Official Tirana reacts to the mistreatment of the Albanian prisoner by 4 Greek policemen

The Albanian Foreign Ministry responded on Friday to the interest of the Voice of America regarding the mistreatment of an Albanian prisoner in Greece by four Greek policemen, a few days ago.

“Regarding the case of the Albanian citizen Sajmir Zefi and his ill-treatment by the Greek police forces, the Albanian representation in Athens informs that it has first contacted the Ministry of Citizen Protection regarding this issue”, says the Albanian Foreign Ministry.

“The representation in Athens, it is further stated, has been informed by the Greek Ministry that by the Internal Affairs Service of the Security Forces, four policemen were arrested at the scene on Saturday, March 11, 2023, accused of torturing and insulting a prisoner in cooperation. The arrested have been sent to the competent prosecutor’s office,” the response states.

The Albanian Embassy in Athens further states that the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intensified contacts with the Greek side, also through the Albanian Consul, who immediately contacted the Koridhalo Prison Directorate where it was informed that “the incident did not happen in this institution, but during the transfer of him in this prison”.

“Immediately measures were taken to stabilize the created situation and the Albanian citizen was treated medically and is in normal conditions in this institution, the prison authorities informed the Albanian consul”.

The foreign ministry further says that the Consul of Albania in Athens Sofokli Vasilli communicated directly with Mr. Zefi, providing direct communication and support. Mr. Zefi has confirmed to him that “he feels safe in the prison premises and has no dissatisfaction with the authority of this institution”, says the answer of the Albanian Foreign Ministry.

Regarding the event, the Foreign Ministry has announced that the Albanian Ambassador to Greece, Luela Hajdaraga, held a meeting on March 14 with the Deputy. the Minister for Citizen Protection Eleftherios Oikonomou, responsible for the Greek police, to whom the Albanian side expressed concern regarding this event.

According to the Albanian Foreign Ministry, the Greek deputy minister expressed his regret for the incident, condemning the violence used by the Greek policemen, adding that “from our side, the reaction was immediate and all measures were taken. The Internal Affairs Service of the Security Forces has arrested the policemen and they are currently facing justice. The accused policemen are no longer part of the Greek police structures due to this incident.”

Deputy The Greek minister has assured Ambassador Hajdaraga “that this is a sporadic case against which all measures are being taken so that there is no repetition in the future”.

The Albanian Foreign Ministry says that “the Albanian embassy in Athens and its structures remain following the event”.

The Greek media announced two days ago that four Greek police officers arrested “for torture and other insults to human dignity with collaboration” against an Albanian prisoner were released.

The police officers were released after they apologized, Greek media reported.

The police officers on duty were responsible for guarding the transfer of prisoners from Kavalla in Thessaloniki to Korydhalos prison and were arrested by the Internal Affairs Service of the Security Forces after the Albanian prisoner Sajmir Zefi stated that they beat and tortured him, placed on his head a motorcycle helmet and when he asked for water, the officers refused him.

The doctor who went to the prison confirmed that the beatings suffered by the Albanian prisoner were made in the last 24 hours before his admission to the prison, while the clothes that the prisoner wore during the transfer were confiscated.

The Greek officers did not admit that they had used violence and according to them the helmet was put on after the prisoner tried to hurt himself in moments of irritation in the prison vehicle where he was being transferred with 10 other prisoners.

Sajmir Zefi, the father of two children, was serving a prison sentence for drugs and robbery in the prison of Koridhalos and was transferred to Kavalla in Thessaloniki for another criminal trial.

According to the 32-year-old Albanian, the process was carried out without his presence and he was sent a day later to the Greek court to get acquainted with the decision.

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