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The current situation of killings for revenge and blood feud in Albania, the incentive factors of these murders and the need of cooperation for the further decrease and prevention of this phenomenon.

Tirana on 7th of July, 2012. 

Under the experience of previous expeditions, the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and the National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries began on 17th of November 2011 the annual expedition for the unconditional freedom of isolated women and children and the prevention of killings for revenge and blood feud which unfortunately has encountered many unexpected barriers that were created by the lack of cooperation of state institutions in this process and the traffickers that incite blood feud for profit aims.  

As in the report of 2 months expedition, 20 March- 20 May 2011, participants of the annual expedition informed that since the beginning of their work there is an increase of traffickers number that appear as reconciliation missionaries in terrain and penetrate to the relatives of the families in conflict and enmity, inciting them not to accept “so quickly” the reconciliation and blood forgiveness because this reconciliation may be broken and it will have greater consequences.

This inciting is done by the traffickers that have sent 420 families to Brussels gates and 350 others to United Kingdom in August and September 2011, and 800 others in April-May 2012. Most of them have their destination in Sweden, UK, USA and Canada where traffickers have their “officially named” representatives.

General Commissioner of Refugees in Belgium communicated in September and October of 2011 with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation to clarify the situation and intervened to the Albanian authorities for prevention of this phenomenon, but it was confronted with the media and police attacks against the Committee and its chair and not against the traffickers that had organized this exodus. These attacks against the Committee further encouraged and stimulate the fraudulent activity of these traffickers which became more active in media and internet discrediting the representative level of this process in front of public opinion and declaring that they have the support of government, European Commission, American Ambassador etc. The Expedition has investigated who is behind these traffickers and it is not difficult to determine since their networks lead to individuals with public works and state police which either are cheated or support these traffickers for profiting aims.

The National Assembly of the Reconciliation Missionaries and the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation have informed the local Institutions and the International Community in 2011 that the persons that have issued certificates for the citizens pretending to be in blood feud as Faz Shaba, Ramadan Lika, Mustaf Daija, Pashko Toma, Pashko Popa, Mark Lleshi,  Agim Loci Nikoll Shullani, Gj.Mekshi, Fran Nikolli etc, are not part of the National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries structures neither of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation. By decision of the national and international conferences of missionaries and reconciliation missionaries and their congresses, every enmity case should be archived at the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation to follow it as a priority issue and eliminate fictitiousness and abuse. Also the Albanian government through the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues has issued a recommendation in accordance with the decision of these forums: Recommendation dt 29.9.2009, no. 1716 I prot.  The expedition and the National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries has consisted that the media and pseudo-legal attacks of State Police at the end of 2011, against the Committee of the Nationwide Reconciliation and its chair Mr. Gjin Marku, are paid by these traffickers who want to eliminate the control of committee over their fraudulent actions. As it was confirmed even by the Prosecutor office, on the decision of dt 25.05.2012, the allegation of Police against Gjin Marku, as the chairman of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, is false because it is resulted by the verification of the document that all the activity of Gjin Marku is in accordance with the law, status and the decisions of the Board of Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation. The expedition consisted that these media and pseudo-legal attacks against Gjin Marku are slanders, montages and political scenarios to damage the image of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and favor the traffickers related to the dark structures of police that has turned the painful issue of blood feud into a criminal business. Unfortunately even the Foundation, The Solution of Conflicts and Disputes led by Rasim Gjoka has become part of these attacks with misinformation at the Immigration Offices to eliminate the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation because of the critics that the committee has done to this Foundation which takes every year hundred thousands of Euros on behalf of blood feud and solution of conflicts, but has never used these money to help the reconciliation process of the families in need.

The Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation continues to receive certificates for verification from all the western countries, certificates that are issued by these traffickers known as leaders of “missions’, “associations”, “institutes of justice and reconciliation”, and results that above 80% of these certificates are associated with documents signed by communes, municipalities and police station where is stated that these families are in blood feud without any real justified bases. These documents are not archived for verification or followed by the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, based on the decisions of national conferences and missionary congresses of reconciliation associations and the recommendation of Labor Social Issues and Equal Chances Ministry dated 29.09.2009 no.1716 I prot.

