Zharrëz, Hunger Striker Faints from Heart Problems

One of the hunger strikers in Zharrëz lost consciousness today as the result of heart problems, after accusing deputies of keeping silent while the lives of the inhabitants of Zharrëz, near Fier, are put at risk by oil company Bankers Petroleum. The health condition of the hunger striker has since improved.

Since the beginning of February, the inhabitants of the village Zharrëz in Mallakastra are on hunger strike. They say that their lives are threatened and their houses have been damaged by the earthquakes caused by the oil drilling works of Bankers.

The inhabitants have demanded compensation for the damage caused to their property and a suspension of the activities of the companies.

This is the second hunger strike in two months. The first hunger strike, in December 2016, started after three days of strong tremors caused by Bankers. Just like today, the mainstream media have largely failed to report on these events, while the government refused to respond to plight of the people.

In 2015, the government suspended the activity of Bankers Petroleum after a gas leak caused by the oil drilling. The government imposed several conditions on the company that had to be fulfilled before they were allowed to continue. Prime Minister Edi Rama publicly claimed that the company would have to compensate the inhabitants “100%.” The company continued its activities shortly after the accident, without clarifying whether the conditions had been met or not.

On February 2, General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla accused US Ambassador Donald Lu of putting pressure on the Regional Prosecution of Fier to stop the investigation of Bankers Petroleum. Two days ago, the General Prosecution announced that has started a new investigation of the earthquakes caused by the Canadian company.