“Government must compensate LGBT people imprisoned during the communist regime”

“Government must compensate LGBT people imprisoned during the communist regime”

Tirana, June 5, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

PINK Embassy and LGBT Pro Albania demanded today from the government to compensate LGBT people who were imprisoned during the communist regime in Albania. The request comes a few hours after the government sent to parliament the amended law on the compensation of former political dissidents.

Blerina Metaj from PINK Embassy said that the amended law excludes all former political dissidents who have been sentenced during the communist regime as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“LGBT people have suffered oppression during the communist regime and the like all other political dissidents, they were subjected to an ordeal. During these years of activity, PINK Embassy/LGBT Pro has heard the stories of many people, especially homosexual men, who have been unjustly sentenced based on the Criminal Code of that time, because of their sexual orientation”, says Metaj.

She adds that the stories of LGBT people who have been oppressed  and sentenced by the communist regime deserve to be heard and its victims must be respected, defended and recognized by the Albanian state.

This organization doesn’t provide any figures as to the number of these people, but it says that “no matter how small this number may be, the inhumane treatment that Albanians have been subjected to from 1945 until 1990 also related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. These people are still waiting today to tell their stories and perhaps they will never have this opportunity, because today’s society doesn’t offer them the opportunity to do such thing”.

PINK Embassy says that this is the right moment for the Ministry of Social Welfare to carry out a study for the people who were condemned by the communist regime due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“It’s clear that the consequences that have been suffered by this social group are as dramatic and serious as those of other groups and that the revising of the bill in this aspect would make justice for those people who paid a higher cost than anybody else in order to love a person of the same sex”, says Pink Embassy. /ibna/