Originally published on August 17, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Bujar Nishani, President of Albania
Goal: Reduce the numerous cases of police brutality, corruption, and human rights abuse in Albanian prisons
Investigations reveal multiple cases of Albanian police officers using excessive force and often beating suspects during interrogations to elicit confessions. Albanian jails are reported to be in such poor condition as to constitute inhuman treatment. Reports of torture committed by prison guards are rarely investigated, while the courts rarely prosecute corrupt government officials.
According to the U.S. State Department, corruption in all branches of the Albanian government is pervasive. With a mountain of evidence against them, high profile government officials are often found not guilty in court. Many other corrupt officials never have charges brought up against them.
By setting a tone of corruption at the top, it trickles down to the cops and prison guards deciding which laws to enforce and which ones to break. Police officers in Albania arbitrarily detain people without charges and hold suspects past their legal deadline. Susceptible to bribes, cops regularly grant early release or drop the charges for any suspect able to pay.
Suspects occasionally arrive to the jail covered in preexisting wounds. Many detention facilities do not provide proper medical attention, leaving the prisoners in poor living conditions. Refusing to give medical treatment to one prisoner, the guards instead strapped him down to his bed. They found him dead the next morning. In a separate case, five guards allegedly tortured two prisoners. Both cases were dropped.
By signing the petition below you will urge the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, to stop this systemic corruption and brutality by investigating the numerous crimes committed by his police, prison guards, and public officials.
Dear President Bujar Nishani,
The people of Albania deserve a judicial system that does not simply reward the wealthy and powerful while condemning the poor and defenseless. When lower-level government employees see their corrupt superiors repeatedly escape punishment, it endorses the overconfident attitude that they are also above the law. By refusing to prosecute certain high profile cases, your country’s institutions are merely following the path set by their fallible leaders.
Rampant police corruption, excessive force, and deteriorating prison facilities are symptoms of the disease ravaging your government. Suspects are illegally detained, tortured to illicit confessions, and subjected to detention facilities without proper medical care. The only way to correct these issues is to investigate corruption charges on every level while improving the conditions in your jails and prisons.
By failing to punish your elite, you have substituted them for your impoverished. Reform Albania’s corrupt judicial system and end the police brutality against your citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joonasl via Wikimedia Commons