“Better the cradle empty, than the villain inside”

By Nebil Cika

An open letter

To: Ms. Genoveva Ruiz-Calavera, Head of International Reform Monitoring Operation (OMN)

Dear Mrs. Genoveva Ruiz-Calavera!

We, the politically persecuted anti-Communist Albanians, are very concerned about the developments and the product of the justice reform so far, which you have undertaken to monitor as the responsibility of the EU and the US guaranteed also by the Albanian constitution.

We, as the interested layer of the rule of law in our country, after 45 years of communist dictatorship, but not only, have been victims of communist injustice, have expected justice reform to lay the foundations of normal justice in this country and have supported any attempt to achieve this.

However, with great regret and concern we find that so far, the product of reform is not what we expected, but rather we are falling from rain to hail.

Our main concern is a phenomenon that we consider as a serious threat to the Albanian justice, to us as a layer of politically persecuted by communism, but also to the entire Albanian people: the return to the top of justice system of communism crimes authors, crimes against humanity and genocide and all this is happening if not under your blessing under your tacit approval.

We find with regret and concern that the Vetting process monitored by You has ignored the participation of judges and prosecutors in the political processes of the communist dictatorship in the decisions taken, openly and repeatedly consuming a violation of the law.

This has made that at the new Justice Institutions, even as the leaders of them to be appointed former members of the State Security, the political police of the dictatorship, investigators, prosecutors and judges who have been part of the political process of punishing the opponents of the communist regime, which include torture, fitting, counterfeiting, and harsh penalties not only for those convicted,or imprisoned, but also to their family members including elderly women and children who were interned and denied basic human rights.

It is not about a few individuals but, according to State Security statistics itself, about 35% of the Albanian population was politically persecuted during the communist dictatorship in Albania and all this was accomplished through the processes and decisions of the communist dictatorship investigators, prosecutors and judges.

During this period we have reported case by case the passing of the Vetting and the appointment of our political persecutors to justice, but we have never seen your reaction to this extremely negative phenomenon of so-called “justice reform”.

To make this communication more concrete with you and with the public, I am mentioning some flagrant cases where you have “excelled” with your silence and approval at least in public.

1-Appointment of SPAK by Arben Kraja, a former State Security Investigator in Shkodra 1987-1992.

2-Appointment of the Deputy Attorney General of Thoma Jano, investigator and chief of the State Security investigation in Kruja 1980-1991, author of dozens of communist political investigative processes.

3-Appointment of Ardian Dvorani, head of the Council of Justice Appointments (KED), by a communist prosecutor who has given severe political sentences for opponents of the communist regime as a dictatorship’s prosecutor in Shkodra including those who toppled Stalin’s bust in 1990.

4- Appointment to the High Judicial Council (KLGJ) as a member, of Fatmira Luli, a judge during the dictatorship condemned citizens for participating in the fall of Enver Hoxha’s bust on February 20, 1991 or for entering  to embassies.

5-Appointment to the Prosecutor Appointments Council (KLP) of Bujar Sheshi, a former State Security investigator, author of many torture arrests and political convictions as an investigator in the Fier District, and according to AIDSSH also a State Security associate.

6- Appointment to the Prosecution Appointments Council (KLP) of Nurihan Seiti, a judge of the communist dictatorship, has sentenced several people to charges of agitation, propaganda and attempted escape from the border.

Dear Mrs. Clavera!

As you can recall from these flagrant cases I mentioned above, the product of the reform monitored by you has ended with the return of the leading justice institutions of the former communist persecutors of the cruelest dictatorship in Europe. And do not forget that these are serious crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, which are not described by Albanian and international law.

As an EU official, I would like to remind you that the European Parliament has adopted a resolution obliging the same treatment of the crimes of Stalinism and Nazism, a resolution that you are obligated to apply in your work as head of the OMN, which we haven’t seen so far.

We believe in the EU and US justice standards and values that you represent as OMN. But we do not know whether a former member of the Gestapo SS, prosecutors or judges of the Nazist dictatorship in Europe was or should be part of the EU and US justice system.

We had in mind exactly this standard of yours and the EU resolution on crimes of Nazism and Communism when we believed and supported the reform imposed by our western partners but we are very disappointed by the standards that are completely different to those of your countries that you are applying to Albanian justice.

At least so far we find that the reform monitored and led by you has resulted in a “takeover” of Albanian justice by State Security and other perpetrators of communist crimes in Albania.

I do not believe that you were unaware of this phenomenon as in their CVs they themselves wrote that they were part of the bloody guillotine of communist dictatorship. The information we have from the Information Authority on Former State Security Files in the vetting process, as well as appointments to new justice institutions in all cases has either avoided verifying participation in Communist crimes or ignored the information sent by AIDSSH.

Dear Madam!

We are sincerely disappointed with You as OMN! If you are here to bring State Security back to justice, which is really happening, it would have been better if you had not come at all. We have had Communist “justice” on our backs and we know well what it is. Corruption and injustice in Albania do not start in 1993 or in 2017.

The Albanian (in) justice you are claiming to reform is an extension of this quasi-democracy of communist injustice and the problem is not the laws nor the institutions, but the communist standard and mindset of doing justice that is transmitted over time by leaders, investigators, judges and prosecutors of communist dictatorship who are also recycling with the so-called “new justice”.

For these cases we Albanians have a saying: “Better an empty cradle than Satan inside”. If so, leave it as it is,in order to spend millions of euros of European and American taxpayers, too much human energy and political and social tension for a reform whose product is at first not a failure but a return to dictatorship.

Falling from the rain to hail works neither for us nor for you!

Hoping to understand our concern I wish you all the best!