Albania accuses indigenous Greek in Northern Epirus of “terrorism”

Albania accuses indigenous Greek in Northern Epirus of "terrorism" 1

Albania accuses indigenous Greek in Northern Epirus of "terrorism" 2

Albanian prosecutors have closed the file on the so-called Peshkëpi Massacre, where two Albanian soldiers were killed in 1994 by the Northern Epirus Liberation Front, according to Albania MAPO media. Albanian prosecutors are accusing Fredi Bejleri, an indigenous Greek to Northern Epirus of “Terrorist Offences” in relation to the 1994 incident. Bejleri has been charged and the case will proceed to court.

Fredi Bejleri has denied charges, but some surprise evidence and new evidence have led the prosecution to go after him. The former head of OMONIA, the main Greek organisation in Northern Epirus, has denied the accusations during the three testimonies he gave to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecution Document:

Albania accuses indigenous Greek in Northern Epirus of "terrorism" 3

What exactly happened on April 10, 1994?

The attack on the Peshkëpi border post in Dropolis (Δρόπολης) took place when commandos of the Northern Epirus Liberation Front crossed into Albania from Greece and killed Arsen Gjini and Fatmir Shehu, while and wounding Ardian Velmishi, Janaq Zaka and Frederik Kalemi. During the attack, the Greek fighters also took non-commissioned Albanian officer Qemal Stroka hostage, who was later released at the border. The successful Greek raiders also took with them captured weapons that were in the ward depot.

This attack in 1994 was not the only attack by the Northern Epirus Liberation Front. In 1984, a car bomb killed the Albanian ambassador in Greece.

Northern Epirus in Southern Albania has always been a majority-Greek area of the country. There is an agreement between Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to relocate 30,000 refugees and illegal immigrants from Turkey to Albania in the region of Northern Epirus where up to 120,000 Greeks live, as reported by Greek City Times. Although Greece liberated Northern Epirus during the First Balkan War (1912-13), the Great Powers gifted the region to the new Albanian state. Greece would once again liberate the region in World War Two, but it was once again gifted to Albania by the Great Powers.

The Greeks in Northern Epirus have always lived in persecution by the Albanian state with their schools constantly closed, properties confiscated and religious ceremonies harassed by Albanian police. Now it appears that Albania wants to continue weakening the Greek identity in the region by collaborating with Turkey to relocate refugees and illegal immigrants, changing the demographics of the area from being majority Greek.