This week severely disturbing images surfaced online of a male family member of Socialist MP Rrahman Rraja beating and kicking a defenseless woman for minutes in front of the Mother Theresa Hospital in Tirana, while, according to reports, the police failed to intervene.
A recent report of the Albanian Helsinki Committee (KShH) casts an unflattering light on the (in)action of the Albanian police, once again depicting the reality that Albania is effectively dealing with a class justice system: those connected to politicians and businessmen are beyond the law, while ordinary Albanians are repressed with its full force.
According to the KShH report, a certain R.Rr., identified by other media as the nephew of Socialist MP Rrahman Rraja, was approached by a women, allegedly intoxicated, after which the abuse ensued that has been transmitted by the Albanian media. The KShH notices that a week after the incident, the woman has still not been identified by the police and has made no statement about the incident, even though the police brought her to the ER and family members of her contacted the police.
At the same time, R.Rr. was not arrested on the spot, even though he was later brought to the police station for a declaration. The KShH declares:
It is unclear why a citizen who exerts brutal violence in public is referred to the prosecution for a misdemeanor, moreover in a situation when the victim, on whose body the signs and results of violence are present, has been removed and has not received a medical-legal inspection.
The KShH further points out that in violation of the Albanian law and European Convention on Human Rights, the victim was held with handcuffs in the hospital.
The case of MP Rraja’s nephew is remarkably similar to a case involving his son Rexhep Rraja. Rraja had been accused of rape and kidnapping by a woman, after which the police failed to place her under protection and take the necessary steps to arrest and prosecute Rraja. Rraja himself pointed out the political dimension of his crime, when he exclaimed “Let [opposition leader] Lulzim Basha prove this during the elections,” after he was finally arrested for stalking. Meanwhile, investigative reporters writing about the case and attempts of the PS to cover it up were threatened.
In both the cases of the son and of the nephew, it is obvious that the police was apprehensive to take action against a family member of an MP of the ruling party. The practical outcome of this attitude is a class-based justice system, in which ordinary Albanians are treated differently from those with access to power. This is yet another sign of the thorough corruption of the state and the police.