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News 12 Apr 17

Kadare Demands to See Albanian Communist Police File

One of Albania’s best-known writers, Ismail Kadare, said that he wants to see his secret police file to find out who spied on him during the Communist era.

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Tirana
Ismail Kadare. Photo: YouTube screenshot 

Ismail Kadare said in an open letter distributed to media on Wednesday that he asked two weeks ago for the files held on him by the Sigurimi - Albania’s Communist-era secret police - to be opened up so he can discover who spied on him.

"I inform you that I requested the opening of my file two weeks ago, without putting any condition or restriction [on it]," he said in the letter.

The Authority for Information on Former Communist Police Secret Files, which was established at the beginning of January, will deal with the request.

For the first time since the fall of communism, the new body makes it possible for people to know what information the former secret police had on them, and find out the names of the people who spied on them.

In his letter, Kadare said that he was one of the first Albanians to publicly call for the opening of the files years ago.

"Unfortunately, my request was not heard and it has caused obvious tension. Today, more than a quarter of the century later, this tension continues, for reasons that are easy to understand," he wrote.

He said that the “fallen Communist tyranny” had made every effort to keep the truth about literature life in Albania while it was in power under wraps.

"To unveil the truth about the Communist dictatorship is necessary today, although this has been delayed," he concluded in his letter.

During Communism, many writers in Albania were persecuted and some killed because of their writing.

Kadare left Albania in 1990, almost a year before the system collapsed, claiming political asylum in France while issuing statements in favor of democratisation.

He is considered one of the greatest writer that Albania ever had, winning many international prizes, including the Man Booker Prize in 2005 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Arts in 2009.

Almost every year Kadare is mentioned by the media all over the world as a possible recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. His novels and poetry have been published in about 45 languages.

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