The National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries and the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, as they have earlier informed through the reconciliation expedition of 2011 and the letter of 1st May 2012 no. 2/5 I prot., reports to the Institutions of Albanian State and the International Community, that the traffickers who have created “institutions” “missions” or “reconciliation associations” for profit aims, favor by certificates near the courts the release from prison of murderers toward the payment of 15 – 20000 Euros. These murderers in most of the cases are executed as soon as they gained their freedom; others go back in more sophisticated pledge and paid assassins contingents. Penetration of these traffickers to the families in enmity( on the pretext of reconciliation) is turned into a tragic business extracting in ambush individuals of the families hidden because of enmity, toward the payment of 50 -100000 Euros paid by the relatives of the victim family. Some of these “reconciliation leaders”, involved in such unfaithful killings, are killed but are replaced by other traffickers that have grabbed the association and the seal of their “mission”.

Although their murder is not identified, people know the causes of murder and every time their followers appear in media, families in enmity are irritated because they understand the fraud and rearward that push them to show in media. The rearward that is hidden behind this media game of these traffickers has as its aim not only the profiting but also the discrediting of missionaries image.

The Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries notes with concern that the tragic increasing of the number of killings, involving women, daughters, elders and children, is not only a result of lack of justice and effective law state and the noncooperation of state with the reconciliation process, but also by the inciting of killings by the traffickers.

This cycle continues since 1997, during the period of citizen revolts after the falling of pyramid firms. The honest leaders of national reconciliation mission were attacked because they asked the families in north to stop their sons to go in south against protesters. After this action, two founder and the main leaders of the National Reconciliation Mission, Ndrek Pjetri and Luk Velaj, were confronted with threats and murder attempts, until they draw away from their duty. Luk Velaj became confined for many years until he died from sadness for the usurpation of mission by these traffickers that appeared in media as mission leaders, while Ndrek Pjetri left Albania and went abroad in Canada after some murder attempts. Since that time threats by letters and pressures on the phone have continued even toward the representatives of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in Tirana.     

The police has not investigated about these criminal actions and this killings, except the case of Ilia Peras that deceived with his “reconciliation mission” called “ Madre Teresa Reconciliation Mission” and Indrit Aliu that received money on behalf of isolated families, showing in media as a representative of this group in need with his office near the Prime Minister office to convince people that he is related to the government. A few days after his appearance in media with the wife of Prime Minister, Indrit Aliu was arrested and sentenced by the court for frauds up to 2 million Euros. His homolog from Fushe Kruja was arrested for the same frauds and after a year he died in unidentified circumstances.  

The good cooperation that the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation had with the State Police in support of the reconciliation strategy, from 2000 to 2006, made possible not only the decreasing of killings from 230 in 80 a year , but also the abandonment of the activity of these fraudulent traffickers. Unfortunately this cooperation between the police and the committee was interrupted in a unilateral way after 2006, due to the critics that the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation made toward the government and police for the relation with the organized crime, denouncing these relation to the Strasbourg and Hague court. Since then, the strategy of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for the application of positive tradition in the reconciliation of families in enmity and the spreading of law culture is abandoned.

But the attack against the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation has not brought the discouragement of missionaries or their defeat during the expedition. Despite of the lack of support and acts of sabotage that have forced the expedition to stop several times, it has very impressive achievements in reconciliation of families in enmity and the unconditionally release of isolated children. 

The expedition started its engagements on Christmas eve 20122 according to the tradition of their organizing on the eve of national and religious events. The annual expedition was organized 6 months after the 2 months expedition of reconciliation missionaries, 20th March – 20th May, which has achieved positive results in maintaining in control the families in enmity, the prevention of killings during the election campaign and a cultural participation of citizen in voting.   

As in other cases expeditions mobilized permanent working groups composed of representatives of education, local government representative and a missionary, in 2800 villages, 302 communes and 60 municipalities. They are supported by mobile groups led by representatives of the Presidency of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and National Assembly of the Missionaries of Reconciliation consisting of 11 to 24 prominent missionaries. At some key moments the supportive groups came up to 60 missionaries. Results of the expedition to reconcile families in enmity were high in all districts where the Kanun tradition is respected and there are no influential intermediaries. In Mirdita, Kukes, Puke, Has and Dibra has become consciously civic in the community gathering and taking decisions not to allow any women and children isolated. It is worth mentioning that in these areas people respect the law much more than citizens of the metropolitan district or other more developed districts. In all the villages of these districts community working groups of threes, under the support of the village’s elders , they function in a high level to solve all the complications that appear. In these areas it is noted that the local public administration is at the highest level of compliance with the law , the public services and behavior toward citizens. From surveys in these areas results that the working groups of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation apply tradition in support of law and the rule of law state so the law culture is widespread. We can bring as an example of this cultural behavior for respecting the good tradition and law, the local administration workers in the Gjegjan Municipality led by Ndue Cara, in the Mirdite City hall led by Ndue Kola, to the Permet, Lushnje, Gjirokaster and Korce Municipalities . In collaboration with the workers of the municipalities and communes   in these districts the triple groups of the committee and the representatives of the expedition have managed not only to not let any women or children in isolation, but also to avoid killing by enmities created for the land. Also, in Diber, Kukes and Has elders in many villages have become the model of decision making in the community to prevent conflicts over land to pass in enmity and murder by resolving them according to the decisions made in  community by adapting tradition in law and vice versa.

