It is enough to analyze the political system we have set up and the armies of militants and patron-Nazis who maintain power, to understand that Albanian society has not succeeded in separating itself from the communist and authoritarian worldview.
In the weeks of heated debate about the secret file of the citizen I.M., Euronews Albania conducted a survey regarding the attitude of Albanians towards the former Security and the crimes committed during communism. The sample interviewed provides us with valuable information about society’s perceptions about this issue. According to the Barometer, socialists and democrats unanimously agree on most points, such as: The crimes of communism have not been punished enough!
99% of Albanians still do not know that nearly 40 former communist functionaries were convicted in the years 1993-1997: some for “coffee”, some for genocide and crimes against humanity. But in 1998-1999 they got all the acquittals and ironically, the damages too! In Albania, there is no one convicted of the unprecedented crimes of the communist regime. The files are not open to everyone!
The debate about decommunization since the beginning of the 1990s has focused on the opening of the files of the Security, as if they contain the absolute truth about the dictatorship?! This was a ploy to divert attention from the masterminds of the crime. On the other hand, the society has a wrong concept about the “opening” of the files, as if they will be published in the Facebook “marketplace”. In the recently approved amendments, there is nowhere to talk about “opening of files” and unconditional consultation of documents. Even if the declassification process is orderly, it does not mean that the files can be read by anyone. The law on archives clearly expresses this through the provision of the use of the document. The personal data protection law also sets the limit for you. Unconditional consultation of documents.
Former employees of the Security should not have been involved in politics.
Each post-communist country has chosen its own method of lustration. The Czech Republic, for example, chose not to run former secret police operatives for public office. According to the Czech model, every citizen today has free access (even online) to check whether or not a person has been connected to the state’s secret service. In Albania, the verification of candidates for deputies, despite the certificate of purity from the Mezini and Bezhani commissions, is a positive step, but unfortunately too late. Former officers, agents and cadres of the State Security with decision-making positions during the last 30 years have already left the political scene. Is there a legal mechanism that could have a retroactive effect on these, as well as on judges, prosecutors, leaders in the police, academies, universities and other state structures?! No, there is not, and recent legal changes do not address this problem.
Both political parties would be equally affected by lustration!
The perception of Albanian citizens is that both major parties have had ex-Siecurity collaborators in their bosom so far, that’s why it is difficult for them to do lustration. It is ironic that the SP, a party that never distanced itself from the crimes of the ALP, has taken in hand, since 2013, the flag of decommunization in the artistic, symbolic, commemorative aspect, now also through legal initiatives. The majority has diabolically thrown the ball into the field of the opposition, which for its part, because of this fundamental cause for it, cannot avoid a forced agreement with the socialists, nor can it be a goal-scorer!
58% of Albanians think that we have distanced ourselves from communism and its crimes!
Beyond the hopeful perception of the survey, unfortunately this has not happened. It is enough to analyze the political system we have set up and the armies of militants and patron-Nazis who maintain power, to understand that Albanian society has not succeeded in separating itself from the communist and authoritarian worldview. A misunderstood and misinformed society, especially regarding the consequences of the repressive organs of the dictatorship.
In this sense, the new legal initiative, despite any positive side effects, failed to rise above the politics of the day and offer citizens a model of how to part with the criminal past that has trapped us for 30 years and does not lets us go.
Jonila Godole, pedagogue of journalism at UT, focusing on the memory and awareness of the young generation about the consequences of totalitarian regimes