Only an open and independent investigation can guarantee justice to Xh. M.

Only an open and independent investigation can guarantee justice to Xh. M.

CRCA Albania and ANYN concerned about the apathy of state institutions and law enforcement agencies to protect a young woman from abuse

Tirana, 29 September 2018 - CRCA Albania and the Albanian National Youth Network (ANYN), two main human rights organizations in the country, for the last three days awaited with great concern the official answer of the Albanian Parliament, Government and law enforcement agencies, regarding the involvement and accusations against several members of the Parliament and their family members for exercising violence, coercion and later cover up on the case of a young woman in Fushë-Krujë (Albania).

Although XH.M. reported in three police stations being a victim of extreme violence and threats against her by the son of a Member of the Parliament of the governing party and later by his father and probably other public officials, both the Police Authority and Social Services failed to provide her with care and protection. Since July, when the case became public, neither the Police Authority or Prosecutors Office issued any arrest warrants until a police officer accused the National Police Authority for cover up.

CRCA and ANYN, through this public statement would like to express our strong condemnation to the overwhelming and unprecedented lack of support and protection from every institution of the Albanian Government towards the young woman. In our opinion, the official reaction so far has been very weak. All the accused through their public statements, despite the fact that they are public personas, have failed to give full access to law enforcement agencies to investigate claims that members of the Albanian Parliament were involved in a cover up.

As there are still many questions and on how the event happened, who was involved, who did what and why Police and Social Services failed to offer protection, CRCA and ANYN urgently asks today the Albanian public institutions the following:

1. The Albanian Parliament shall set up urgently an Investigation Commission to investigate all the failures observed on the case of Xh. M. as well as the possible involvement of the MP’s and other family members;

2. We ask the sub-Parliamentary Commission on Gender Equality and Domestic Violence on its forthcoming hearing session with institutions and civil society on the functioning of the national mechanism of gender-based violence to take into consideration and analyse why there were no social protection measures provided to the victim by Kruja Municipality and why did the referral mechanism on domestic violence failed to provide the protection required by the law;

3. The General Prosecutor's Office should open immediately urgent investigations into the allegations and persons involved in this act of violence, as proven by the forensic report made public yesterday by the media;

4. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Municipality of Kruja shall urgently provide all the necessary support and protection services while apply all the protection orders for the 25-year-old girl victim.

The Government, our public institutions and every public official that have been in contact with the victim have seriously questioned the equality before the law of every Albanian citizen. Moreover, the lack of response of some institutions raises serious doubts about state capture by certain individuals and the use of public institutions for their own benefit.

Only an independent and open investigation could guarantee justice to XH. M.

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