Assassination of little Mateo Vasiu marks the end of the "New Justice" in Albania

Since Tuesday, November 16, Albania is in agony because of the murder of a child only 8 years old. A macabre crime transcending even animal instincts. We are all part of the mourning for this child whose life was terminated by a criminal whose file had previously been in Albanian police and justice dossiers, and yet he wandered causing dismay among children and elderly in that community.

Mateo Vasiu, 8 years old, was playing with his neighbor's bicycle on the streets of the village of Grecalli in Fier the day he was declared missing. It was the mother of the minor, who made a report to the police at 15:30 as her son had disappeared and there was no trace of him. After the denunciation, the police officers started the investigation and the security cameras showed that the juvenile's last communication was with Klodian Caleman, his neighbor. After observing some security cameras in the neighborhood it was noticed that the 8-year-old had entered Caleman's house. After being questioned by the Police the latter admitted the authorship of the macabre crime.

Caleman was arrested for kidnapping a girl in 2012, but was also denounced for other criminal offenses in that area several times, so the first suspicion by the police for the disappearance of the minor was exactly him.

It is a shocking event that has caused reaction amidst the entire public opinion demanding the reinstatement of the death penalty.

Based on the extremely serious event, the Prime Minister, Edi Rama reacted, demanding that justice be done, and the culprit get the deserved punishment. However, calls for his death sentence were rejected by the government head. As a candidate country, Albania abides by the EU rules that do not allow the death penalty.

But the family of Mateo Vasiu demand capital punishment for the criminal, Klodian Çalameni.

The family members of the juvenile entered forcibly inside the court premises, breaking the police cordon when the perpetrator of the macabre crime was expected to be brought to justice on November 18th in the Court of Fier. In the midst of calls for "justice" they sought to commit self-judgment. They then started signing a petition through which they asked for the death sentence of the 38-year-old. The petition has been signed by many citizens, who, shocked by the serious event, demanded his hanging in the middle of the city of Fier.

As never before, the Albanian society has been shocked by the macabre murder of Mateos in the village of Grecalli in Fier. As it happens rarely everybody, including ordinary citizens up to those who have responsibility for this country, have expressed their condolences by sharing the pain with Mateos’ family.

But two days after this event (Thursday), there is a lack of voice and figure that we often see on our screens and that has a great importance in terms of the ‘new justice’ in Albania.

The reaction of US Ambassador Yuri Kim is missing.

While a child in the suburbs of Fier was given the last farewell by the family, but also by all Albanians, Mrs. Kim posts a smiling photo next to some children who thankfully enjoy life, but not their peer in Fier Mateo Vasiu, on social networks. The Ambassador did not say a word on the event. Unfortunately there was no reaction to that child who lost his life in the most macabre way. This is the fault of the justice and the government, of a justice which is under the guidance of the US and the Ambassador, Yuri Kim today in Albania.

Mrs. Kim, who talks about the mountains of Albania, rakia (traditional Albanian grappa), or any other event that takes place in Albania, did not say a single word about a child who lost his life due to the lack of justice and the negligence of Albanian institutions.

I particularly note the lack of a response by Mrs. Yuri Kim because Albanians have faith in the guarantee she has given for the functioning of justice in the country. This signal comes every time we see the Ambassador near the heads of the highest justice institutions as encouragement and support for the new justice.

Also it is disappointing the fact that even Tirana- based international organizations have not reacted, although Albania is part of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

But let's talk about the "judiciary" that has sacrificed a child.

It is exactly the "New Justice", the justice for which Albanians are so ‘hungry’, failed to protect the life of a child. Therefore, today, with the death of Mateo, it seems that this justice is also dying in Albania.

This was seen in the last 24 hours when even former officials, people who have been in charge of justice, including ordinary citizens, keep demanding the return of death penalty or at least self-judgment. Because this justice has killed them and today they have no longer faith even in the so-called new justice.Mateo's family and hundreds of citizens of Fier ask for the support of the citizens with their signatures and then address a petition to Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Parliament for the reinstatement of the death penalty in Albania.

"We have asked to make a written petition and address it to the Parliament for the restoration of the death penalty and the hanging of Klodian Calameni. It is time to give our signature and opinion to sign for the protection of children and for justice towards Mateo. We have decided to address a petition to the Prime Minister, Edi Rama and the Parliament for the reinstatement of the death penalty, because there are more than dozens of macabre cases. I think the time has come for us to stand up and not make shows, gossip and hearsay. I think the time has come to demand our rights," a relative of Mateo told reporters.

Well, today when more than 5 years have passed since the justice reform started, in fact justice seems to be non-existent. After this event, Albanians turn back 29 years ago, demanding the reinstatement of the death penalty.

We remember that it was exactly in Fier in 1992, when a capital sentence by hanging was executed for the last time. It happened in the middle of the city. This happened in the period when there were 8 months that democracy had come and the legislation had not changed yet.

But today, when we see these depressing images from Fier, we understand that the citizens no longer have patience or trust in justice and legal institutions in the country.

They have no faith in the functioning of the rule of law.

They do not trust the opposition.

They do not trust the civil society which receives hundreds of funds in the name of protecting children, women and girls but which are never near them.

So rightly as we quote Mateo's family members, perhaps the time has come for us to stand up… it is time for the sovereign to speak now!