From: Alice Taylor
Protests Across Tirana, Skopje, and Prishtina Over Rape of 11-Year-Old in Kosovo

Protests were held across in Tirana, Prishtina, and Skopje on Thursday following the rape of an 11-year-old girl by five men in Kosovo.

The girl was approached in a park in the capital city, sexually abused, put in a car, and repeatedly raped by the five men. 

“Protection for girls and women,” “rape is a crime,” “girls just wanna walk home,” and “I don’t feel safe” were just some of the slogans seen on placards carried by protestors. In Tirana, a three-year-old girl wore cardboard fairy wings with “don’t cut my wings” scrawled across them.

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Organisers of the protest condemn male, patriarchal violence which they say violates the dignity of girls and women.

“It is an ugly and sad event and a manifestation of the systematic violence that girls and women in Kosovo experience on a daily basis,” a protestor told the media.

In the first six months of 2022, 36 cases of rape were reported to the Kosovo police, although the real number is likely significantly higher. On the other hand, Albania has one of the highest domestic violence rates in Europe and is no stranger to horrific rape cases, including those involving minors.

The Director of the Kosovo Police, Samedin Mehmeti resigned in the wake of the tragedy. “After such a serious case, I believe it is a professional act to resign,” he said. Mehmeti has been replaced by the deputy director of the police, Fehmi Hoti.

Ali Gashi, the head of the Directorate for the Treatment of Prisoners and Minors, also tendered his resignation. The official announcement states, “the resignation has come as a moral act of Gashi since one of the suspects of violence has served a sentence in correctional institutions for several criminal offences.

Albania Sees Uptick in Domestic Violence and Rape Charges