On the political assassinations, arrests and persecution of the
opposition by the neo-communist regime in Albania
Memorandum by Josefina Topalli, Deputy-Speaker, Republic of
Albania People's Assembly, Tirana, October 1998
The neo-communists who stepped up in power after the June 29, 1997
elections in Albania, have continuously applied the platform of the
physical elimination of the political opponents, of oppressive
violently the Albanian opposition, by considering it a domestic enemy
to be destroyed. On these grounds, during their 18 months in power,
there have been killed for political reasons lots of members,
supporters, local leader, local authorities, lawmakers of the
Democratic Party. There have been wounded, ambushed, maltreated and
arrested hundreds of DP members and supporters, terrorist acts have
been committed against the local and senior central leaders of the
All these, besides one single case have not been followed up by the
investigation of the neo-communist government. Below, is the
chronology of the political murders, wounding, terrorist acts,
political jails on the opposition during the last 18 months in
August 21, 1997, at 18:30 was gunned and gravely wounded by a police
car the opposition journalist Mujo Bucpapaj and his
family. Eye-witnesses testify in written that Bucpapaj was
machine-gunned by a police vehicle. Until today, nobody has been
penalized on this crime. Bucpapaj is known for his anti-Communist
August 24, 1997, TNT was planted at the home of the Mayor of Lushnja,
Fuga. There were no casualties and the government kept a complete
silence. Nobody is charged so far on this criminal act.
September 5, 1997, TNT was planted at the home of the mayor of
Lushnja, Fuga. The house was gravely damaged. The government was
silent and so far nobody has been penalized.
September 18, 1997, Azem Hajdari, the leader of the 1990 December
Students' anti-Communist movement that toppled the 50 years long
communist regime in Albania, senior leader of the Democratic Party and
Member of Parliament in all the legislations of pluralist Albania
suffered an attempted assassination in the premises of parliament. He
was shot with five bullets by the Socialist MP Gafur Mazreku.
September 28, 1997, TNT was planted at the home of Roland Bano,
chairman of the Lushnja district council. Nobody has been penalized on
this terrorist act.
September 29, 1997, TNT was planted at the home of Myftar Babaj, the
chairman of the District Council of the Vau i Dejes. No penal process
has been conducted.
November 22, 1997 at 14:30, the chairman of the Sineballaj commune,
Adrian Murrani, 30 years old was murdered. Nobody has been punished or
penalized for this murder.
December 9, 1997, at a coffee shop of Saranda town the Democratic
Party activist, Edmond Zisi was maltreated and taken to the police
commissariat where he was massacred and his mutilated corpse was
thrown in the street a few meters from the commissariat
building. Eye-witnesses confirm that Zisi was arrested because he
dared to shout “down with Fatos Nano”. His mutilated
corpse was full of fractures.
January 6, 1998 in the Cernica village of Tropoja, gunmen in Tropoja
police vehicles, murdered at 11:00, three significant Democratic Party
leaders, A. Matoshi, Dizdari, Kolbucaj. The killers among whom the
ex-chief of the Tropoja commissariat, Haklaj, who before the June 29,
1997 general elections was a wanted person by the police for two
murders and after these elections was nominated in this post by Prime
Minister Nano, are all free in their homes.
February 14, 1998, a police check-point in Milot stopped MP Hajdari
and the former Interior Minister in the National Reconciliation
Government, Ali Kazazi together with 15 persons accompanying
them. During the control exercised on them by the police in the
presence of the Lac prosecutor, no guns were found. The Prosecutor
affirmed this fact on the state-owned TV the same day. Despite this
statement by the prosecutor all the detained persons by the police,
but for MP Hajdari, including also the former Interior Minister Kazazi
were arrested. Ex-Minister Kazazi was confined in prison for two weeks
and three months in home arrest, while all the other persons were kept
in jail for three months. The trial process continues without any
March 3, 1998, the Vlora police on no reason at all, hits with strong
means and wounds gravely in the police commissariat, the chairman of
the Fier Municipal Council, Durim Lekdushi. No investigation has been
conducted on this act.
April 14, 1998 at 22:00, 80 special police forces from Tirana,
surrounded and shot with heavy fire guns at the window of the home of
Bujar Suli, in Levan of Fier. Mr. Suli was killed at his bedroom, in
front of his wife and children. The next day, the Interior Minister
that Suli was a wanted person. The Fier Police Director, General Mehja
who in sign of protest against this state-organized crime resigned,
declared on April 15 that Suli has not been a wanted persons but he
worked as a guard in Levan School. Suli was an honored person. The
Commune Council on May 13, 1998 proclaimed him “Honorary
citizen” and proposed that the Levan school keep his name.
