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#KundërGjakmarrjes: Demonstration against blood feud in Shkodra

On the 22nd of March 2019, the volunteers of Operazione Colomba organized a demonstration in Shkodër pedestrian city center, to keep promoting the awareness campaign “Kundër Gjakmarrjes” (Against Blood-Feud), launched on December 10th. The volunteers involved the citizens, explaining the goal of the initiative, and asking them to take themselves a picture holding the campaign logo.
In order to attract people attention, the volunteers settled a frame that recalled social networks’ one.
Finally, they distributed some colorful balloons with the campaign’s logo, that catched many children’s attention. Some people stopped to share with the volunteers their personal story of blood-feud. We hope that this initiative could contribute to the development of a social pressure that supports forgiveness and reconciliation.

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – 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. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – 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. (more…)

Blood feuds in 2018 – numbers from the press

Operazione Colomba carries out a monitoring activity about data related to the blood feuds phenomenon in Albania by reading and analyzing articles published in the press on a daily basis. Every day the volunteers read 3 newspapers of the Albanian national press and try to monitor also the foreign press, looking for elements that can attribute crime news stories to the blood feuds phenomenon, when it is not already clarified in the press. The identified cases are then classified in a database, according to a subdivision between cases of hakmarrje (vengeance) and cases of gjakmarrje (blood feud).
The data collected in 2018 show a constant trend in the use of violence to approach disputes caused by different reasons, with an average of 11 cases per month of vengeance, throughout the national territory. The 5 cases attributable to the blood feud result as a consequence of vengeance acts previously committed, according to mechanism of retaliation, typical of private justice.
The case occurred in Spain highlights the phenomenon of the so-called blood feud export, a phenomenon that involves the victims even when they are abroad.
For further information on the classification and on the geographical and numerical distribution of the phenomenon, see the triennial Report “Descriptive document on the phenomenon of ‘hakmarrja’ and ‘gjakmarrja’ to raise awareness among Albanian and international institutions – III edition”, p. 18.

On the basis of data collected during 2018, Operazione Colomba in Albania has drawn the following diagram which shows the number of hakmarrje and gjakmarrje cases occurred during last year. The total number of cases is 137: 5 happened for gjakmarrje and 132 for hakmarrje. (more…)

Albania News in response to “Le Iene”

After the latest report by the Italian TV show “Le Iene” about a case of blood feud, the website “Albania News – The Voice of the Albanian Diaspora in Italy”, through Arbër Agalliu’s words, seeks to outline the phenomenon more accurately. We share with you this opinion as a further way of pressure on Albanian authorities in order to undertake effective actions against such practice. For years, Operazione Colomba volunteers, together with local associations, have been asking the implementation of the law n.9389 of 4/5/2005, which establishes the creation of a Coordination Council and its functioning in order to cope with the phenomenon of blood feuds. For this purpose, Operazione Colomba encourages everyone to join the campaign #KunderGjakmarrjes (Against Blood Feuds) to promote the transition to a restorative justice and to nonviolent means to eradicate this practice. (more…)