Over the necessity of cooperation between state courts and Kanun courts about doing justice
This resolution was reviewed by the participants of the 6th congress of reconciliation missionaries and was submitted for completion and approval to the reconciliation missionaries throughout the country from October 1st until December 31st, 2017. The head of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation received the necessary suggestions from the missionaries and working groups of the committee in 2800 villages and 60 municipalities. After the approval in terrain, this resolution was sent to the deputies of Albanian Parliament, the President of Republic, Albanian Government, Representatives of Western Countries, International Organizations as well as local and international media, by 20th of January 2018.
THE CONGRESS APPRAISED:
1- The cooperation of Albanian government and State Police with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in the reconciliation process and the protection of the families that immigrate because of blood feud, enabling the reduction of the number of killings by 50%.
2- The support of Holy See and Pope Francis for the strategy of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation about the protection of the immigrants who seek a safer life in western countries.
3- The support of the United Nations organization, European Counsel and the government of western countries such as US, Germany, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norwegian Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Australia, Ireland, Iceland, New Zeeland etc.. In cooperation with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, they have protected the right to life of Albanian families that immigrate because of the danger they encounter in Albania. The congress appraised especially the work of organizations and western courts of immigration to protect the right to life of families that are in danger, expressing the highest consideration for the work done by IRB in Canada, OFPRA in France and CECDOCA in Belgium.
1- The ambassador of United States, his Excellency Mr. Donald Lu and the ambassador of European Union, her Excellency Ms. Romana Vlahutin, for their persistence and hard work with the political and social factors in Albania for the realization of the judicial reform.
2- The minister of Justice, Mr. Ylli Manjani, who highly praised the remarks made by the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for the judicial reform as well as the work of the elders (Kanun courts), expressing readiness for the establishment of Peace Courts in cooperation with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation. www.ata.gov.al/manjani-takim-me-shoqerine-civile-per-drejtesine-gjykate-pajtimi-per-organizimin-gjyqesor/
3- The Interior Minister, Mr. Sajmir Tahiri, who confirmed in front of the public opinion that due to the cooperation with the structures of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, there are 41 000 conflicts resolved with reconciliation for the prevention of violence.
4 - Council of Europe reporters, Mr. Joseph O'reilly (Ireland) and Mr. Andrej Hunko (Germany) for the meeting that they had and the support of them to Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in the process of reconciliation and protection of the rights of Albanian emigrants in Europe. https://www.ata.gov.al/raporteret-e-kie-se-takim-me-komitetin-e-pajtimit-mbarekombetar/
the congress confirmed that:
1- The decisions of elders, “Kanun Courts”, are never repudiated and the parties live in peace and brotherhood while the decisions of state courts, in all of the cases have aggravated the conflicts and enmities among the parties. In 600 000 decision courts, the parties have aggravated into enmity and blood feud bringing tragic consequences such as the killing of 3500 persons, suicide of 4200 others and the depression of 22 000 citizens. Due to the unfair decisions and corruption in all the levels of prosecution and courts, the citizens feel terrorized, despise the system of state justice and have no hope in its improvement.
the Concerns of congress:
Despite the tremendous work of the government and the state police for the prevention of crime, even in 2017 there have been dozens of killings of social origin, 25 of which within the family and in the eyes of children. Also there have been attempts to kill immigrants after the unfair deportation from western countries where they had seek asylum because of the enmity. On 10th of February 2016, Xhevahir Basha from Has district was killed for blood feud after his return from United Kingdom. The killers had received the information of his return in Albania in a short time. In 2017 two former senior state police leaders, Artan Cuku and Ervin Dalipaj were killed for revenge. In September 2016, the General Prosecutor, Adriatik Llalla leaves the country together with his family because of the danger of revenge in Albania. http://lajmifundit.al/2016/09/llalla-kercenim. In May 2016, from the parliament the former Prime Minister SaliBerisha urged Albanian people to arm themselves because the Albanian families are not safe and that the state cannot protect them. When he was a prime minister, even though the number of killings was two times more than in 2016, he deceived the European opinion stating that Albania is a safe place in order to not contradict the requirements of EU. http://alb365.com/berisha-ne-kuvend-te-armatoset-populli-tahiri-prokuroria-ta-marre-te-pandehur. Albanian people have respected the stance of the Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, on the meeting with the German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel, who declared that Albanians do not only leave the country because of economic reasons but also because of the insecurity of life. Even though the new government of the National Renaissance and the State Police have reached positive results in the improvement of work and have cooperated with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation enabling the reduction of the number of killings by 50%, still there are thousands of unresolved conflicts which if not closed with reconciliation, can aggravate toward enmities and killings. The most problematic are 7560 conflicts because of injuries, 9701 conflicts due to honor issues, 6789 conflicts due to domestic violence, 3400 conflicts due to the breakup of arranged engagements, 34800 conflicts due to the property in the city, 98700 conflicts about the lands in villages, 3358 conflicts due to insults, 41890 conflicts about unpaid debts, 5260 conflicts due to women trafficking, 980 conflicts within the family due to the appearance of homosexual orientation, 15600 conflicts due to infidelity, 13789 conflict because of hidden love affairs as well as 61567 conflicts due to divorce.
