Police Violence against Roma during Housing Demolitions
21 July 2005
On January 6, 2005, several Romani homes were demolished by the Construction Police in the Tirana municipality reportedly leaving eighteen families homeless according to human rights activist Capajev Gjokutaj and, according to a report issued by Roma News Network on January 13, leaving one man dead.
22-year old Dritan Hashimi was reportedly beaten to death during the demolition of Romani homes in a settlement close to the Lana river in Tirana as he tried unsuccessfully to protect his home. The official autopsy report however, performed by a doctor in a local hospital concluded that Mr. Hashimi had died of alcohol poisoning. Construction and state police entered the Romani settlement without notice on January 6 and proceeded to demolish numerous homes. Several Romani witnesses reported to Mr. Gjokutaj that the police used excessive force and verbally abused the Romani families.