In the Albanian families blood is being shed. They kill each other. But especially the men are massacring the women and children. An unseen tragedy explosion under the family roof.
A trip in some of the typical cases of the recent months, the explanations of the psychologist Zyhdi Dervishi. Kanun for the women and the children.
5 January 2002
Shazivar Hysenaj, 40 years, from the quarters Rome of Fier entered the house of his former son-in-law, Elez Mane and killed his brother and the brother’s wife, Altin and Hatixhe Mane. He wounded the son-in-law and his three children, Elis and Drita Mane, respectively 12 and 2 years old and Genc Alushi, 15 years old. Reason: his son-in-law divorced his daughter. At last he killed himself.
30 March 2002
In the village Priske e Vogel, in the suburbs of Tirana, Pellumb Neli kills in the matrimonial bed his wife, Nafie and the husband of her sister, Armand Mehmeti. Two children remained orphans and the perpetrator ends in jail. Reason: adultery.
5 April 2002
Hajredin Turtulli, in the quarter Kombinat, after a banal quarrel, kills his wife, Myrvete Turtulli, in the presence of his 5 children. While he is in prison, the 5 children, from 1 to 15 years old, have remained with no support.
10 April 2002
In the turn of Kamez, Besim Sopoti, after divorcing, kills his wife, Englantina with Kallashnikov and the father-in-law, Hiqmet Beqiri and he wounds heavily his mother in law, Vasilika Beqiri. Later he kills himself as well. Balance: three dead, one wounded.
15 April 2002
Luljeta Rama, in Kashar, 50 years old kills her spouse, Muhamet Rama, in order to save her son, who in the morning of 15th of april is threatened with death by his father, who claimed that his son had stolen 30.000 old leks.
22 April 2002
In Patos, Fatmir Sulejmani, 41 years old, after 17 strokes of the kitchen knife kills his wife, Xhulieta, 37 years old, and wounds his elder daughter, Desdemona, 20 years old, because he found his wife sleeping with Desdemona’s boyfriend. After the intervention to save mother and daughter, the second daughter, Imena, 16 years old id wounded with 8 knives and later she dies in the hospital. Two other girls remained orphans.
23 April 2002
The 31 years old man from Vlora, Dhimitraq Zeqo (rome) kills his young daughters, he wounds the wife and later tries to kill himself. Reason: Alcoholised and jealousy for his wife, 27 years old. The spouses burry their killed children after two days.
2 May 2002
Muke Caka, from the village of Osoje in Skrapar, kills his wife with the pickaxe he was working with because “…she betrayed him since 10 years with the village saddle maker…” According to him, he had caught her another time, before, in flagrancy, but she denied it. The parents had 8 children from 8 to 21 years old…
During this year tragic scenes have very often shocked the opinion.
In the months of April and May, almost every week, there was a crime in the family. Insulted people did not manage to keep on their shoulders the shame. The betrayal of the woman, the newly engaged girl, alcoholism, jealousy, doubtful relations, etc., are some of the causes of the violence within the family, which in most of the cases end with the sufferings and the murder of innocent women and children.
Meanwhile also irritations because of poverty have caused tragedy, like the case when the wife kills her husband because he was quarrelling with his son for 30,000 leks and wanted to kill him, or the case in Kombinat when the when the wife is killed by the husband while quarrelling. In most of the cases the persons have committed the crime while being nervous, when they have found the matrimonial bed desecrated, or even after some years when the accumulation reaches its apex. Meanwhile the self-respect of the male has been felt insulted by the reactions of the society. In Patos, the neighbours and the relatives often told the husband that his wife and his daughters had gone the wrong way and his “son-in-law would send them one day to Italy. After the murder in Priska e Vogel, the men of the village said that Neli acted correctly and everyone in his place would act like that, he would restore the honour. In Skrapar the husband declares in the police that he killed his wife because he was ashamed of the village. Very problematic appear the cases when the father “wants to protect his daughter’s honour”, when she has been divorced with her husband, or the case when the former son-in-law causes a slaughter in the house of the former wife since she has abandoned him.
