Monthly report

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – September 2018

Present situation

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. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – August 2018

Present situation

In August, the Albanian press reported on numerous conflicts, unfortunately including some homicides. On the 10th of August, a man was killed in Shkoder for reasons that are still unclear but that, according to the police, could be connected to a blood feud that has already caused the death of four other people. Few days later, on the 14th of August, the police arrested a 39 years old fugitive who had killed two people in 1999 in a blood feud. Media monitoring allows the constant collection of information related to human rights violations caused by the practice of the blood feuds. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – July 2018

Present situation

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…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – June 2018

Presescutarint Situation
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…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – May 2018

muralesPresent situation
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.