date : 23/01/2001

    RR. Sami Frashλri, Pall. 20/1, Hyrja B, Ap. 21, Tirana - ALBANIA
    Tel-Fax: ++ 355 42 336 71/40891 e-mail: helsinki@ngo.org.al


    According to the data given by press, on the evening of 21 January 2001, police forces executed the decision of arrest of the head of the Democratic Party of Tropoja, Mr. Azgan Haklaj accused for organizing illegal demonstrations as well as for addressing appeals urging violent actions towards institutions.

    It is not AHC's mission to evaluate the grounds of the decision of arrest or the proves, on which the decision towards Azgan Haklaj is based, even the more that the court has approved security measure towards the accused without any deadlines.

    However, the AHC draws the attention to the claims of the convict's family members and of his lawyer that A. Haklaj was not only ill treated in his own apartment, but during the accompaniment from Tropoja to Tirana. Haklaj's lawyer has confirmed this and has addressed an appeal to the Attorney's Office.

    AHC requests from the organs of the Attorney's Office to be swift in verifying objectively the above-mentioned claims and inform the public on the eligibility of the decision.

    Without having prejudice regarding this case, AHC considers it necessary to point out the use of violence observed by the police forces (in many cases) especially during the moment of stopping, arrest and accompaniment of the accused in the environments of the police stations. This is an issue to which AHC has come back several times considering this issue as one of the acute issues for the present circumstances.

    Taking advantage of this case, the AHC requires from the competent organs to thoroughly investigate such cases objectively and with transparence in due time as well as to assign eventual responsibilities.