President condemns police violence against residents seeking fair compensation

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 10, 2019 13:33

President condemns police violence against residents seeking fair compensation

Story Highlights

  • Dozens of police forces have been going at the Bregu i Lumit area on Monday and Tuesday in support of Territorial Inspectors to demolish some houses which stand on the way of a new boulevard being built in the capital, mainly built on the side of the river.

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TIRANA, April 9 - Albanian President Ilir Meta expressed on Tuesday concern over the demolition of several houses in the capital's Bregu i Lumit (River Bank) area and over the physical rows between protesting residents and police forces since the beginning of the week.

Meta said through an official statement that the intervention of public authorities was beyond any kind of logic, while police forces' intrusion inside residents' houses brutal and completely non-professional.

"The time of intervention to get citizens out of their houses and the way of action seem not like a state logic, but like a sneaky method that does not reflect any legitimate support," Meta wrote.

According to him, the use of tear gas to force residents outside their homes is unacceptable.

Further on, Meta urged the the prosecution and the People's Advocate to urgently investigate all actions of the State Police and put the perpetrators before justice.

He also urged the government, the municipality and the police to respect human rights and freedoms, and to enforce legal proceedings on expropriations.

Dozens of police forces have been going at the Bregu i Lumit area on Monday and Tuesday in support of Territorial Inspectors to demolish some houses which stand on the way of a new boulevard being built in the capital, mainly built on the side of the river.

Police forces joined the demolition process because residents have protested the municipality's decision, claiming they have not been given fair compensation.

"They initially evaluated our houses, but then the legalization process was cancelled. My house was initially evaluated at 3.9 million Albanian lek," one resident told local media.

Some of the protesting residents demanding fair compensation were taken to the police department, while a total of 38 houses are to be demolished.

According to local media, the legalization process was terminated because residents had built their houses on state-owned ground.

Tirana's Mayor Erion Veliaj has offered protesting residents social housings, in addition to monthly rent bonuses.

In a TV-interview on Tuesday, Veliaj said that his conscience is clear.

"My conscience is clear, because the new boulevard will be construct and although these citizens have stolen the land there, we are not kicking them out on the street, but offering them shelter in social housings. Tax payers have already paid for social housing, so they cannot pay a second time so they can receive compensation in cash," Veliaj said.

Meanwhile, the country's opposition Democratic Party, in support of the protests, condemned the use of teargas on the residents, in like with Meta.

So far, at least three residents have received medical help, 76-year-old Uzur Mandri, who was operated following head injuries, as well as Flora Mandri and Xhabir Boleci.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 10, 2019 13:33