Former Opposition Protest in Tirana, 5 Police Officers, a Journalist and dozens of protesters wounded

Protester in front of Albanian Government Office

 Militants of the former opposition parties from the main cities of Albania headed toward Tirana this afternoon, to join the protest organised by the former Albanian Opposition - having in mind that most of the deputies who gave-up their Parliamentary mandates have been replaced by their substitutes colleagues on the list.

Buses, but also private vehicles, were made available to protesters in order to be transported to Tirana.

Protesters in front of Albanian Government Office
The atmosphere  was tense since the begining, at first in front of the Government building and then in front of the parliament's headquarters, where protesters gathered in response to the call of opposition leaders. The police intervened with tear gas to disperse the groups of protesters who tried to push the police cordon. Immediately after the gas was released the, protesters fled toward the Parliament and returned again over some minutes. But police used tear gas for the second time.

Protesters in front of Albanian Government Office
The former opposition requires the establishment of a transitional government in order to prepare the country for early elections, which according to Democratic presidential candidate Lulzim Basha "is an inevitable condition." 

There are at least 5 police officers injured and dozens of protesters.

Initially an effective police force was transported by ambulance to the University Hospital Center premises to receive medical help.

Former Opposition Protest in Tirana, 5 Police Officers, a Journalist and dozens of protesters wounded
In front of the Parliament Police-Protesters in front each-other while something burning in the middle
That was because he was burned in the face by the burned fireworks.

Just a few minutes later, four other police officers were sent to the hospital to get treated for the various injuries received in the protest.

On the other hand there are also injured some protesters, including the journalist and the founder of the Koha Jonë newspaper (Center-Right), Nikollë Lesi, who was occasionally passing by to go to his office, as he declared in an interview. We remind that Lesi was part of the former Government under the Democrats.

Nikollë Lesi lightly wounded in his forearm
During the protest we have reactions by the Interior Minister Sandër Lleshaj, the Prime Minister Edi Rama and the President Ilir Meta.

Wounded Police Officers in Tirana Hospital of Trauma
"Even today, blind violence is affecting constitutional institutions and the Albanian State Police. Police wounding is a shame and gross violation of the law and the perpetrators will be held accountable", writes Lleshaj on Twitter.

"Solidarity with every police officer who in a day like this has to face the physical exertions of a desperate, headless, unmanaged policy, without tomorrow! Pain for the wounded police officers by the blows of the two dazzling parties marching on the road to self-destruction," writes Rama on Twitter.

While Ilir Meta called for a peaceful protest and the avoidance of confrontation.

German Ambassador to Tirana, Susanne Schütz announced that the opposition protest should be peaceful, as according to her, every element of violence constitutes the red line.

While recalling that earlier this week during his visit to Tirana, Deputy Assistant US Secretary of State Matthew Palmer called on opposition parties to re-engage in the political process, stressing that local elections in June are the best opportunity to make this as soon as possible.

This is the 9th protest of the opposition since February, and the third in front of the Government Headquarters. The opposition was withdrawn of the Parliament and its deputies gave up their mandates.
Former Opposition Protest in Tirana, 5 Police Officers, a Journalist and dozens of protesters wounded Former Opposition Protest in Tirana, 5 Police Officers, a Journalist and dozens of protesters wounded Saturday, April 13, 2019 Rating: 5
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