IBNA Op-Ed/About the files of the notorious former secret services of Albania

IBNA Op-Ed/About the files of the notorious former secret services of Albania

By Zef Preci*

*Publicist and expert of economy, Executive Director of Albanian Center for Economic Research

Having the privilege of the memory of the political and public debate on this issue during the last quarter century, I found the courage to offer my opinion.

First of all, by excluding individuals who have held public offices in the violent institutions of the monist state, all the others who have served in those institutions in compliance with the laws in power at that time, I believe that they must be considered as pardoned and outside the debate for the opening of the files.

Secondly, all those who have been persecuted during the monist regime, in spite of the naming used by the courts of that time or any criminal offense sanctioned by the Criminal Code of that period, who feel that their constitutional rights have been threatened along with their human dignity, I believe that they must be legally helped in order to denounce their violators of whatever function they have exerted at the service of the communist dictatorship. This means that there must be provisions for state crimes against the individual of that period, but the deliberation must be done case by case.

Thirdly, although 25 years have gone by from the decreeing of political pluralism in Albania, I believe that interested political parties must launch the necessary legal framework, by defining the circle of the officials of that period, who are not allowed to participate in politics forever or for several years.

This, bearing in mind particular levels of public functions that have existed with that regime. Of course, in individual cases of the violation of human rights, proven judicially, the violators-in spite of the posts that they held in the state hierarchy of that time-must forever be excluded from participating in the public life and in the public administration, as I will explain below. This would also test the seriousness of the political elite of the country about this issue.

Fourthly, on whatever public office (elected or appointed, based on Albanian taxpayers’ money), from a member of a Communal Council to the President of Republic, the claimants must fill in the necessary paperwork (there are known models on this in the former communist East), according to which, for instance, their file must be made public 30 days before they officially run or before they’re appointed. Of course, the publication must be made by specialized state institutions which depend on Parliament (without the involvement of the current government).

Fifthly, in the categories of the people who agree in advance for their personal files to be published along with any links that they have with secret services of the communist period, there must be an inclusion of other functions, which although they’re not directly paid by taxpayers’ money, they have an impact in the political and social life of the country. Here we can mention owners and heads of media companies, civil society organizations, etc.

I often hear, even from people involved in the administration of the files of former employees and collaborators of the Secret Services, that these files have disappeared, etc.

In my opinion, even if this has happened for particular individuals, the public interest is not part of their activity, but to inform the public about the involvement of the activity of that institution belonging to that person who aims to run for a public career. This would raise the public awareness in order to be relieved step after step from the shadows of the past of the communist regime, including the prohibition of direct involvement in the public life and public administration of a number of exponents of that regime.

Meanwhile, by praising the responsible alignment of Albania on the side of the allies during the Second World War, I believe that it’s never too late to condemn the crimes of communism, something which can also be done through a resolution of the Parliament of Albania or a special law which requires political consensus.

This would also enable a clear separation from the dictator Hoxha and what he represented, without denying the historical truth of his rule for more than four decades, something which must be reflected realistically at the National Historical Museum, like we have done with King Zog.

** The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line