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Albanian police: Friday rally a threat to security

 Relatives carry the coffin of Faik Myrtaj, during the funeral ceremony in the town of Fier 90 miles south of capital Tirana , Sunday Jan. 23, 2011. M...
 Albanian opposition Socialist Party leader Edi Rama in an interview with The Associated Press in Tirana Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 where he appealed to th...
 United States Ambassador Alexander Arvizu attends a news conference in Tirana Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.   The United States on Tuesday urged rival Alba...

Albania Protest

Relatives carry the coffin of Faik Myrtaj, during the funeral ceremony in the town of Fier 90 miles south of capital Tirana , Sunday Jan. 23, 2011. M...

Albania Opposition

Albanian opposition Socialist Party leader Edi Rama in an interview with The Associated Press in Tirana Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 where he appealed to th...

Albania Protest Investigation

United States Ambassador Alexander Arvizu attends a news conference in Tirana Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. The United States on Tuesday urged rival Alba...

Albanian police say they can't be blamed if more violence erupts at an anti-government protest Friday, a week after three opposition supporters were shot dead when a similar rally in the capital turned violent.
The planned protest by opposition Socialists is "a threat to national security, public order, crime prevention and human rights," the police said in a statement Thursday.
More than 150 protesters and security officers were injured in last week's deadly clashes at a rally by former Tirana mayor Edi Rama's Socialist party outside a government building. The Socialists are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sali Berisha's government for alleged corruption, following months of simmering tensions over disputed national elections.
European Union and U.S. officials have urged restraint from the Socialists and the governing Democrats, who agreed to cancel a protest of their own scheduled for Saturday.
But Rama's party is insisting on going ahead with the new demonstration, in which Socialist lawmakers plan to lay flowers where the three protesters died.
An Interior Ministry official told the Associated Press that police cannot be blamed if new violence erupts.
"The opposition should take care of itself and the gathering of its participants," the official said, on condition of anonymity due to the tense political situation. "Police cannot be held accountable for people going out of control like last Friday."
On Thursday, a representative from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe visited Tirana to try and defuse the political crisis. Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Evaldas Ignatavicius, whose country holds the OSCE chairmanship, met with Berisha and Rama in the capital. He urged "all the parties to lower the tone of political debate."
"Hate speech, harsh language lead to converting the peaceful demonstrations to ... manifestations of violence," Ignatavicius said.
Tensions rose sharply this month when the country's deputy prime minister, Ilir Meta, resigned over allegations he tried to influence a state tender for a hydro power plant.
Anticipating unrest, the U.S. Embassy in Tirana said it will be closed on Friday.


Updated : 2021-03-07 07:47 GMT+08:00