Court Decides to Keep in Jail Several of the 37 Protesters Detained

The Court of Tirana decided to continue the detention in prison for 3 persons, house arrest for 2, and obligation to appear in court for 32 persons awaiting trial. They were detained by police following the opposition-organized April 13 protest.

The prosecution demanded continuation of detention in prison for 16 persons and obligation to appear in court for 21 persons in today’s court hearing for the 37 citizens detained.

The arrested protesters face charges of resisting the police, battery against a police officer, disturbing the peace, arson and property damage, using explosive materials against regulations.

Opposition’s Democratic Party Secretary General Gazmend Bardhi said today’s court decision was a political one.

During the April 13 protest, police indiscriminately fired excessive amounts of tear gas on protesters. Journalists and photo-reporters were among several citizens injured.

Albania’s Ombudsman criticized the police for the use of tear gas and violence exercised during the protest.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also reacted against the violence by authorities in the latest protest. The organization urged the Albanian authorities not to use disproportionate force during the protests.