Arrest of a racist offender in Albania

07 November 1997

On October 2, the Albanian daily Gazeta Shqiptare reported that police had arrested a suspect in connection with the torture and burning death of a Romani boy named Fatmir Haxhiu in July 1996 in Tirana. Fatmir Haxhiu had been killed during a robbery in which four men relieved three Romani boys of their clothes, insulted their ethnic origins, and then set 15-year-old Fatmir on fire with gasoline (See ERRC report No Record of the Case: Roma in Albania). According to Gazeta Shqiptare, the arrested man is 18-year-old E.M. The article stated that, Mr E.M., "had been sought for some time by the district court of Tirana and was on the "most wanted fist."

Research by the ERRC had previously revealed that another suspect, a Mr F.C., had earlier been detained in connection with the incident. Mr F.C. was suspected of causing serious intentional injury leading to death under Article 88, paragraph 2 of the Albanian Penal Code and was evidently later sentenced as a passive participant in the crime. Sources having access to information in the prosecutor's office told the ERRC that the two main perpetrators are still at large and one is presumed to have died during the chaos in Albania earlier this year.

(ERRC, Gazeta Shqiptare)

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