Diaspora Movement Calls on European Parliament to Uphold Rule of Law in Albania 

Diaspora for a Free Albania (DFA), a new diaspora civil movement, have informed the European Parliament on the “extremely worrisome” developments in Albania that have affected the state of justice and democracy in the country.

In a letter addressed to Manolis Kefalogiannis, Chairman to European Parliament’s Delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), the movement has informed the EP about the unlawful demolition of the National Theater. They compared the government actions to those of the Turkish government’s response to the protests over the renovation of Gezi Park in 2013.

The DFA also wrote of what they considered government violation of democracy and human rights, including government actions during the pandemic, the online media censorship laws, the shutting down of Medium website, intimidation of Ora News TV, police violence on protestors, and attempts to pass a law granting unchecked surveillance power to government. They have condemned the lack of reaction by the EU Delegation in Albania to these violations.

The movement’s letter criticizes aspects of the implementation of Albania’s justice reform, as well as the electoral reform agreed by the largest political parties. They have stressed that despite the justice reform, abuses of power from the government and Prime Minister remain unaccounted for, and citizens are exposed to arbitrary acts and systemic corruption.

Furthermore, they have noted that Albania’s main political parties have further strengthened power, maximized their financial gains, and strengthened their ties to dangerous elements of organized crime.

The electoral reform has denied the Albanian diaspora the right to vote, while prosecution of politicians suspected of buying votes in the 2017 elections, including Prime Minister Edi Rama, have not been conducted.

The civilian movement “Diaspora për Shqipërinë e lirë” (Diaspora for a Free Albania) was launched on May 17, 2020 after the brutal demolition of the National Theater of Albania. The letter is signed by DFA representatives Bledar Milaqi and Florian Haçkaj.