Albana Vokshi Condemns Rama’s ‘Crocodile Tears’ For Abused Women Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic (not pictured), at the Vila Gorica, in Podgorica, Montenegro, 03 April 2017. Rama arrived in Podgorica for a one day official visit., Image: 327638623, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, TEMP EPA

Chairwoman of the Democratic League of Albanian Women, Albana Vokshi has condemned Prime Minister Edi Rama of “crocodile tears” after his comments on abused and violated women.

A recent OSCE study on women in Albania stated that as many as 67% (almost 1 million women) are subjected to some form of violence in their lifetime. 

The Prime Minister Edi Rama, speaking at the Istanbul Convention Forum in Tirana yesterday said “I receive at least 1 sms a day from a woman who feels threatened, abandoned, alone and without support. I can’t just tell her to go to the police. We need to provide them with straight forward support as a guarantee.”

Vokshi responded to his comments by calling him a hypocrite, and said that he inspires violence instead of putting the state at the service of those who are vulnerable and at risk. She added that Rama’s government has failed to implement any part of Parliament’s resolution for the protection of women, leaving millions at risk.

“Edi Rama cries with crocodile tears for women as his government has not implemented any point of Parliament’s resolution for the protection of women,” Vokshi wrote on Facebook.

If the results of the latest study are to be believed, it appears that the % of women suffering or at risk of suffering domestic violence has increased. A 2018 United Nations study put the figure at 53%, an increase of 14 percentage points in a year under the Rama administration.

Over the last eight years, six of which have been under Rama’s government, there have been over 110 murders where women or girls were the victims In 2018, some 4000 court protection orders were issued for women, a staggering 11 every single day. Yet, most of the women who have been murdered in the past few years, had active court protection orders against their assailant.

Even more concerningly, 97% of victims do not report incidents to the police, mainly due to the fact that they don’t believe their case will be handled correctly. Several victims have told Exit that they were sexually propositioned by policemen after trying to file a complaint, others were ‘talked out of it’, and some reported their assailant paying around EUR 1200 to have charges dropped against them.

In addition to this, the government and its ministers have been involved in demonising public victims of abuse including the case of Xhisela Maloku who was allegedly beaten, raped and burned by Rexhep Rraja the son of Socialist MP Rahman Rraja, and a young girl who was gang-raped in Kavaje. In the case of the latter, Minister Elisa Spiropali appeared on television to interview the family at their home, therefore exposing the minor victim of a gender-based crime and sexual assault to the public.

In August, another family member of MP Rrahman Rraja was caught abusing a woman. Video footage surfaced of him kicking a woman in front of Mother Theresa Hospital in Tirana. Whilst reports were made to the police, he was not arrested.

The Helsinki Committee recently criticised the inaction of the Albanian police, noting that those connected to politicians and businessmen are beyond the law.

Rama has also been criticised for the derogatory language used against women, a video posted on International Women’s Day showing him being ‘mobbed’ by screaming women, and for suing human-rights activist Sevim Arbana after she commented on the allegation he inappropriately touched a woman at the Sheraton Hotel in 2013.