Murdered by Albanian police, Katsifas' two-year memorial will take place on Saturday

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The two-year memorial service for Konstantinos Katsifas will take place on Saturday in Vouliaratis (Βουλιαράτες, Albanian: Bularat), Himara reported.

Albanian authorities imposed this date so that the memorial service would not take place on the same day as the October 28 Oxi Day celebration events at the Vouliaratis military cemetery.

According to residents, for several days now, overt and covert police forces have been monitoring the movements of residents of the village and the Katsifas family.

Although two full years have passed since the murder of Katsifas on October 28 by the local police force, the family are yet to receive the final conclusions from Albanian courts on the circumstances of Konstantinos' death.

The funeral of Konstantinos Katsifas albanian
The funeral of Konstantinos Katsifas.

To date, two prosecutors have resigned, apparently refusing to issue a false report.

Katsifas, a 35-year-old man belonging to the native Greek community of Northern Epirus in today's Southern Albania, was shot dead by Albanian police near Vouliaratis, around 5km from the Greek-Albanian border, during an alleged shooting exchange between the man and special police forces.

Katsifas had raised the Greek flag for Oxi Day to commemorate the Greek soldiers who lost their lives defending Greece during the Greco-Italian War of 1940.

According to local media, the 35-year-old used a gun to shoot at Albanian police forces who removed a Greek flag following October 28 celebrations in the village.

It is then alleged he went into hiding but was intercepted shortly after by a team from the local police special forces, who claimed that the 35-year-old shot at them before they opened fire and killed him.

However, no evidence has been put forward to corroborate the reports by local media.

At the time, the Greek foreign ministry released a statement saying it was “unacceptable that the operation reached the point where human life was lost.”

“We expect from Albanian authorities the full clarification of the conditions under which the Greek citizen in question lost his life and will immediately take the appropriate action,” it concluded.

In the two years since the murder, authorities have done next to little to conclude the case and punish the police officers responsible.