the force of tradition to albanians and the tradition of justice
Albanians are the most ancient people of Mediterranean and speak their ancient Albanian language which is a special branch of the Indo-European family. They are descendants of Illyrians with cultural and linguistic evidence from Illyria and Pelasgian. The borrowings in language and culture are mainly Latin, Hellenic, Byzantine, Slavic and Turkish. Despite the ethnic and language properties, Albanians through their ancient ethic code, Kanun, have preserved and cultivated through generations the custom of rule in community, the law culture, and have protected the freedom and human rights, cultural diversity, and religion cohabitation by putting the right above the religion and ideology. Both in rural and urban areas, the social life has been led by Kanun democracy based in people assemblies and elders “Kanun courts” which operate to this day. This inheritance is a precious asset in support of the state of rule and law and values of European Union because it is based on the principles of democracy, freedom and human rights, the freedom of life, thought, speech, property, religion as well as the respect of duties and rule in community. While the politics has constantly brought crises and the state institutions have immersed in corruption, Kanun enjoys the trust of public opinion. People, in lack of justice, have chosen to follow Kanun tradition for the resolution of disagreements and conflicts as well as necessary obligations in community. Kanun has also gained more ground in the fight against the organized crime, killings and terror acts compared to Albanian justice and law. Kanun is in a constant fight with the violators of rule and law in community as well as with the tragic acts of killings in society and domestic violence. To avoid the killings and social conflicts, people are obligated to seek the traditional organizations, Kanun courts, elders’ courts, village commissions of land separation and conflict’s resolution. Kanun with its influence has decreased the corruption in municipalities and traditional Communes as in Mirdite, Kukes, Diber, Puke etc. Also it has impeded the women trafficking and domestic violence and has brought the unconditional freedom and respect of the rights of women and children who are unfairly isolated from the fear of revenge and blood feud, in full contradiction with the law and Kanun.
STATE INSTITUTIONS AND KANUN COURTS
In addition to state institutions, people have chosen and organized assemblies and decision making in community by finding long-term solutions for protecting common assets such as forests, waters, pastures, roads, etc. Such decisions have in many cases found the support of state institutions, local and central government and prestigious donors such as the World Bank etc. Although most citizens support the reforming of the judicial system, there is no confidence and expectation for a good state justice without a proper cooperation with Kanun courts where civilian opinion and control is exercised in any decision-making. Even police has often suggested a well-understood solution for the conflicts through community elders, and this is a positive step in the police cooperation with the community to peacefully resolve the problems. This has resulted in the prevention of police intervention by force, which aggravates the situation, leading to enmity and subsequent bloodshed. Parliament has approved the licensed mediation law as well as other businesses but unfortunately the licensed mediators have been rejected by the parties from their first day of workdue to lack of experience and the payments they require in compromise with lawyers. For their most vital issues, citizens have found justice and equality through Kanun elders because their decisions both in the village and in the city are voluntary, free, well-reasoned and not contested by the parties. When necessary, with the understanding of the parties, the decisions are examined according to the Kanun hierarchy, up to the “Kanun High Court” of Elderly (the Supreme Court of Peace). These elders (Kanun Court) are represented by people with reputation in society and high moral integrity and are far more trustworthy than state judges. They have been organized for 27 years under the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation's strategy that plays the role of the "Kanun High Court", often giving guidelines at a more contemporary level than the state courts. The Kanun courts have the clear reasoning of decision making and the families involved in the trial apply it fairly. The object of the trial in these courts has been broad, ranging from simple conflicts to killings, leaving the responsibility of the crime on the guilty to be prosecuted by the state and that the parties reconcile. These "judges" are constantly required by the citizens not only for today's conflicts but also for those inherited since the time of King Zog or the communist system. Even during the reign of King Zog and the communist system, the Kanun solutions have been applied in the service of peace and ceasing of conflicts. Review and decision-making procedures in these Kanun courts are mainly without protocols because the confessions and the given word are very important in these decisions. Keeping records as in the case of the state courts is considered unnecessary and suspicious. Reviews are made by listening to the parties. These decision-making may be an example for state courts, although they do not have evidence management protocols, they are based on direct evidence of the parties, the scene of the events, dialogue and the guarantee to respect the decision-making. In some cases there have been timely evolutions of practices and adaption to state terms and practice as request for judgment, preliminary hearing, Kanun agreement act etc.
