The Prosecutor’s Office of Tirana has reopened investigations into the killing of two protesters at an anti-government demonstration that took place in Albania on January 21, 2011, following months of political conflict over alleged electoral fraud.
The investigation was reopened at the request of the Police, who filed the demand on January 20, 2021, on the 10th anniversary of the protests when four people were killed during clashes with police officers in Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard in Tirana.
Police have asked the Prosecution to review film footage of the rally, focusing specifically on the murder of Aleks Nika and Hekuran Deda, as well as injury caused to other citizens.
Police have sent forth a number of requests for this new investigation on the matter. They have requested that people who participated in the rally be questioned again, along with relatives of the victims, witnesses who were close to both men, in order to see if any new information may be gathered from their testimonies.
Furthermore, they have also officially asked that the bullet found in the body of Alex Nika be re-examined and that such re-examination happen in an EU-based or foreign crime laboratory, if possible.
On May 23, the family members of one of the protesters killed in January 2011, sued the Albanian state before the European Court of Human Rights, for mishandling the investigation, and asked the court that it be reopened.
The news was announced on Sunday, after the ECHR requested information regarding the investigation process held in Albania.
Family members accused Albanian authorities of conducting an ineffective investigation regarding the incident and of lack of transparency. According to them, the case has been stuck in limbo for 10 years.
Aleks Nika, 36, was seriously injured on January 21, 2011 during clashes between police and the then-opposition supporters. He died 2 weeks later after being sent for treatment in Turkey.
It was not clear who had carried out the shooting. Nika’s case is still under investigation, as the prosecution has failed to identify the weapon that killed him.
Based on the requests made by the ECHR, state attorney Enkelejda Muçaj addressed a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, the General Director of State Police and the Head of the Prosecution of Tirana, so they forward any necessary information and evidence required for the performance of an effective investigation.