Patronagists Case Continues to Attract Attention of Foreign Media as Violation of Albanians’ Human Rights

The scandal regarding the use of the so-called ‘patronagists’, the hidden spies, who penetrated into the private files of 910,000 citizens in the Albanian Capital, Tirana using them in the process of the April 25 elections, continues to echo out of Albania’s borders.

An article carried by "Le Figaro" on this shameful violation of human rights was brought to the attention of the public opinion by President Ilir Meta who shared it on Facebook, saying that the patronage scandal severely damaged Albania's image in the world. He demands that the matter be thoroughly investigated and without delay.

"The scandal of the theft of personal data of about 910,000 citizens of Tirana from the State Public Registry and their misuse in function of the April 25 elections, being used as a tool of blackmail, intimidation and pressure to secure the vote and support, deserves a deep and comprehensive investigation,” noted Meta.

He reveals that he has officially asked in writing and publicly three times in a row to SPAK and the Prosecution to fully reveal the truth, the perpetrators and those who ordered this scandal, which is not only an activity prohibited by Article 91 of the Electoral Code, but contains elements of some criminal offenses from the Criminal Code.

"The personal data of every citizen, which are stored in public institutions and administered in state databases, are personal, protected by law and are intended to be used only for the interest of citizens and the state," said the head of state.

According to him, this scandal that severely damaged the image of Albania in the world, continues to have space in prestigious international media, such as "Le Figaro", as well as any other election crime, deserves to be fully uncovered and without further procrastination, meanwhile that the perpetrators and their collaborators must be brought to justice.

It is very weird that although many Albanians learned from those spies, who had controlled all their personal data and still are in their possession, have kept silent with quite a few speaking out denouncing the patronagists. On condition of anonymity, some Western Ambassadors appreciated the courage of those who as they said ‘spoke out fearlessly’ but, on the other hand, could not understand the silence of the majority of those being spied on by persons paid by the government. According to them, the culture of protection of human rights is very low in this Balkan country and this scandal is evidence of the fear of the citizens towards the government institutions.