The Albanian State Police have announced that they will no longer allow people to gather to protest against the murder of Klodian Rasha by a policeman last week.
In an announcement on their website, they said they said that the decision was to respect the “disturbing situation” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gatherings have been banned for several weeks but police ‘allowed’ the protests out of respect for “greater public awareness” of the tragedy. But now that “justice is doing its job” against the murderer and the protests have “degraded into organizations aimed at violating public order and public property” they will no longer tolerate any gathering.
They reminded citizens of the requirement to avoid gatherings, wear masks at all times in public, to socially distance, and to adhere to the curfew that is in place between 22:00 and 06:00 each day.
While protestors have indeed vandalized public property and clashed with police, the authorities have responded through heavy use of tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons. They have also arrested many people, including children, and held them in cramped conditions not respecting COVID-19 protcol. Furthermore, there have been instances of violence, police brutality, violation of human rights, and the arrests of journalists at the hands of the police.
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