From: Alice Taylor
Albanian NGO Petitions Government to Ban Communist Symbols and Purge Institutions

The Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture (IDMC), an Albanian NGO, has launched a petition calling for the authorities to stop praising the defunct communist regime and ban the public use of communist-related symbols. 

Such ban would align Albania with EU states who have prohibited the glorification of fascist and totalitarian regimes.

The IDMC will also present the petition in parliament in the hopes of curbing the influence of the regime that fell 30 years ago and its dictator Enver Hoxha.

Thirty years after the regime’s fall, there has been no apology from the state or the Socialist Party. The government has not established any public memorials, nor a lustration procedure.

To date, there has been no official or thorough investigation into the real numbers of the victims of the Communism regime which included executions without trial and incarceration in hard labor camps. 

Many monuments from the regime remain and even roads named after communists.

The petition says amendments to the Criminal Code should follow EU member states. It also calls for a complete reform of the education system, which teaches very little about what happened during the regime.

Additionally, all political functionaries, heads of state institutions, and judiciary members should be verified for links to the regime. All criminal acts carried out by State Security and other institutions should be made public, it continues.

Albania has previously adopted two resolutions that condemn the crime of the communist regime and crimes against the clergy, but they have not been adequately implemented.

Currently, several members of the judiciary held judicial positions during communism and various heads of institutions also worked during the regime.