Press release

PRESS RELEASE Blood feuds, Operazione Colomba: «They are still present in Albania»

Operazione Colomba

“The blood feuds phenomenon is unfortunately still a tangible and significant reality in some areas of Albania. Not only the European Union but also the Albanian institutions have recognized the existence of the phenomenon”. This is what Operazione Colomba, the Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association, stated in a note about the interview of the Counciellor of the Albanian Minister of the Interior to the Italian TV broadcast “Le Iene”.

“The phenomenon violates the fundamental human rights, including, first of all, the right to life and also causes as a consequence the problem of self-isolation. To eradicate this problem – the note goes on – it is necessary to guarantee the certainty of penalty as its absence can contribute to the use of vendetta as a form of private justice”.

Operazione Colomba, the Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association, has been present in Albania since 2010 to fight the blood feuds phenomenon.

Operazione Colomba works through the permanent presence of volunteers who daily visit people involved in this social plague, supporting them and implementing mediation and reconciliation processes among the parties in feud.

With reference to “Le Iene” broadcast, aired on the Mediaset networks on 10 February 2019, Operazione Colomba reports below some words of Albanian Interior Minister Counsellor Hilë Lushaku: “Currently there is no such phenomenon […] blood feuds are the product of some associations to obtain funds […] It is a phenomenon now gone by, that abroad is being magnified, to create problems to Albania […] Our experts are considering reviewing the article which deals with blood feuds and remove it from the Albanian penal code”.

In this regard, Operazione Colomba states that:

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P/R Operazione Colomba urges for the protection of blood feud victims

Press release – Operazione Colomba, Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Pope John XXIII Community, learns from media sources, both Albanian and international, about Mario Majollari’s homicide. The 28-years-old Albanian has been killed on April 10th, 2018, as a vendetta for the murder of Ilir Gjuzi, committed by Mario Majollari’s father. Wanted for Majollari’s homicide is Kastriot Gjuzi, Ilir Gjuzi’s brother.

In 2014, when his father, fugitive up to then, got arrested, Mario Majollari was in Sweden as international protection applicant, since he feared he could have been killed for vendetta. Protection, however, was denied. Among the motivations, Swedish sources claim that the Judge’s decision has been based on the information transmitted from Albania. Swedish judiciary therefore concluded that the Albanian judicial system – independently from its current gaps – can give protection from blood-feud-related conflicts.

Operazione Colomba is worried for the lack of protection to the people and the families involved in blood feuds and, as stated in the report presented in March, it hopes for a greater awareness from State Institutions in order that they will put more and more efforts in achieving the elimination of the phenomenon and in the protection of its victims.