Monday, September 28, 2009

Albanians Held in Montenegrin Prison are Welcomed Home

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – The much anticipated arrival of Rrok and Kola Dedvukaj was celebrated last Saturday night by over 100 family members and friends who gathered at Detroit’s Metro Airport. After serving their three-year sentences in a tiny Montenegrin cell for accusations initially linked to “terrorism”, the Dedvukaj’s gingerly stepped off the plane and into the arms of sobbing family members , who, along with those present that night, breathed a sigh of relief to finally see the two men that have been victims of illicit charges, torture, and inhumane punishment, which not only victimized these two American citizens, but held all of Malёsia prisoner to what has turned out to be an apartheid state designed to suppress Albanians as they press for basic human rights.

Kola’s request to say a few words before the crowd underscored the theme of their sheltered nightmare. In his own soft words, Kola described the real issues confronting the prisoners and the entire nation. This entire ordeal wasn’t attributed to what Montenegro perceived to have happened, but instead it was a designed attempt to disenfranchise the entire Albanian community at the expense of a few. There were many times during their incarceration that the issue of ethnicity surfaced, especially while the two men were being physically and mentally tortured. Constant reminders that Montenegro is a state for Montenegrins only and that Albanians have no place and future there rang in their bloody heads as they were punished for not approving to the guard’s ethnic slurs.

It was the eve of national and local elections in Montenegro that opened the doors to mass arrests throughout the Malёsia region, and as Albanians were preparing to celebrate the victory of the ascent of an Albanian politician from that region, the day was overshadowed by fear, uncertainty, and disintegration. Nineteen men were immediately arrested for “acts of terrorism” (where many still remain behind bars today). What followed was a circus of illegitimate legal discourse that witnessed dozens of delayed hearings, unprofessional court proceedings, abrasive behavior by the judges, tainted evidence, and politically charges witnesses. This spectacle continued for two years and finally a guilty verdict followed; a verdict that found all Albanians in Montenegro guilty … guilty of being different … guilty of seeking liberty … guilty of demanding local representative government … guilty of wanting to protect their national homeland from confiscation, sale, and impregnation of other nationalities. Whatever the characteristics of the case, ALBANIANS WERE GUILTY!

As Rrok greeted his Detroit friends, and walked from hand-shake to hand-shake, he looked broken, he is not the man he used to be. The human toll suffered from repeated beatings, lack of medical attention, ghastly prison conditions, and the constant reminder that Albanians are not human reaffirmed his belief that suffering will continue for Albanians in Montenegro for a very long time. As Rrok quietly listened to their reassurances and well-wishes, he was reminded that Albanians are resilient by nature and undeterred by history, and their struggle will never end with a conviction, but instead continue on a path to full recognition of their national homeland with full status and sociopolitical rights that are guaranteed under God and all nations with collected minorities.

Welcome Home Men!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Albanian schoolchildren boycott classes in Veles High School

Veles, Macedonia -- Albanian schoolchildren boycotted classes at the "Koco Racin" High School in the town of Veles, Macedonian, A1 television reports.

Parents did not allow their kids to go to school because this year again there will be no school masters to teach in Albanian. The parents are dissatisfied and concerned that this year their kids will have to study their lessons in Macedonian again.

Last year there were only three free-lance teachers in Albanian. Albanian teachers hired in other schools, on the other hand, have not received their salaries and no longer wish to work in the Koco Racin School.