June 3, 1998 myself and a group of the Democratic Members of
Parliament, went to Tropoja to meet the Kosova arrivals. At about
22:30, the MPs Hajdari-Chairman of the Defense Parliamentary
Commission and Minarolli-Vice-Chairman of the Media Parliamentary
Commission were ambushed in the town and their car was shot with tens
of bullets, two of which wounded gravely the ex-General Director of
the Albanian Radio and TV, Bardhyl Pollo, who was in the same car with
them. This happened as a result of the rejection by the Tropoja police
chief to my request, before the event, to accompany the MPs Hajdari
and Minarolli during their stay in Tropoja, who answered that it was
not his duty and that the police would accompany only the
Deputy-Speaker of the Parliament, Mrs. Topalli and myself. A week
before the vent, the Interior Minister informed through the MP Vejsiu
that an attempted murder was being prepared by the Yugoslav Secret
Service. As a matter of fact, we posses documents and facts for the
direct involvement of the police in this terrorist act. So far,
neither myself, nor the other MPs that were ambushed have not been
interrogated any investigator about this terrorist act.
June 22, 1998 at about 14:00, 14 Democratic Party supporters, among
whom also two DP National Council members, during a working meeting in
Postriba were shot be assault gun by the bodyguard of the Socialist MP
of that constituency. As a result, the Chairman of the Commune Council
of Postriba, Sadik Ymeraj was gravely wounded. The state owned media
did not report on this crime and until now no investigation process
has begun. The criminal is free at home.
May 22, 1998 Fredi Shehu, the one that pulled down the statue of the
communist dictator, Hoxha in 1991, in Gjirokastra was shot dead at the
gate of his home. All the local political forces declared that that
was a political murder.
June 9, 1998, in Permet, the chairman of the Zhepov village, Bajram
Sedari was killed by the Socialist Part member, Sulo Jaupi. No
measures have been taken against him.
June 28, 1998 the day of the second round of partial local elections
in Vora, the police stopped on no reason at all the MP Ukaj and the DP
National Council member, Biberaj.
June 29, 1998 in Erseka, 16 Democratic Party members have been
arrested on false charges for an event on June 30, 1997. Given that
the Erseka fact court refused their arrest, the case was transferred
in another town.
July 13, 1998, the police ambushed and exercised violence on Genci
Spaho, the chairman of the DP section in Pilur of Devoll. No measure
against the policemen that carried out this brutal act has been taken.
July 18, 1998, Ndue Cara, the democrat councilor of the Puka town-hall
was attacked with gun fire and was wounded, while he was driving from
Puka to Tirana with a patient and family members. The police has not
followed up the case.
July 17, 1998, the car of the former Speaker of the Albanian
parliament, Pjeter Arbnori, member of the DPA Steering Committee was
blocked by the police.
July 24, 1998, The local reporter of the Albania daily in Fier, Artur
Bega, was beaten publicly by Dhimiter Kumanaku, an ex-bodyguard of
Fatos Nano. The police has not captured the author of the crime.
July 27, 1998, Vangjel Naska, the DP councilor and chairman of the
group of DP chancellors in the Ura Vajgurore, Berat was wounded, by
volleys of bullets on the car he was driving back home. Nobody has
been investigated on this criminal act.
July 31, 1998, The DP member of Parliament, Shaban Memia was ambushed
by numerous policemen and officers of the secret service (SHIK), in
the afternoon. The police checked his car and sequestered the personal
belongings of Mr. Memia. He had bought them in Italy and had the
regular documentation to prove that. His belongings are still not
given back to the MP, Memia. He was blocked contrary to all the laws
of the Albanian customs and in full contradiction to the law on the
immunity of the member of parliament. The political prosecution
demanded the parliament to lift Memia's immunity. This request was
not accepted by the parliament, while the belongings of Mr. Memia
continue to be sequestered.
July 31, 1998, The distinguished Kavaja democrat, Halim Gjuzi was
assassinated by people close to ex-premier Fatos Nano. The
assassination happened in the middle of the day, under the control of
the police, that helped the killer, identified as the notorious
criminal Nehat Kulla. The police went to the place of the crime too
late. So far the killer has not been made public since the
investigations have been interrupted. Gjuzi was driving a car with his
family members in, as he was shot by the killers, who then left helped
by a police vehicle.
