From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Two Municipality of Tirana Employees Accused of Sexual Abuse Against Children

The Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA) has published information relating to the sexual harassment of two children, by employees of the Tirana Municipality.

In a Facebook post, the NGO explained that they had informed the state police, and various other state institutions of two instances were high school children were sexually harassed by state employees whilst attending school.

The organisation has called for immediate investigation into the alleged acts of pedophilia, stating that the perpetrators were “two senior officials of the Municipality of Tirana”. They condemned anyone that may have been aware of the incidents, yet did nothing to prevent it, or to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Other media sources have claimed that one of the officials implicated in the horrific act is someone whose role brings them into regular contact with children and young people in the city.

The Municipality had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

But this is not the first allegation of abuse at the hands of Municipality employees, or individuals that are linked to the Municipality.

In October 2018, Director of Kindergarten No.2 in Tirana, Nashi Shehapi was accused of beating a three year old boy and locking him in a cupboard under the stairs of the premises. She boasted to sources and employees at the Kindergarten that she enjoyed political protection, would not go to court, and that she would fire anyone that spoke out against her.

Voice recordings later surfaced of employees discussing Shehapi’s guilt as well as allegations that she had paid a “fixer” to ensure that the case was recommended for dismissal by the Prosecutor.

Whilst Exit, who broke the story respected the anonymity of the child, the Municipality leaked a letter that the child’s mother had sent to them, thus revealing the child’s name, face, and identity to the media.

It also emerged that the daughter of the accused, who had threatened an journalist on social media was apparently an employee of the Municipality. Shehapi was also pictured on the campaign trail of the socialist party, in the company of those who she had claimed were protecting her.

The case is currently under review by the court in Tirana who will decide whether it is opened or dismissed. The prosecutor and Shehapi, who has not sought any legal assistance and appears without a lawyer, are seeking to have it dismissed. The magistrate has requested a number of documents from Shehapi in order to make his assessment, but she has failed to present them on two occasions, resulting in continued postponement.

Exit will continue to pursue both cases to ensure that crimes against minors are no longer covered up for political gain.