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Opinion / Editorial

Really lustration?

Really lustration?

Albania needs a new law of separation from the communist past (lustration law), even though more than three decades have passed since the overthrow of the dictatorial regime. The word "lustration" is derived from the Latin word "lustratio", which means "purification through sacrifice". If we consider the examples of post-communist countries of Europe (Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, etc.), the legislation and practice of special lustration meant in their laws the exclusion from important positions in the civil service and in the decision-making structures of the State, of persons who were part of or connected (informants) to the oppressive structures of the communist regime. These structures in our country consisted of State Security, Prosecution and Courts of that time. In these 32 years of democracy, we have lacked an honest national dialogue on the monstrous violations of human rights during the communist regime. Where one side, that of the oppressors, repented openly and asked for a public apology. This happened in West Germany after the war (denazification), as well as in East Germany, during the time of the unification of the two Germanys, after 1990. Therefore, the German law of lustration is based on voluntary declaration, on the basis of conscience. This is not our case and the law we have today (law no. 45/2015 "On the right to information about the documents of the former State Security of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania") must be corrected, to make it mandatory to obtain the certification of the purity of the image from the Authority for Information on the Documents of the former State Insurance (nicknamed by all the Authority of the Files), for all employees with a high state position (members of the Assembly, ministers, deputy ministers, directors of directorates, heads of independent institutions, etc.), who in 1990 were over 16 years old. A few days ago, the Files Authority asked the Parliament of Albania to change the law no. 45/2015, because it really favors senior politicians and deputies of the Assembly of Albania, who are not punished for being collaborators of the State Security, after having received a security certificate (purity) from the Mezini Commission and the Bezhani Commission, set up after 1995. This Authority considers that the problems carried over over the years should be examined with priority, as regards the verification of the figure of high officials who are appointed, appointed, as well as political representatives who participate in central and local election campaigns, who have a direct impact on public policies in the country. In order to understand the justice of this demand, today so strongly attacked politically, one must understand the history of lustration in our country. Albania had such a law in 1995, Law No. 8043, dated 30.11.1995 "On the control of the image of officials and other persons related to the protection of the democratic state", which was repealed after the arrival of the socialists in power in 1997. 11 years later, another test took place, with the law no. 10034 22.12.2008 "On the purity of the image of high officials of the public administration and elected officials". In both cases, unfortunately, the scope of these laws was limited to the non-hitting of senior leaders who had a problematic past with the institutions of dictatorial oppression. A cable from former US ambassador to Albania John L. Withers, dating back to 2007-2010, explains how the government used the lustration bill, falsely referring to it as the "files law," to blackmail prosecutors and judges who were investigating some major government scandals. The most serious problem of Lustration is that commissions are created for its implementation, which begin to hunt witches and carry out processes, which can be selective, as well as trials without clear legal procedures. Such political commissions effectively function as ad hoc courts, which runs counter to constitutional principles of fair trial. now, with a professional structure such as the Authority for Information on the Former State Security Documents, the time has come that, after many consecutive failed attempts to "polish (clean)" the country, the "checkpoint" should really be set up to prevent the penetration of elements incriminated with the dictatorial past, so that they don't have their say in our politics and public decision-making, or that if they are there, they leave. On the other hand, the time has also come for the much-talked-about opening of files to be carried out simply by declassifying the Security archive as secret and transferring it to the State Archives, to be treated like all other archives. after many consecutive failed attempts to "polish (clean)" the country, to actually establish a "blockade" to prevent the penetration of elements incriminated with the dictatorial past, so that they do not have their say in politics and decision-making our public, or if they are there, leave. On the other hand, the time has also come for the much-talked-about opening of files to be carried out simply by declassifying the Security archive as secret and transferring it to the State Archives, to be treated like all other archives. after many consecutive failed attempts to "polish (clean)" the country, to actually establish a "blockade" to prevent the penetration of elements incriminated with the dictatorial past, so that they do not have their say in politics and decision-making our public, or if they are there, leave. On the other hand, the time has also come for the much-talked-about opening of files to be carried out simply by declassifying the Security archive as secret and transferring it to the State Archives, to be treated like all other archives.