MISINTERPRETATION OF KANUN
Crimes about property and life, barbaric killings and domestic violence, the isolation of women and children during post-communist transition do not belong to the Kanun as often misinterpreted by uninformed groups and individuals, or by the dark structures of organized crime and terrorism. They are the worst assassination of Albanian tradition and culture. By introducing into the criminal code the term blood feud, the parliament has institutionalized the phenomenon in complete opposition to both the law and Kanun because the killings during the transition period are completely killings of a depressed society, and totally outside of the procedure, the hierarchy and the nature of the blood feud. On the other hand, the approval of the law imposing a sentence from 25 years to life imprisonment because of blood feud while the first killers that caused it are free or punished less, have incited the hidden and paid revenge.
FACTORS THAT KEEP KANUN PRESENT
Social and cultural factor: Albanians, although adapt to timely changes, preserve the tradition in the social and family life, religious practices and inter-ethnic relations, mortal rites and community celebrations, relationships in provincial communities and tribal ties, marriages and couple relationships, parent-child relationships etc. These traditions, which, despite being shattered by different changes and pressures, are still reflected in the culture and daily living practices in and out of the family. Albanians entered and left the communist system without the experience of phenomena such as corruption, drugs, prostitution, trafficking of women and girls, gambling, kidnapping, property abduction, killings, suicides, etc. The state appears helpless in the fight against these devastating phenomena, while Kanun has successfully faced it because it has found the support of citizens and protects the values of society and the state of rule and law.
Political Factor: The degeneration of state institutions and the justice system under the control of political parties which are transformed into family properties of the leaders and a group of businessmen around them, has undermined the citizens' trust in the state of rule and law and created a great difference between the people who are in extreme poverty and a wealthy group that hold in their hands the monopoly over politics, state, market and natural resources of the country. 60% of the population does not go to the polls because they have the conviction that the state and the political parties do not belong to them but are the property of the leaders and their families who are enriched at the expense of public taxes and corruption. Facing this situation, citizens have been forced to remember the best model for democracy, for a normal life with justice and rule, referring to Kanun. With the fall of communism there was an extreme organization of Albanian society which was not oriented by law and sate of rule and law, but by chaotic movements that shocked the social life, spread crime, corruption and self-justice. To avoid the self-justice and protect the lives of citizens as well as the peaceful rules in the community, Kanun with its assemblies and elders were called for action. They were organized in a natural way both in villages and in cities.
KANUN AND LAW 7501 FOR THE LAND
In 1991 the parliament passed the 7501 law for the land, excluding the right of the ownership from the family members living in the city. Kanun, facing this violation of this fundamental right, entered immediately the game imposing the fair division of land and thus eliminating the conflicts and killings that were incited by the implementation of this law. 70% of the families in the north and south of Albania accepted the separation according to Kanun by the elders’ decisions, the "Kanun court". By the decisions of the Kanun courts, families in the village decided to share the inheritance with the families in the city. This Kanun decision was also subjected to state commissions in the south and north by giving land to family members in the city through a certificate issued by the civil state showing fictitious presence of them as residents in the village even though they were residents of the city. This is greeted by the two main political parties and their deputies who have never been capable to make right laws. Through law 7501 for the land, the first step was taken towards accepting Kanun solutions and the formation of elders (Kanun court). Apart from the division of land, elders ,"Kanun Courts", have acted freely about many other aspects of social life. These Kanun solutions have eliminated conflicts and enmities that are aggravated by state court decisions. 60% of citizens do not send conflict cases to the state court because they not only find no justice, but have to pay unaffordable amounts to escape the clutches of injustice.
27 YEARS OF THE COMMITTEE OF NATIONWIDE RECONCILIATION
The Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation together with its missionaries and elder groups continues to lead the reconciliation process throughout the country's territory, in 2800 villages and 60 municipalities, according to tradition without any financial support from donors, state or businesses. The Committee works according to the program and strategy adopted at the 6th congresses of reconciliation missionaries for the promotion of the culture of law and the state of rule and law. The committee has orientated working groups and Kanun elders to reconcile the parties in conflict and enmity, leaving the responsibility of the guilty to be criminally prosecuted by the state, and to release the isolated families. Elder groups (Kanun courts), established by the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation during the 27 years of post-communist transition, have solved twice as many conflicting and enmity issues as State Courts.
