Home Page
 
News 21 Jan 13

Albania Opposition Remember Riot Deaths

The opposition Socialists are expected to hold a memorial rally on Monday for four supporters, killed when police opened fire on protesters on January 21, 2011.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

The protest held two years ago in Tirana turned into a riot when several hundred opposition marchers attacked a police barricade set up to protect the office of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, using sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, and later the Republican Guard used live ammunition fire.

Prime Minister Berisha has repeatedly called the protest a failed coup attempt, and has vowed to punish those responsible.

According to Berisha, the anti-government protests were only the first part of the coup. He has claimed that the next phases were planned by the President, the Prosecutor General and the secret services, but has yet to present any proof for his claims.

Meanwhile, the Socialists maintain that Berisha turned a peaceful rally into a bloodbath.

Three officials have been indicted for the fatalities, including the former head of the Republican Guard, General Ndrea Prendi.

Apart from Prendi, two other members of the Republican Guard are accused in the high-profile trial.

Prendi, together with Agim Luppo, former chief of staff of a special unit of the Republican Guard, are accused of murder under aggravated circumstances. They face a minimum of 20 years to life imprisonment if found guilty.

Prendi’s former driver, Margarit Kume, is charged with “actions that hindered the discovery of the truth" and risks up to three years' imprisonment.

Prosecutors are expected to deliver their closing arguments on the case on January 30.

On the eve of the anniversary, the US embassy in Tirana described the late protestors as victims of "senseless acts of violence" and called for justice to be done.

“Now more than ever, the need exists for a full accounting of the January 21 events through a credible judicial process, free from political interference,” the embassy said. 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

bosnian-croat-ex-official-denies-mass-prisoner-abuses-03-27-2017
27 Mar 17

Bosnian Croat Ex-Official Denies Mass Prisoner Abuses

Berislav Pusic, the head of the wartime Bosnian Croat prisoner exchange commission, appealed against his conviction, arguing he was not responsible for crimes against Bosniak detainees in 1993 and 1994.

27 Mar 17

Putin Wishes Vucic Luck in Serbian Election

27 Mar 17

Vatican Sends Envoy to Medjugorje in Bosnia

27 Mar 17

Kosovo Serb MPs End Boycott of Parliament

27 Mar 17

Croatian Serbs Boycott WWII Camp Commemoration

27 Mar 17

Army Rows Widens Cracks in Kosovo Coalition

27 Mar 17

Kosovo Village Commemorates 241 Killed in 1999

27 Mar 17

The Balkans Today: 27th - 31st March 2017

Premium Selection

justice-comes-late-for-romania-s-ageing-torturers-03-26-2017
27 Mar 17

Justice Comes Late for Romania’s Ageing Torturers

Romania has only recently started trying the former wardens of the communist-era political prisons – and some say it is too late now for justice to be done. 

turkey-s-anti-gulen-campaign-leaves-bosniaks-in-dilemma-03-24-2017
24 Mar 17

Turkey’s anti-Gulen Campaign Leaves Bosniaks in Dilemma

The failure of Bosnia’s Bosniak leaders to meet Turkish demands to close down organisations allegedly linked to Fethullah Gulen could cost them Ankara’s support.

22 Mar 17

Vanished Mural Sparks Protests in Novi Sad

22 Mar 17

Belgrade Tween Conquers World of Music

Latest News from the Balkans

27 Mar 17

Putin Wishes Vucic Luck in Serbian Election

27 Mar 17

Vatican Sends Envoy to Medjugorje in Bosnia

27 Mar 17

Kosovo Serb MPs End Boycott of Parliament

27 Mar 17

Croatian Serbs Boycott WWII Camp Commemoration