Law on Communist Genocide

The law "On Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Albania during the Communist Regime for Political, Ideological and Religious Motives" (Nr. 8001, September 22, 1995)[1][2]) was enacted in Albania with the purpose[1] of expediting the prosecution of the violations of the basic human rights and freedoms by the former communist governments of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania. The law has also been referred to in English as the "Genocide Law"[3][4][5] and the "Law on Communist Genocide".[6][7]

The law excluded, until December 31, 2001, from government, parliament and judiciary, and mass media positions any higher political officials who held office in Albania prior to March 31, 1991, i.e., who held higher positions in Communist Albania: members of politburo, Central Committee, parliament, as well as former secret police agents and informers.[8][9] It was similar to decommunization efforts in other former communist states.

A person may run for an office after an investigation of their "moral character" by a special state commission. The commission decision may be appealed before the Cassation Court. The law was effected a short time before the elections, and many candidates were prevented from standing, simply because the verification stages could not be carried out on time.[2]

The affected politicians claimed that it was intended to strengthen the hold of Sali Berisha on power.[8][10]

An attempt to repeal the law basing on its alleged unconstitutionality[2] was rejected by the constitutional court on January 31, 1996.[9] However some provisions of the law were stricken out.[2]

Basing on this law, former President Ramiz Alia, previously amnestied, was imprisoned again, now on charges for crime against humanity. Some decried this application of the law as an example of double jeopardy.[2]

The law lasted only two years, because it was repealed during the 1997 rebellion in Albania, and eventually formerly banned politicians entered the coalition government.[9]

References and notes

  1. ^ a b "The OMRI annual survey of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, 1995", ISBN 1563249243, 1996, pp. 149-150, the text of the introductory provisions of the law, translated from the "Official Journal of the Republic of Albania", no. 21, September 1995, pp. 923-924
  2. ^ a b c d e "Constitutional Watch: Country-by-country updates on constitutional politics in Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR, Winter 1996
  3. ^ Pearson, Owen (2006). Albania as dictatorship and democracy: from isolation to the Kosovo War, 1946-1998. p. 659. ISBN . Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  4. ^ Austin, RC; J Ellison (2008). "Post-Communist Transitional Justice in Albania" 22 (2). pp. 373–401. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  5. ^ This usage of the term "Genocide Law" is not to be confused with the application of Article 73 "Genocide" of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania, Special Part, Chap. 1, Crimes Against Humanity "Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania, Special Part, Chap. 1, Crimes Against Humanity". Prevent Genocide International. 
  6. ^ Boyle, Kevin; Juliet Sheen (1997). Freedom of religion and belief: a world report. Routledge. p. 262. ISBN . Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  7. ^ Bideleux, Robert; Ian Jeffries (2006). The Balkans:A Post-Communist History. Taylor & Francis, Inc. p. 78. ISBN . Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  8. ^ a b OMRI Daily Digest II, Open Media Research Institute, No. 186, 25 September 1995
  9. ^ a b c "Eastern Europe at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: A Guide to the Economies in Transition", by Ian Jeffries, ISBN 0-415-23671-1, 2002, p. 72
  10. ^ "Freedom of Religion and Belief: a World Report", edited by Kevin Boyle and Juliet Sheen, ISBN 0-415-15978-4, 1997, p. 263
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