Monday, May 09, 2011
The Albanian-American Diaspora Appeals to the Albanian Foreign Ministry for the safety of Gjon Lucaj
The Honorable Edmond Haxhinasto
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Albania
Bulevardi Gjergj Fishta, Nr 6
Dear Minister Haxhinasto,
We, the undersigned call on the Albanian Government not to extradite Mr. Gjon Lucaj to Montenegro. We intently appeal to the Foreign Ministry of Albania to protect Mr. Lucaj’s human rights pending further arrangements for a more permanent residence. We are petitioning your Office to take into consideration the facts surrounding the unethical and flawed Montenegrin justice system. Their handling of Albanian political prisoners has been thoroughly documented as inhumane, unjust, ethnically charged, and plagued by corruption. We plea that your Ministry comply with appropriate legal discourse related to international and local statutes regulating the deportation of a political detainees, and prevent the return of Mr. Lucaj to a country known for its abusive police practices.
Various international organizations have recorded the ill-treatment of Albanian political prisoners in Montenegrin jails. Montenegrin secret police have brutally assaulted Albanian political prisoners and viciously tortured them and their families. The Montenegrin police continue to violate local and international laws by systematically beating and torturing political prisoners with no legal recourse for their actions.
An Amnesty International report published in October 2006 stated that:
“Once imprisoned, the Montenegrin authorities have been maltreating political prisoners, and have been forcing political detainees to sign fabricated documents and statements against their will…The allegations include reports of repeated beatings, including with the intention of forcing a confession, using hands, fists, feet, sticks and on one occasion, a computer cable…Beatings were allegedly conducted by individual and groups of police officers at the police station, by the anti-terrorist police involved in the arrest and by police escorting the men to court…One individual reported that a hood was placed over his head; another that he had a gun held to his head; all were subjected to racist threats on the basis of their Albanian ethnicity.”
In the same vein, the U.S. State Department in a recent Country Report cited the Helsinki Committee of Montenegro that “police had used disproportionate force against some of the arrested persons and their family members during the arrests and subsequent interrogations.” Concurringly, Freedom House reported similar buses and stated that “the hospitalization of prison inmates after a police raid raised questions of brutality and resulted in a change in prison administration…accusations of political interference and complaints of lengthy judicial processes continued to plague the judicial and prosecutorial systems.”
Wherefore, we strongly believe that if Mr. Lucaj is deported to Montenegro, he will fall victim to a corrupt justice system and be denied a fair and free public trial while facing physical and mental abuse. We desperately appeal to the Albanian Government not to extradite Mr. Lucaj to Montenegro where cruel and inhumane treatment awaits him. We urge you to recognize that these bogus acts do exist and ask that you grant Mr. Lucaj a stay in Albania.
The Albanian-American Association "Malesia e Madhe"
"Ded Gjo' Luli"
"Homeland Unites Us"
Malesia Humanitarian Fund
Posted by Conference Organizer at 3:44 PM