Tirana, 25 January 2022 – Nine Albanian Family Associations (FAs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work collaboratively to address the issue of persons missing during the communist era in Albania as the result of the systematic violations of human rights from the former communist regime.
All nine signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding are beneficiaries of ICMP’s small grants program in Albania, which was funded by the European Union and the Swiss Government in 2020-2021.
It is estimated that around 6,000 persons went missing under the communist regime in Albania in the period between 1944 and 1991. According to official data, 5,501 persons convicted for political reasons were executed extrajudicially during this period. Their bodies were never returned to their families. Official data also indicates that an additional 987 political prisoners died from various causes in prisons and detention centers in Albania. The whereabouts of their mortal remains is unknown to surviving relatives.
The FAs and NGOs will work together to support the families of missing persons in their quest to claim their rights in accordance with relevant domestic and international standards; advocate for dealing with the past; and influence the institutions to accelerate the process of accounting for missing persons, as a human rights issue.
The signatories to the MoU are:
- Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture
- Albanian Stylists Association
- Institute for Activism and Social Change
- Institute for Political Studies
- al – Foundation for the Remembrance of Victims of Communism in Albania
- “MEMO” Center and partner organization Multidisciplinary Arts Movement (M.A.M)
- Anti-Communist Association of the Politically Persecuted of Albania
- Association of Former Political Persecuted of Albania based in Shkodra
- Association for Justice and Peace
ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.