descriptive document on the phenomenon of ‘hakmarrja’ and ‘gjakmarrja’ to raise awareness among Albanian and international institutions – III edition”.
This document photographs the phenomenon of blood feuds, trying to put pressure on the Albanian and international institutions in order to achieve an increased effort in tackling this phenomenon which still causes sufferings and deaths among Albanian citizens nowadays.
Read the report here.