Restoring the lost honour has causes in all the cases more than one crime within the family. Men, or the insulted do not leave it in the hands of the law, the justice to solve the problem, but they take revenge as if the state never existed. They have no idea about protection, or about restoring justice through the law, to seek divorce or to accept the idea of divorce, but they require punishment until the end. Lack of trust in justice got them back to the Kanun mentality. Absence of income and culture inside the family deepens further the quarrels and ignites other quarrels. People living in backward areas or from Rom families commit a part of the crimes.
In both cases these inhabitants are distinguished for sanguinity. The stresses, the trouble to feed the family, everyday work, caused them to have a nervous burden, consequently losing the control easily in the cases of a light depression. Meanwhile after the committed crime, the children remain orphans, sometimes without both parents and without any other support. They are either sent to the orphanage or to their relatives. In all the cases the perpetrators have either attempted to kill themselves or they have surrendered to the police themselves. After the murder moment the sobriety comes. These persons feel themselves completely lost and with grief, they have killed the wife, the husband or their children, one of the closest persons. Like the folk saying: “Of what use is life to me?”, they are ready for any punishment.
Iterview with the sociolog, Zydi Dervishi
“Structures to avoid the crime inside the family lack”.
Recently and concretely the recent months the cases of the crimes in the family have increased. What do you think, which are the reasons of this phenomenon?
Nowadays little work is done to treat the cases. Each case has a pre-history, which has lasted some months. If there would be structures to treat the cases in the psychological plan, these crime s would not happen., at least in such a short time. Secondly, the Albanian society is experiencing a period of an entire change of values. It is still difficult for the Albanian men to divorce. Traditionally the wife had no right to require the divorce and the husband abandoned by the wife was considered humiliated.
When the wife betrays the husband and creates another relation, a tendency that comes against the tribal spirit of our society, may it be called modernism, an effort to create individuality?
With the introduction of the western culture, we observe an increase of the women to be divorced, something difficult to be accepted by the men who, in order to restore the lost honour behave in an extreme way with the wives. Thirdly, the system of the relatives, tribal connections in Albania is very active, functioning in two extremes as if to soothe the conflicts (which is rare), also to ignite quarrels by using the gossip agencies, which are used by many Albanians to receive information about the people surrounding them, but when the blade of the stroke is turned against them , it is difficult for them to accept it. The gossips agency continues to function in a powerful way in the Albanaian society, since Albanisns have no work or they are employed only for some hours or they work in such service sectors like shop assistants, in hairdressers where there are a few clients, little work and very often these are changed into a centre to amplify the gossips. I think that the involvement of Albanians in work, their increase of the efforts to insure the material side not in easy ways, but by working, having two or three jobs woulkd gradually exhaust the energies of this gossips agency. Another factor generating conflicts in the family is the vigorous economic and social differentiation, especially between the spouses.
The source of the crimes and of much adultery is known. They begin by men, but they degenerate in crimes when the wife betrays the husband…?
This is part of the rural culture and of the small towns. This is connected with the decrease of prestige in society. When the woman betrayed by the husband, often a day comes when she answers in the same way, so it is a step when the wife revenges in a moment of weakness and when neither party requires divorce. Whereas when the husband is betrayed first, he revenges by killing her. Adultery is not a civil act, it is very normal that someone asks for divorce before starting the betrayal. But the crimes have also another cause. Many crimes happen because most of the families are militarised. Maybe a part of the crimes will not happen. If the wife kills the husband, she would hardly do it with a knife. Fire weapons are in the hands of the people and they are in the hands of the stressed, unbalanced people., they are a continuous source for crime committing. They have to do with a nervousness of the moment, but the victim never returns to life again. In my opinion the crisis in the family reflects the crisis of the entire society, the deficiency of the justice system and of the numerous NGO-s who deal or feign they deal with this problem. Mainly, there are more pompous conferences than work to prevent the phenomenon. Of course it is hard to prevent the crime in the family. Because of a traditional timidity the problems are not exposed. Meanwhile the NGO-s may create a structure with qualified psychologists, sociologists, social workers to treat the problems and this is a must of the time. Crimes in the family reflect the increase of the incrimination scale in Albania. Very often directly or indirectly, the functioning of the networks of traffics, drugs, prostitution extends up to the family. The property problems have served for such conflicts up to brother killing brother. In the conditions when the justice institutions are almost inexistent, the right is required by the violent way. Like the case in Patos, when the father is not powerful to face these networks and kills his wife, his daughter so that they be not an object of trafficking.