July 31, 1998, Bedri Myftari, journalist was beastly beaten in the
afternoon, at coming out of the printing house
“EuroRilindja” together with a friend. He was beaten by
two person who then got on their motor-cycles. The journalist had
fractures in his head and leg. The police has not investigated on this
August 8, 1998, TNT was planted at the house of the ex-Lushnja major,
Kujtim Haxhiu, which blasted after midnight. Mr. Haxhiu is the DP
secretary of the Lushnja local branch. There is no investigation on
August 22, 1998, On the order of the Tirana Military Prosecutor, six
senior officials of the DP Government were arrested late after
midnight in their domiciles. Safet Zhulali, ex-Defense Minister,
Blerim Cela, ex-chairman of the Audit Office, Halit Shamata,
ex-Interior Minister, Gen. Bujar Rama, ex-vice-chairman of SHIK,
Col. Kreshnik Lusha, Gen. Sokol Mulosmani were arrested on the
accusation of the crimes against humanity in contradiction to all
legal norms for detaining the civil persons. After the arrest they
have been isolated in the prison 313 of Tirana and were not allowed to
communicate with their lawyers for several days.
August 25, 1998, 33 DP member who protested against the Nano
government were beaten brutally. Some of them were arrested for
several hours and them released due to the protests in front of the
Interior Ministry. The police beat several demonstrators and injured
September 8, 1998, Agron Bala, the director of the Radio
“Contact” was beaten by an unidentified person at the
location of the radio station he runs. The police did not start
investigations on the case.
September 9, 1998, TNT blasted at 04:00, in the domicile of the DP
lawmaker, Ilir Bano in Lushnja. The house was ruined, but there was no
victim. The terrorist act aimed at the life of MP Bano. No
investigation has been conducted on this terrorist act.
September 12, 1998, The DPA MP, Azem Hajdari was assassinated at 21:15
in front of the DP headquarters. He was killed together with his
bodyguard Besim Cera, while the other bodyguard Zenel Neza was injured
to death. Mr. Hajdari was the chairman of the Defense Parliamentary
Commission, member of the DPA Steering Committee and hero of the 1990
anti-Communist students' movement that toppled the communist
regime in Albania. The assassination was committed by identified
persons, high police officers, and secret service agents. There is
evidence of the direct implication of the chef of the Albanian Secret
Service (SHIK), F. Klosi.
September 13, 1998, In front of the prime ministry building Skender
Kalenja was killed, 40 peaceful demonstrators were injured, among whom
10 were women and five children. Round 18 injured persons were
hospitalized who declared they were wounded by the guards of the prime
September 14, 1998, Adem Shehu was shot dead by police snap-riffles. A
DP supporter and the leader of the Independent Trade Union, he was
killed back home from the funeral of Azem Hajdari.
September 14, 1998, 20 participants in the funeral procession of MP
Hajdari, Besim Cera and Skender Kalenja were wounded by shotguns. The
20 hospitalized declared they were shot by policemen and soldiers who
opened fire on the crowd holding on their shoulders the coffin of
September 14, 1998, Member of the DP local branch of Burrel, Isuf Uka
was murdered in the streets of Tirana. That day Uka had postponed his
wedding day to honor the death of his friend Azem Hajdari.
September 17, 1998, Political prosecution demanded the revocation of
parliamentary immunities of the opposition leader and the former
President of Albania, Sali Berisha and the MP's Arbnori, Memia,
Minarolli, Demi and Gjana. The Parliament lifted the immunity of
Mr. Sali Berisha, chairman of the Democratic Party by obeying to the
request of the special political prosecutors who accuse Mr. Berisha of
organising the coup d'etat.
September 17, 1998, Agron Matoshi, the brother of the martyr of
democracy, Adbyl Matoshi murdered in January 1998 was arrested on the
motivation, “participant in the funeral procession of Azem
September 20, 1998, Alfons Zeneli, director of independent radio
Contact and Ilir Zhilla, ex-director of the Albanian Telegraphic
Agency were arrested on the accusation of the organizers of the armed
insurrection. The prosecution has announced the penal follow-up for
many other journalists and reporters, such as Antoneta Malja, Luan
Malltezi, Mentor Shehu, Arta Sakja, etc.
September 24, 1998, The chairman of the Legality Movement Party (the
third in the country) together with the ex-chief of the Tirana police
commissariat No. 2, Sali Shehu(who defended Tirana in the most
difficult day of March 1997 communist insurrection) were arrested on
the accusation of organizing the alleged armed insurrection.
October 1998, The police of Librazhd maltreated barbarously Avdulla
Bardhoshi, chairman of the Commune Center together with the DP
supporters Qemal Abazi, Agim Leka, Ladi Daja, Ylvi Prushi, Fatmir
Omeri and Met Cela. The grounds of their beating were their political
October 1998, Prime Minister Pandeli Majko signed official order to
discharge all the state administration civil servants that paid homage
to the hero of the Albanian democracy, Azem Hajdari on September 14,