The number of children that do not go to school because of the blood feud before the expedition  was 890, and 161 of them were in a serious danger for their life, while 729 were with their families , hidden in metropolitan , far away from their previous habitation but still could not attend school. A part of them work to help their families.

The expedition has made it possible that the total number of the endangered children at the moment to descend from 890 to 703. So 60 of them have been released from this nightmare. 51 one of them will be attending school in September while 49 have left Albania with their families.  17 directly endangered children have been sent to private residences of their treatment with other children in need. At the moment the number of directly endangered children is 144.

In 2012 there is a higher intensity of killings than in 2011, which was higher than in 2010. There is a larger number of families in enmity compared to other years due to sharp conflicts, property and land, especially in big districts. The legalization with no criteria of some building has led to 610 more enmities, much sharper ones and 17 murders. The number of murders on behalf of honor and family violence is increasing.

The project Second Chance of the Ministry of Education covers about 40 children isolated in Shkodra district but there are dozens of others in this region uncovered. Despite the efforts of the department of this district, the project has not brought them the appropriate benefits in the psychological education and education of isolated children.

The situation remains serious for the children of families in enmity in metropolitan areas that are isolated or hidden. These children do not go to school and are forced to work to help their families which have no income because of this situation. Other projects of the government or donors have not had any result toward the isolated families and are acquired  by organizations that only write professionally projects and receive funding.

Areas with the highest number of isolated families are the region of Shkodra, Tirana, Durres, Lezha,  Kruja district , Fier and Vlora. In the districts like Mirdita, Dibra, Hasi Kukesi and Puka where the Kanun is rigorously applied, now there is no isolated woman or child. Tirana and Durres have the highest number of isolated families because families are more likely to find work and support being hidden or isolated without people around them knowing.  The Committee has sent some families to work in remote areas of the south in farming by finding the care of the inhabitants of these areas.

Every year the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation has sent letters to the ministry or government, asking for cooperation, as well as the conclusions of every expedition or meeting that has been done , but unfortunately, the government’s retaliatory actions against the opponent attitudes of these papers and documents and the bureaucracy of institutions has led to zero the result of hard work of the National Assembly of the Missionaries of Reconciliation and the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for cooperation with the government. From these criticisms there has been consistently a prejudgment of the ministers and close advisers who brought many damages in the job of the reconciliation process. At the office of the Interior Minister there is still not signed the Memorandum of Cooperation of the Ministry of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, established by the proposal of the vice Minister and the order of the former Minister Basha and declared to the media ,on October 8th 2010, that it would be signed soon.

The   Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation urges the Albanian state institutions to raise awareness for an efficient collaboration with civil society, Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries to raise awareness to every citizen that no one shall accept revenge or self-judgment to solve the problem, at any moment of injustice or shock that can be. No one should impair the freedom or threaten the lives of others, to violate his wife or sister under the warped mentality and psychology of the Kanun. No man should impair the freedom of women and children as the law requires us, above all traditions. The National Assembly of the Missionaries of Reconciliation and the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation support the protests that have been recently organized by the Free Thought Forum and the participation of the U.S. Ambassador in this protest against the killing on behalf of the blood feud of a 17 year old girl together with her grandfather in Dukagjin and a 9 year old child in Kurbin.

The National Assembly and the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation ensure the government that its support of the reconciliation process is the support of law, to the integration of Albanians in the EU. The media practices of the government to cover the reality of self-judgment killings, for revenge, blood feud and honor under the warped mentality of the Kanun is a great damage to society.

The review of the legislations as the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation has proposed will be an important next step in this moment. If the government doesn’t have the possibility to take care of this phenomenon that escorts the Albanian society for more than 20 years of transition, it should minimally support the restless efforts, the clear and efficient strategy of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, and not to abandon it to the irresponsible attitude of ministers and deputies who mal-inform the government and mislead society.

the expedition of reconciliation missionaries has a research group that has issued and is issuing all the killing DATA and their kind as a research object, also for the police structures and other institutions.

