EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 11/24/96
EXTRA 161/96 Legal Concern / Fear of ill-treatment 23 October 1996
ALBANIAKlement KOLANECI, son-in-law of the late Communist leader, Enver Hoxha
Klement Kolaneci, whose arrest was announced by the Minister of Public Order
on 16 October 1996, is reportedly being denied access to his lawyers, in
violation of his rights under Albanian law and international standards.
Access to a lawyer is an important safeguard against the possibility of
ill-treatment or torture in detention.
The Minister of the Public Order also announced that Klement Kolaneci's arrest
followed the discovery of money at his home which was believed to have been
stolen by a "terrorist organization of a political character".
Klement Kolaneci has been detained with some 24 other people in connection
with a series of political shootings and bombings which have taken place in
recent months. These arrests followed news reports of the shooting dead of
the Director of Prisons in July and the explosion of a car bomb in Tirana in
February in which four people were killed and 27 injured. The other prisoners
detained in connection with the case are held in Tirana, but Klement Kolaneci
has been moved to a prison in the town of Durres.
Klement Kolaneci's lawyers were allowed to visit him briefly on the day he
was formally charged (believed to be 16 October), but have been denied access
since. On 22 October, after appeals from his lawyers, a permit was issued
by the police in Tirana to allow the lawyers to visit him in detention in Durres.
However, on their arrival in Durres the lawyers were not allowed to see him.
There are also unconfirmed reports that some of the other 24 detainees have
also been denied access to lawyers.
Chapter VII, Articles 5 and 8 of the Albanian constitution guarantee that an
individual should have the right to communicate freely and privately with a
lawyer during detention and in the course of criminal procedures. The right
of access to a defence lawyer is guaranteed under international standards such
as the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Person under
Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English, Italian, French, German or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Klement Kolaneci is being denied access
to his defence lawyers, in violation of Albanian law and international
- urging that Klement Kolaneci and others detained in connection with the crimes
with which he has been charged be granted access to legal representatives while
- seeking assurances that Klement Kolaneci and the others will be treated
humanely in detention;
- recognizing the gravity of the crimes alleged to have been committed by the
group with which he is alleged to have been involved, but pointing out that
all detainees are entitled to benefit from the protection of the relevant
Minister of Public Order
Mr Halit Shamata
Minister i Rendit Publik, Tirana, Republic of Albania