July 2019

PRESENT SITUATION

In June, Albania experienced a period of strong institutional instability. The election campaign, in view of the local elections of June 30, has taken on harsh tones, so much so as to provoke a boycott of the electoral process in the main opposition party. As a result, in the middle of the month the President of the Republic decided to cancel the elections, moving the date to October 13th. Instead, the Prime Minister has decided to respond to this act by maintaining the date of the elections for June 30th. In the absence of the Constitutional Court, the only body delegated to settle these disputes, the elections were actually held on June 30th, with a total absence of the candidates of the opposition party, who withdrew from the competition as a gesture of protest. However, the international observers have tried to guarantee a correct voting process. The institutional crisis in any case is serious and risks jeopardizing the future opening of negotiations for the entry of the Country into the European Union.

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May 2019

PRESENT SITUATION

At the end of May a man was arrested in the mountains, convicted of avenging in 2012 the murder of his parents, killed by a neighbor in 2003 because of a dispute over the ownership of a stream. The arrested man had acted with his sister, who initially declared herself to be the only one responsible for the crime. The girl, at the time of the arrest, had stated that she had waited 9 years for State justice to take its course, but then, full of pain and resentment, she had chosen to resort to private justice, killing the brother of the responsible of her parents’ murder. The latter, on the other hand, is still at large.
Finally, the only indicted of Mario Majollari's murder was released for lack of evidence. Operazione Colomba expresses concern because, as the case reported here above, when State justice is not efficient, victims can resort to forms of private justice that often turn into blood feud’s episodes.

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April 2019

PRESENT SITUATION

During the month of April, we recorded some cases of injuries due to blood feud phenomenon. In the middle of the month, a village chief was injured because of a previous property-related conflict. The dynamics of the episode shows the abuse of the Kanun and the misuse of its practice. Indeed, the man was hit by a few gunshots while he was on the balcony of his house, although the domestic dwelling is a traditionally sacred place, where taking revenge is forbidden. Furthermore, in April, a man, who had arguments over property issues in the past, was injured. His wife said she is very scared and in danger because her family had previously been threatened and attacked.

ACTIVITIES

At the beginning of the month, we organized the usual annual trip with the women group at the Saint Anthony’s Sanctuary, in Laç. After attending Mass, the women listened to the comforting words of Allegra, a woman who faced the loss of her daughter with courage and mindfulness, and founded an association in her memory.

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March 2019

PRESENT SITUATION

Around the 15th of March, the newspapers reported about a trial in which are involved three young people investigated for the murder of a boy, occurred in 2017. The victim's parents declared that "if the judicial system is not going to work, then the Kanun will work"; furthermore, they affirmed that they are not asking for money because it is impossible to find the price for their son’s life, "we will not restore our son's value through money". Among the Albanian population the distrust in the judicial system is still relevant and often people can be more confident in private justice.
In the same period, a 26-year-old man, probably known and involved in the organized crime, was killed in front of his house. Even if the investigations are still going on, is almost certainly a blood feud’s case caused by another murder for which the victim had been investigated and found innocent in 2017.
At the end of the month, a man found explosives under his car; his brother was killed ten years ago and this failed attack is probably due to a conflict situation that has been affecting his family for years.

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February 2019

PRESENT SITUATION

At the end of the month, a bomb, hidden in a package inside a private garden, exploded in the hands of a boy, killing him. Allegedly, the murder is related to an event happened in March 2016, when the victim's brother shot two cousins, injuring one and killing the other.
Around the same time, a murder and an attack were committed. A man was killed in his car by a neighbor, apparently for a dispute that had occurred in the bar of a village. In the car there was also the 10-year-old son of the victim, who remained unhurt. In Korça (southern Albania) unknown people shot at a man's car, fortunately without causing victims; his son thinks it might be a revenge for a robbery he had committed in 2008.
In the middle of the month, a man got conditional release, after he had been extradited from Italy in 2014, where he had been previously sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge stated that the alternative measure to detention was granted due to his good conduct and the relationship he had created with the victim's family. It is interesting to note how, although not explicitly mentioned, a form of restorative justice has been applied to this case.

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