The age of isolated children disconnected from school because of blood feud, after the end of expedition is:

From age 7-10 years 102 children, from 10 -14 years  340 children

From 14 -18 years there are 261 children.

From the research that the expedition has done during the first six months of 2012 results that:

In 2011 there are made 139 killings, 109 of which are for revenge, honor and blood feud.

The police has revealed 124 killings, 15 killings are not revealed considered as suicides, accidental killings or natural deaths.

There are made 67 killings on the first six months of 2012, 6 are unrevealed.

In 2011 there are 1640 isolated and hidden families because of blood feud while today on the end of first six month of 2012, thanks to the work done by this expedition there are 1309 families. From these 230 have left Albania and 111 are reconciled in 26 districts.

The age of persons killed for blood feud in Albania according to the official DATA during the years of transition is as below:

From age 10-16 years, 13 persons or 0.1 %

From age 16- 20 years, 313 persons or 2.9%

From 10447 killed persons, there are 4910 persons or 47 % of age 20-37 years.

37-42 years, 3135 persons or 30%

42-65 years, 2089 persons or 20%

The regional distribution of killed persons in 35 districts of Albania according to the Police is as follows:

Tirana 2466 persons or 23.6%

Shkodra 1839 or 17.6%

Fieri 627 or 6%

Vlora 574 or 5.5%

Berati 490 or 4.5%

Durresi 470 or 4.5%

Elbasani 397 or 3.8%

7 districts mentioned above constitute 6864 persons or 65.7% of killings while 28 other districts constitute 3583 persons or 34.3%

Police data for the killing motives are as follows :

Killings for revenge and blood feud 1567 or 15%

Banal motives 1358 or 13%

Property motives 397 or 3.8%

Suicides 864 or 8.1%

Accidental killings 157 or 1.5%

6122 other killings are unregistered, mainly during 1990-91-92 and 1996-97-98. Most of these killings are by self justice for enmity, property and honor which compose 58.6% of total. 

Birthplace of perpetrators

It is mainly in rural places, but because of the demographic movement after 90’s they are set in urban areas, most in metropolis.

settlement of perpetrators

It is most in urban places rather than rural ones.

Education of perpetrators

It is about 35% average, 25% secondary and 1 % high education. The others have primary or no education.

 civil status of perpetrators

About 56% of them are married with 1 to 3 children while 35% of them are bachelor.

Profession of perpetrators

Most of them are engaged in agriculture and construction.  


About 20% have had penal proceeding and have been wanted by police while 8% of them did not have any problems with the state.

Professional activity of their families has been 70 % agriculture and 30% in state enterprises.

About 1 % of all committed crimes have had legal arms and 99% had illegal arms or borrowed by others.

 The reason of carrying legal arms is for hunting and because of the duty in the function of enforcement bodies, and illegal arms were taken by exploitation of 97’s riots where army depots were robbed to protect their families.

People that have committed crimes did not have faith to the justice bodies so they are referred to Kanun.

Persons that have committed blood feud have justified it as putting in its place the honor, “besa” and dignity, also because of the property violation according to the tradition defined by Kanun.

In most of the cases authors of blood feud have been pushed for years by the family, even for the earlier killings that have left an inherited enmity according to Kanun.

Most of the killing authors are outside the family, while 3% of them are inside the clan, brotherhood and family.

The age of victims killed from blood feud varies from 10 to 75 years.

The number of traffickers in 2011 is doubled. 11 traffickers were verified in Tirana and 7 others in Shkodra. Their number reached 32 during August of 2011. Expedition of these 6 months consist that this number has increased during 2012. In Tirana this number of traffickers is higher and in a progressive increasing. 32 of traffickers that are in Tirana work at Zogu I Zi, Train Station, Tirana court, Bathore, Babrru and Sauk. There are 26 in Durres and 22 others in Lezha and Shkodra.

The leadership of expedition leaded by Mr. Pashk Lleshi the chair of the National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries, Mahmut Coka Vice chair of the Assembly, Zef Pali General Secretary of Assembly , Sali Gera vice chair of Assembly and Preng Cara vice chair of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, decided that this report, (after it was surveyed in the national meeting of National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries, was subjected to analyses, surveys and discussions of the members of assembly) will be presented to the public opinion, institutions of Albanian state, diplomatic body in Tirana and International Organisms. 

Tiranë 7th of July 2012