World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Albania: What happened to Remzi Hoxha?

Amnesty International, the Albanian Helsinki Committee, the Albanian Human Rights Group, the Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture, the Council for Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (Pristina, Kosovo)

Albania: What happened to Remzi Hoxha?

On the anniversary of the "disappearance" of Remzi Hoxha, on 21 October 1995, Amnesty International and Albanian human rights organizations are joining his family in urging the Albanian authorities to clarify his fate.

"The family of Remzi Hoxha has now waited nine long years to learn his fate; it is the duty of the Albanian state to respond to their appeal and to bring those responsible for his 'disappearance' to justice," the organizations said.

Nine years ago Remzi Hoxha, aged 40, was driven away from his workplace in Tirana by men who, according to witnesses, wore civilian clothes in a car which was later reportedly identified as belonging to the National Information Service (SHIK), the secret police. Although his family swiftly reported his "disappearance" and made enquiries with the police and with other authorities, at the time they learned nothing. They have still received no information as to his fate or whereabouts.

"'Disappearances' are violations of international human rights law and standards. They are also acts of extreme cruelty affecting both the 'disappeared' individuals and their families and friends," Amnesty International said.

The organization warned that the continued suffering of the relatives of the "disappeared" -- in being denied the knowledge of the fate of their loved one -- amounts to a violation of their right under Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.


Remzi Hoxha, married with five children, had in 1992 moved to Tirana from Kosovo, where he had been politically active in support of the Albanian nationalist cause. He had previously lived in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Although an investigation was opened into Remzi Hoxha's "disappearance", it made little or no progress. In 2003 the investigation was re-opened at the intervention of the Albanian Ombudsperson, to whom Remzi Hoxha's family had appealed. In May 2003 three former SHIK officers were arrested and held for investigation on charges of abduction, hostage-taking and of torture with serious consequences. In court two of them reportedly admitted having taken part in the arrest of Remzi Hoxha and of another man, Ziso Kristopulli, who has alleged that he was severely tortured before being released after five days. However, the two defendants said they had followed orders, and that they had not taken any part in acts of torture and did not know what had happened to Remzi Hoxha. The third defendant, a former chief of Tirana SHIK, reportedly denied all the charges. Arrest warrants have apparently been issued for up to six other SHIK police officers, but it seems that most or all of these have left the country and may be in the UK.

In September 2003 the press reported that the investigation against the three defendants had been completed and the case would be shortly sent to court for trial. However, in November the prosecutor dropped charges against one of the three and in May 2004 the two other defendants were released by court order, reportedly because the court considered that the prosecution had not provided evidence that was strong enough to justify their continued detention.

Further information on human rights in Albania:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news