The congress highly praised the work of the expeditions of reconciliation missionaries and approved the 2-year reconciliation expedition report for 2015-2016, published on the website www.pajtimi.com. Congress thanked the expedition groups of the committee of nationwide reconciliation that focused their volunteer work in south of Albania, in 61 local units where the Adriatic Pipeline extends, according to the engagement of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in the meeting with Albanian government officials and the TAP team represented by Mr. Vugar Veysalov. The cooperation of local power structures and state police in these areas with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation groups and the right attitude of TAP project leaders to respect the right of property has eliminated any conflict that impedes the work of this project. In addition to working with the gas pipeline area, the reconciliation expeditions have developed activities in each district to encourage the citizen participation in campaign elections and voting without any conflict or social crashes. In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior Issues and the State Police, the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation also made possible the participation of the families in enmity in voting whenever they asked, by accompanying them.
CONGRESS CONSISTED THAT:
1- The Courts and the Albanian Prosecution have evaluated and left in power the Recommendation of the Albanian Government No. 1716, dated 29/9/2009, MPÇSSHB, which requires the local and international institutions to refer to the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for the verification of enmity issues eliminating fictitious data and abuses. Based on this recommendation, the prosecution offices and the courts have condemned all state representatives and NGOs that have issued enmity certifications without archiving the case for review and pursuit in the office of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation.
2- There are 340 thousand files of strong conflicts in the administrative and criminal courts. In 40% of these conflicts the parties have withdrawn and resolve the case with self-justice because they have no faith in justice. For the avoidance of the self-justice and the resolution of these conflicts, the reconciliation missionaries have been engaged by the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation as the only justice settlement institution entrusted by the citizens.
CONFRONTATION WITH ORGANIZED CRIME:
Congress condemned the activity of incriminated individuals who in contrary to the interest of the families in enmity, have created "missions" and "associations" with names like "The Reconciliation Committee of blood", "Mother Teresa Reconciliation Mission", "The Home Institute of Justice and National Reconciliation" "National Mission of the blood reconciliation", "Teachers for Isolated Children", "The link of Reconciliation and Peace Missionaries", "Nationwide Mission of Reconciliation and Peace", etc., for the purpose of obtaining funds on behalf of families in blood feuds. 76 million Euros from foreign donors and local business have been taken by these false NGOs that have signed memorandums of co-operation with the People's Advocate, but not a single penny has gone to families isolated by blood feud. The ombudsman has signed these "memorandums of cooperation" without the knowledge of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation. The congress consisted with regrets that several lawyers, immigration offices and courts in western countries require families that immigrate because of blood feuds to receive certificates from these pseudo missions listed in the list of cooperation with the ombudsman favoring the organized crime, fraud and counterfeiting. Recommendation of the Albanian Government no. 1716, dated 29/9/2009 - MPCSSHB, was issued according to law no. 8465 dated 11.3.1999 and the law no. 8788, dated 7thof May 2001, Decision No: 3190 and 3190/1 which clearly defines the role of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation as the main forum that leads the reconciliation strategy in national level, archives and follows the issues of families in enmity. The Recommendation requires local and international institutions to refer to the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for the verification of cases, with the aim of eliminating fictitious data and abuses of organizations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, the reports of the US State Department, UN, and other international organizations refer to the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for data on families in blood feuds because only this committee has the potential, the organizational and professional skills to pursue with priority the blood feud cases in the territory of Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia. No institution, organization or individual has the expertise, capacity and experience of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in the process of reconciliation, mediation and resolution of conflicts for the prevention of blood feuds.
The Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation has been supported by Albanian Courts and the Prosecution in all its activities and in the fight against the dark structures of organized crime. At the request of the Chairman of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, Mr. Gjin Marku, the courts and the prosecutor's office have carefully and thoroughly reviewed false statements and slanders whose aim was to undermine the image of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and its chairman as well as to obstruct the reconciliation process. From analyzing and reviewing these false allegations, the courts and the prosecution have concluded that they are the product of organized crime and that the chairman of the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation Committee is the only competent person authorized and trusted by the Albanian state to provide opinions (certificates, expertise, confirmation letter ets) on issues of enmity and blood feud. The new government emerging from the 2013 elections immediately established through the Prime Minister's Office the cooperation contacts with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and discharged from the duty and prosecuted the police officers implicated in the false allegations against the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and his chairman, such as Agron Kuliçaj, former General Director of State Police, Arjan Hoxha, former chief of the sector against economic crime in Tirana Police, Oltion Demiraj, a former police officer at Tirana police directorate, Agim Loci, a former prison officer, uneducated with a false diploma etc. who collaborated with robbery such as Niko Kuri Ervion Cara etc. to steal the videos of the work of Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation and deformed them.
Chairman of the National Assembly of Reconciliation Missionaries
General Secretary of the National AssemblySali Gera