Opposition leader Lulzim Basha has accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of using hate speech toward protesters, and has condemned the police tactics against them.
In a statement on social media on Friday, Basha said he had talked with foreign diplomats in Albania about the recent developments in the country related to the killing of 25-year-old Klodian Rasha.
He called for transparent investigation into the killing of the young man, for justice to be delivered, and for investigations into the alleged government attempt to manipulate the incident.
Allegations of government manipulation of the incident relate claims by the police who shot him that the victim seemed to have a firearm. Police announced that a firearm was found in one of the streets where the victim passed.
“I condemned the hate speech used by the Prime Minister, as well as the brutality and violence of the police against minors and journalists. I reiterate the call to stop the brutality of the police and to guarantee the right of the protesters to protest freely and peacefully,” Basha tweeted.
On Friday, Prime Minister Edi Rama accused the opposition and President Ilir Meta of instigating violence in protests. He claimed that Meta had paid minors to be violent. Rama warned parents to keep their kids away from protests, and vowed that vandals will face prison.
The protests were reportedly called by several popular social media accounts engaging in social and political memes, following the killing of the young man, and their claims that the government was trying to blame the victim. No political party or politician has claimed to have organized the protests.