From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Amnesty Requested for a Domestic Violence Victim Who Murdered Her Husband

Around 9000 people signed a petition requesting the pardon of Suzana Zogiani Sekiraqa, who was convicted after murdering her husband with an axe in France.

Zogiana Sekiraqa said she brought evidence to the court showing she committed the act after being repeatedly abused by her husband.

The petition was initiated by Kosovo journalist Teuta Arifaj on the “Change” platform.

“Suzana Zogiani Sekiraqa, mother of two children, with health problems, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of her husband, after years of systematic violence she faced,” Arifaj wrote calling on people to support the petition.

“The trial against her was not regular. Her complaints were not considered. And the conviction was maximum. We request amnesty for Suzana from the Acting President, Vjosa Osmani,” Arifaj wrote.

The case of Suzana Zogiani Sekiraqa raised many reactions after she told her story to a TV show “Cosmo” at the Kosovo- based KTV last week.

On September 21, 2018, in the city of Dole in France, Suzana Zogiani Sekiraqa ended the alleged violence inflicted by her husband Artan Sekiraqa, by hitting him 11 times with an axe. She told the TV show that she committed the murder in a state of deep shock, after seeing the deceased abuse their son.

“I never imagined that I would experience such a thing. If it [the abuse] would come by a stranger, I would somehow accept it, but it was from the man […] for whom I sacrificed so much to help, even when his family gave up on him. All I felt was hate,” said Zogiani Sekiraqa.

Vetevendosje’s MP and former Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu said the court’s decision on Suzana’s case was “unacceptable”.

“There is no doubt that a murder should be punished but it is an abuse of justice if the sentence is imposed and the circumstances that can lead to mitigation of the sentence are not taken into account,” wrote Haxhiu on Facebook.

“In the case of Suzana there are many but ignored by the two courts [Basic Court and the Court of Appeals],” added Haxhiu.

In most cases, women are punished more than men for killing their husbands,” said Haxhiu.

Adelina Berisha from Kosovo’s Women Network said that the conviction against Suzana Zogiana Sekiraqa should be reviewed.

“This is not the first case when justice institutions made mistakes. This is also related to the patriarchal mentality of our society where a man’s life has bigger values than woman’s,” Berisha said.