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Albanian Politicians Express Outrage Over Attack Against Iranian Opposition

albania ashraf3 injuries (1)

The brutal assault conducted by Albanian security forces on Ashraf 3 has elicited widespread concern among politicians and legislators in Albania. Many have condemned the incident and demanded that Albanian authorities be held responsible for their actions.

Sali Berisha, the former President and Prime Minister of Albania described the police attack at Ashraf 3 in Manza as a serious crime and a clear violation of refugee rights laws.

Sali Berisha

He stated, “I severely condemn the physical and psychological terror that has been exercised against the Mujahideen. I condemn the brutal physical violence, which has resulted in one death so far. With multiple wounds. Over 40 were injured. Some of them are in the country’s hospitals. I condemn the actions and consider their banditry.”

Sali Berisha called upon the United Nations and the United States Congress to investigate the incident. He said, “Once again, I urge the United Nations, the United States Congress, and NATO, along with institutions dealing with refugees, to conduct an immediate international investigation into this tragic and shameful event that blatantly violates international refugee conventions and national laws.”

On June 20, the Albanian media outlet “Shqiptarja” published an article titled “Lack of Transparency, Unprofessionalism, and Unacceptable Violence.” In regard to the police intervention at the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) compound in Manza, the leader of the Freedom Party, Elir Meta, stated: “Today’s incident at the Ashraf MEK compound in Manza serves as a clear testament to the complete lack of transparency and professionalism in the actions of governmental structures.”

ilir meta

The evident violence resulting in the loss of one life and injuries to dozens of others is utterly unacceptable and demonstrates the excessive use of force against a community that is welcomed in Albania, he added. This ongoing violent behavior by the national police, especially in this matter, necessitates the identification of all parties involved in the violence, as well as holding all governmental structures accountable for their actions through maximum legal responsibility. Meta asserts that this event has shocked Albanian and international public opinion.

In a statement published by the Albanian Panorama outlet on June 20, Fatmir Mediu, the leader of the Republican Party, expressed his reaction to the tense situation. An English translation of the statement reads: “The situation created today with the representatives of the MEK (Iranian Resistance) is unacceptable. The Albanian state at the request of the highest U.S. authorities created the opportunity to take refuge in Manz. The French government has been consensual in its support.

“U.S. leaders such as Vice President Pence, Sec. Pompeo, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Secretary [John] Kerry, General [James] Jones, senior military, many senators and congressmen, and world leaders have visited and supported the Iranian resistance and praised the Albanian hospitality.

fatmir mediu

“Without wanting to assess the technical aspects, it is unacceptable to clash with the residents of Camp Ashraf in Manza, while anything could be processed according to the law. The authorities should analyze every fact to clarify this situation, apologize to the residents of Camp Ashraf, and assure them that this situation will not be repeated.

“They are housed in Albanian territory according to the laws and should be treated as guests in our home by enforcing our laws, but in no way can they be violated in any form. Neither our law nor our customs as Albanians accept this. This clash comes against Albania’s values and image.”

Ferdinand Gjavraj, a member of the National Security Commission of the Albanian Parliament, also expressed his opinion regarding the police inspection of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) camp in Manza.

Gjavraj, stating that MEK members have come to Albania to protect themselves and not to be killed by the police, asked the Minister of Interior, Bledi Cuci, to provide an explanation to the commission regarding this situation.

Ferdinand Gjavraj

Gjavraj said, “We cannot ensure the safety of those who have come here to protect themselves. A very serious situation has occurred there. They came to be protected by the Albanian government, not to be killed by the police. Is this the custom of hospitality? As the enforcers of the law, we have an agreement, and they have come to protect themselves. They have come by agreement and at the request of the United States. Tomorrow, the Minister of Interior must come and provide explanations, otherwise, we will refer the matter to the regular commission.”