DEMONSTRATION CALLS FOR MONTENEGRO TO CEASE ILLEGAL JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS AND INJUSTICES AMONG THE ALBANIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS
WASHINGTON DC, June 14, 2008 – The Albanian-American Diaspora, through its several organizations throughout the United States, have joined efforts to call together a peaceful demonstration to highlight the continued illegal detention of 16 Albanians currently detained on charges unproven and unsubstantiated, under judicial proceedings besieged by corruption, inconsistencies and obstruction of constitutional, state and international norms. We are demanding an end to violations of civil liberties, constitutional and human rights, which have consequently led to sharp cleavages in the social, political, and economic lives of Albanians throughout Montenegro. These infringements to the inherent rights of Montenegro’s largest ethnic group have led to the dubious arrests of 16 Albanians in the case contemptuously depicted as “Eagle’s Flight.” The Albanian-American Diaspora calls upon all Albanians and supporters of human rights to come together and proclaim an immediate end to these human rights violations at the following venue:
June 23, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.
Montenegro’s fragile democracy is being challenged by its inability to carry out the rule of law, where judicial institutions are influenced by individuals for their own self-interests that are ill-equipped to implement fairness and equal justice for all its citizens. Given the intricate network of party loyalties between judges, prosecutors, police and government elites, these corruptive associations have produced a disturbing climate where Albanians do not stand a chance at a fair trial, further evidenced by the following inconsistencies in their very own legal standards surrounding the case:
* This case against the accused cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt because the case necessarily relies upon the illegal conduct and perjured testimony of Police Officers
* The trial prosecutor’s involvement in human rights violations renders her biased and she lacks the objectivity and independence required by the State Prosecutor’s Law to be the trail prosecutor.
* Under Montenegrin law, the accused are entitled to five judges, however only three judges have been assigned to “Eagle’s Flight” in efforts to reduce the probability of dissent.
These above-mentioned violations have disenfranchised an entire ethnic group, where public participation in political, societal and community associations are discouraged and manipulated by the majority. In the same vein, the emergent distrust in government and state institutions, including corruptive law and judicial enforcements, are threatening to tear the fabric of a multi-ethnic society. As such, policies that favor government abuses and corruption, including confiscation of land and natural resources, have led to assimilation and forced emigration as the only means of survival, thus rendering the Albanians in Montenegro the most threatened national minority in the Balkans.
Acknowledgement of the aforementioned neglect to human rights have been clearly recognized and documented by international monitoring agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, Helsinki Committee of Montenegro, OSCE, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Amnesty International, and Freedom House.
The magnitude of this rally has gathered the support of all Albanian-American organizations representing and working for the inherent rights of Albanians in Montenegro. This show of unity further underscores the need for international mediation to put a stop to the growing disparities between the majority and minorities in Montenegro. As such, this call for unification is extended to the Albanian-American community throughout the United States and abroad. Join us as we demonstrate for those who cannot. Together we seek Equal Rights and Equal Protection under the law for all Albanians in Montenegro.
SUPPORTED IN UNISON BY:
Albanian Catholic Churches
Albanian Islamic Centers
Albanian American Association
(Shoqata Malësia e Madhe)
Albanian American National Council
Albanian American Student Organization
Albanian Community Television
Albanian TV of Michigan
First Albanian Bektashi Monastery
Homeland Unites Us
(Levizja Atdheu na Bashkon)
Humanitarian Fund “MALËSIA”
(Fondi Humanitare “Malësia”)
Plavë Guci Foundation
Shoqata Ana e Malit
Shoqata Ded Gjo Luli
Zani Atëdheut (Homeland Voice)