December 2016 Report: Albania

Current situation


Despite many years spent in jail, a man and his family have been living in self-reclusion for sixteen years in Tirane. Even when justice runs its course, a man fears that revenge can still happen. That is the reason why he stays at home and forces his children to do the same. The use of private justice is not only a consequence of the absence of the state, it is also a consequence of a traditional habit which prescribes to “wash” the blood with other blood.
In December a man was killed in Shkoder. He was shot dead at the entrance of the city. Police has no clue about the murderer and is following two possible paths: a conflict with other people or a settling of scores, since the man had been in jail for theft. In both cases it would be a case of feud.
By the way, during the month a reconciliation was celebrated. It took place through the intervention of the bishop of Shkoder during Saint Nicholas celebration.

Sharing, Work and News about Volunteers

Since the scarce number of volunteers, in the last few months we tried to be as present as possible. During December we visited the families that we follow exploiting Christmas celebrations. We tried to give them as much love and warm as possible.
For the same reason, we organized a soccer match for our youths. The guys had the possibility to enjoy their time without worries.
In December, we also accompanied a woman and her daughters to visit her husband in jail. He is there because he committed a murder. With the woman there was also her mother who told us how she lost her husband in a feud. But she add that, despite she had to feed three children alone, she decided to forgive because “life is too short not to forgive”.
Together with a Pope John XXIII community member we wrote a letter we think can help to reconcile two families. The murderer’s brother gave us mandate: the letter will be used to ask for forgiveness. We are aware it won’t be sufficient but we hope it can be a new seed of peace to mediate the conflict.
Finally, we have been contacted by a new family coming from the north of the county. We will meet them as soon as possible.

Institutions and networking

We have just written a new report to document the situation of “blood feud” cases in jail. Our work of research and information will continue to be widespread at a European level. The goal is to provide International Institutions and Human Rights Defenders with updated materials.
The collaboration with the association “Ambassadors of peace” allowed a dozen of children in blood feud to participate to a Christmas party organized by the ambassadors themselves.