In 2013, several Fier police officers physically assaulted a family of the Roma community.
Only 8 years later was justice restored for this family by the European Court of Strasbourg.
According to Panajot Alushi, one of the family members and a Roma activist, discrimination in Albania has also ended up costing him his place of work. Because of the mark that this left on his life and career, he was no longer able to go to Greece where he would usually stock up on used clothing that would then get shipped back to Albania where it would be put up for sale.
While telling his story for Euronews Albania’s ‘Morning Show’, Alushi said that he was happy with the decision made by the Court of Strasbourg and the damages granted to them at the value of 4.500 euros for each of the 3 family members. However, the situation in Albania with racism and discrimination still worries him.
Back in 2013, as the Alushi family was having dinner at home, several masked police officers banged on the door. After hearing his daughter scream, Alushi’s father-in-law went out to ask what was going on but instead, he was punched and the same happened with Alushi and his brother.
Other neighbors also from the Roma community came to offer their help as the police never showed up, even after Panajot Alushi made several calls.
The head of police at the time had replied by saying that the masked men weren’t from the Fier Police, but according to Alushi, they were never given a concrete answer by authorities.
Even the medico-legal doctor, didn’t give them a report despite the fact that they had been physically beaten and assaulted.
Initially, the police were the ones who sued the Roma family. 2, 3, and 6 months in prison were the sentences issued by the First Instance Court and after the Alushi family appealed the verdict, Vlora’s Appeals Court finally decided to sentence them to 18 months on probation.
After 8 years, Albania was sued by the Court of Strasbourg.
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