From: Ajola Marku
Activists Arrested For “Arousing Panic” After Protesting Against Businessman Samir Mane

Three activists have been arrested and detained for distributing flyers at TEG shopping centre on Saturday.

Members of Political Organisation (OP) were distributing protest leaflets regarding the firing of four miners in Bulziqa by the company Albchrome, owned by Samir Mane, who also owns TEG. A police spokesperson told that they were arrested for “spreading false information that aroused panic” and “disturbing the public police”.

The flyers they handed out were printed with the phrase “Samir Mane Pressures Miners”. It is not known how these words could “arouse panic”.

The activists were initially detained by private security guards at TEG before being escorted by the police. Some of them were released after being detained for seven hours, but Franklin Elin, Enriko Peculi, and Bislim Lakna were arrested and kept in custody. OP claims that the police used excessive force and that the detainees had not been given access to a lawyer or a medical check- both of which they are entitled to.

“Edi Rama’s police are preventing lawyers from meeting the arrested activists,” said OP in a Facebook post. 

OP also accused TEG security guards of dragging, slashing, and hitting the activists- some of which can be seen in videos posted to social media.

A spokesperson for the BALFIN Group, owned by Mane and which operates TEG denied that any violence was used on activists and said the act was premeditated and “harmful”.

OP, a far-left grassroots movement, have been protesting for weeks against Albchrome who allegedly fired four miners, including the head of the newly created miners union. The group embarked on a campaign of street art, flyer distribution and calls to boycott Mane’s businesses including TEG and Spar.

This morning, protestors assembled outside the criminal court in Tirana to call for the release of the three activists, claiming a breach of their human rights and stating that the arrests are political, demanded by Mane.