Two female activists were violently assaulted by an individual with a long history of criminal offences against women, sparking concerns over police inaction.
The two young women were beaten in the middle of Tirana on Saturday, in broad daylight by a man who identified himself as Denis Telo. He assaulted the two women in a seemingly unprovoked attack.
It has since been revealed the Telo has been charged with similar offences, no less than eight times. Yet, he remained free.
Organizata Politike, an activist group the two activists are affiliated with, denounced the crime.
“This perpetrator is responsible for animal violence against our friends and other girls but it is the chain of state institutions that are also at fault for continuing to tolerate such crimes. From the police to the prosecution and all those in charge of curbing such violence. For these institutions, the life and physical safety of these girls is irrelevant.”
They noted that the state is quick to charge people for graffiti but when it comes to violence, these cases are ignored.
However following the public outrage over the case, the police announced they had arrested the individual, some 20 hours after the crime was reported. They said he will be charged with “intentional minor injury”.
The police did not address anything regarding the previous reports.
Citizens then protested in front of the police directory to call for better measures to protect girls and women from violence. Portal Historia Ime reports that as many as 30 other women have come forward and said they have been attacked by the man.
“How many girls have been assaulted by Denis? Some have reported to the police, others have not. If you set him free, he will assault us even more,” a protestor said.