PRESS RELEASE Blood feuds, Operazione Colomba: «They are still present in Albania»
“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:
– the phenomenon of blood feuds is unfortunately a tangible and
significant reality in some areas of Albania (see Triennial report);
– in these years, the same Albanian institutions have recognized the existence of the phenomenon, enhancing our work: for example, in July 2014 we met the former President of the Republic Bujar Nishani to talk about the implementation of the law 9389/2005; in March 2018, the presentation of our triennial Report on the phenomenon was attended by the Albanian Ombudsman, Erinda Ballanca, the representative of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, Mimi Kodheli, and the President of the Parliament, Gramoz Ruçi. See also: the Resolution of the Albanian Parliament 2015 for the prevention of the blood feuds phenomenon; the Law 9389/2005 for the creation of a Coordinating Council against blood feud; the 2015 Report of the Albanian Ombudsman on the blood feuds phenomenon; the Presentation of the 2013 Report by the Albanian Ombudsman on the blood feuds phenomenon;
– even the International institutions have officially recognized the existence of the phenomenon, its negative consequences and the need to fight it, also as a condition for European membership: see the EU 2018 enlargement report; the EU 2015 Enlargement Report; the 2014 EU Enlargement Report; the 2013 Resolution of the European Parliament;
– the certainty of penalty must be guaranteed. As the European Union has recently affirmed (Link 1, Link 2), the problem of corruption is vast and sometimes also found in the judicial system. Unfortunately, the lack of certainty of the penalty can contribute to the use of blood feuds as a form of private justice;
– the mentality which originated the phenomenon is rooted in some areas of Albania and foresees that revenge is considered more honorable than respect for life. Trivial interpersonal conflicts can be transformed into feuds because, if the damage is immediately avenged, infinite cycles of vendetta can be triggered. The phenomenon violates the fundamental human rights, including, first of all, the right to life and also causes the problem of self-isolation.
To eradicate the blood feuds phenomenon, support and resources are needed!
Operazione Colomba continues with dedication and seriousness its commitment alongside the Albanian people to overcome this social plague.
Among the various initiatives promoted, currently Operazione Colomba of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association is carrying out an awareness raising campaign entitled “Kundër Gjakmarrjes” and all of you are invited to join it.
For further information and contacts:
Tel. +355 69 4007283
Operazione Colomba – Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII Association