Albania condemns late Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha for presiding over one of Europe's most brutal communist regimes, but his victims said on Thursday the state should go further and strip him of his medals.
Adrian Kati, executive director of the Albanian Centre for the Rehabiliation of Trauma and Torture, said he had appealed to President Bamir Topi for help on the matter, who in turn encouraged the group to pursue legal steps.
"We have verified that Enver Hoxha still holds the titles and decorations 'Hero of the People,' 'Hero of Socialist Labour,' 'Hero of the Peoples of Yugoslavia' and 'Hero of the Peoples of the Soviet Union,' among others," Kati said.
Hoxha often wore the medals during ceremonial occasions such as liberation day parades.
"It will be just and moral for Albanians to have him stripped of all these (awards) ahead of the 20th anniversary of the toppling of his statue in the Albanian capital," Kati added.
Angry crowds toppled Hoxha's statue on February 1991 in what marked the end of an era of fear for many Albanians.
Hoxha took power at the end of World War Two after leading his communist partisans against Italian and German occupying forces as well as battling Albanian nationalists and monarchists.
He ruled with an iron fist until his death in April 1985, five years before communism collapsed in Albania.
About 5,000 men and 450 women were executed under Hoxha's rule and up to 34,135 people were jailed, including 1,000 who died. Many families are still looking for remains of their executed relatives.
"Meawhile, Albania's political class has not been able to judge and condemn Hoxha for crimes committed openly under his personal leadership and responsibility," Kati said.
Hoxha's widow, Nexhmije, and his handpicked successor Ramiz Alia were tried and sentenced to jail terms for petty financial abuses. Nexhmije protested loudly six years ago when the Defence Ministry refused to recognise Hoxha as a World War Two veteran.
Bomb explosion occurred in Bani Jamra, a Shi'ite village northwest of the capital Manama and was described by the interior ministry as a "terrorist blast" in a statement
New sanctions aimed at putting pressure on Russia’s economy over Ukraine crisis, come on the heels of US and EU sanctions
Israel gunboats have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats of the north coast of Gaza with some damage sustained during the shooting.
Damascus has relied on Tehran to fight its war with drop in oil price affects oil-producing Iran. Syrian traders say Damascus worried about future support
The National Islamic Committee for Social Solidarity was drawn up nearly one year ago with the aim of providing humanitarian assistance to the embattled Gaza Strip.
The summit devoted to Sahel affairs had lodged an official request with the African Union's Peace and Security Council to form an "international military force to intervene in Libya."
The runoff will see Marzouki, who came in second in last month's first-round vote, face off against Essebsi, a former Ben Ali regime official who came in at first place with 39.4 percent of the vote.
The Kenyan opposition has already described the bill – which will facilitate government wiretapping and allow terror suspects to be detained for up to a year without charge – as "draconian."
Daniel Fred Kidega of Uganda became the fourth speaker of EALA after being elected unopposed after his main competitor, Chris Opoka-Okumu, stepped down
“We're not at a stage here where me visiting Cuba, or President Castro coming to the United States is in the cards.”
Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Khartoum government in Sudan's southern Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
As of Nov. 30, the United Nations had recorded a total of 3,188 civilian deaths and 6,429 injuries.
"Russia is ready for dialogue and cooperation, but only on the principles of equality and real respect for our interests," the ministry said.
Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after the attack and Mohammed Aqeel and Arshad Mehmood were the first prisoners reported hanged under the new arrangements.
The aim of the operation is to reach Sinjar town on the southern side of the mountain, which sits on a road linking Mosul to neighbouring Syria and is a key supply route for the militants.
Bouteflika's mental and cognitive faculties are intact and he will continue to govern Algeria, the ruling FLN party's chairman said