Albanian Police Forcibly Evict Egyptian Family

11 March 2005

According to the Albanian national daily newspaper Tema of September 23, 2004, police in the Albanian capital Tirana forcibly evicted Mr Behar Sadiku, a 44-year-old Egyptian man, his 43-year-old wife Zina and their 13-year-old son Arsi from the makeshift tent in which they had lived for one month on the property of an economics secondary school on the morning of September 20, 2004. A September 22 report of the Union of Balkan Egyptians sent to the ERRC stated that Mr Sadiku's family had one month earlier been evicted from their flat together with another five Romani families. The municipality reportedly provided the five families with social housing, however Mr Sadiku's family did not receive such assistance. Mr Sadiku was taken in police custody and his wife and child lived on the street for some time.

On September 30, 2004, Mr Kimet Fetahu of the non-governmental organization Center for Ethnic Studies, a witness to the eviction, informed the ERRC that without any prior notice, on the morning in question police officers arrived at the location at which Mr Sadiku's family was living and informed the family that they had to leave immediately. One of the police officers reportedly stated that Tirana municipal authorities had ordered the eviction because their makeshift accommodation was an eyesore for others in the area. Mr Fetahu informed the ERRC that the police officers did not present the Sadiku family with an order authorising the eviction. When Mr Sadiku demanded to see such, he was handcuffed and six officers pushed him towards a police vehicle and violently forced him inside the vehicle, causing him bodily injury, according to Mr Fetahu. Mr Sadiku was taken to the police station, where he was held in custody from 1:00 PM on September 20 until 11:00 AM on September 23, when he was brought before a court, charged with opposing law enforcement officials. Police officers reportedly gave testimony that Mr Sadiku had physically attacked them. The following day, Mr Fetahu gave testimony to the judge reputing allegations made the previous day by police, stating that the police had attacked Mr Sadiku without provocation. Mr Sadiku was released that day. He did not file any complaints in connection with the event. Mr Sadiku's family was staying with relatives as of the end of January 2004.

(ERRC, Union of Balkan Egyptians)

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