Albania

Rights Denied: Albanians in Greece Face Long-Term Limbo

Call me ‘Yannis’ During the influx of the early 1990s, the conservative New Democracy party in power at the time – and again in government today – responded with strict new migration laws and sent Special Forces to seal the borders and round up migrants inside Greece who did not …

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Albania PM: Thaci War Crime Claims are ‘Anti-Kosovo’

Edi Rama in Pristina on Tuesday. Photo: EPA-EFE/Valdrin Xhemaj. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama told a press conference at Pristina International Airport on Tuesday that the as-yet-unconfirmed war crimes indictment against Hashim Thaci and senior politician Kadri Veseli represented an attack on the Kosovo Liberation Army and therefore on Kosovo …

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Albania Gets Choice of ‘Insiders’ to Run Media Authority

The Venice Commission last Friday criticized Albania’s disputed new media law, calling the package “not ready to be adopted in its current form” and suggesting it could have a chilling effect on media freedom and be abused by oligarchs to shield themselves from criticism. Proposed by Socialist Prime Minister Edi …

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Three’s a Crowd: the Albanian Crime Gang that Wasn’t

Some of the defendants in the Bajri case are well-known to police forces in Europe. Safet Bajri had already been handed prison sentences twice in Belgium – nine years in 2015 for exploitation of prostitutes and participating in a criminal enterprise and 13 years in 2017 for the same charges. …

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Albanian Women Protest in Street Against Sexual Violence

Several hundred rights activists protested in Tirana on Thursday against sexual violence, after the country was shocked this week when police said they had arrested several teenagers and a 65-year-old school guard for abusing a 15-year-old girl for about two years. News reports showed how, instead of finding comfort, the …

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Albania Parties Fail to Agree on Flagship Electoral Reform

Government and opposition parties on Sunday failed to meet a deadline they had set for themselves to agree on changes to the electoral code – which Brussels has requested before it will open EU membership negotiations. Socialist Party MP Damian Gjiknuri speaking to journalists after failure to agree on electoral …

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Tall Story: Stashed Cash but No Crime in Albanian Court

In March 2019, some nine months after Vladi’s disappearance, the Serious Crime Prosecution in Tirana received a copy of an agreement signed by Vladi and a man named Bledar Fejzo, a representative of a firm called BHF Consulting, dated April 3, 2018 and concerning the purchase of a plot of …

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UN Concerned About Albanian Deportations of Turkish ‘Gulenists’

Alleged Gulenist Selami Simsek in Court in Tirana. Photo: LSA Five United Nations human rights officials have sent a letter to the government of Albania to raise the cases of Harun Celik, a Turkish citizen who was deported from Albania to Turkey in January, and Selami Simsek, who is currently …

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Big Source of Illicit Cannabis, Albania Mulls Legalising Medical Use

Supporters of the initiative say it will boost employment, exports and tax revenues and attract foreign investment.   If carried out properly, Albania stands to benefit significantly, said economics professor Adrian Civici.   “If we are going to handle this process based on the best international practices and strictly control …

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