The international commission of missing persons, the ICMP, today invited all the families of the victims of communism to visit its office in Tirana, in order to provide blood samples that can be used to identify the remains of their relatives, if these were found.
The collection of blood samples began after the Albanian parliament, Thursday evening, finally approved the long-awaited agreement with the ICMP to start the research process.
The agreement between the parliament and the ICMP
"The ICMP applauds the ratification of the agreement and the courage of the Albanian authorities in addressing this very delicate issue of the Albanian communist past. ”- the head of the ICMP program for the Western Balkans, Matthew Holliday, said in a press release.
The agreement required several months of negotiation and had to await the approval of the government and parliament from March: it foresees the search for remains in two funerary sites from the communist era, one near Tirana and another near a former camp of concentration in Ballsh, in southern Albania.
During the 45 years of communist dictatorship, an unknown number still today of Albanians were executed and buried in 'improvised cemeteries' or died in prison camps. About 6.000 names of those executed were identified in the early '90. While many others have not yet been found, as several burial sites of communism are not yet known.
The ICMP offered to assist the Albanian authorities on the issue in the 2010, after a man's private search for his father's burial site had uncovered a common grave near Tirana, precisely at the foot of Mount Dajti .
Also for this reason, the government had therefore created a commission in order to work on the issue but until yesterday there had been no concrete attempt to address the issue. The remains of people found in the 2010 have not yet been identified.
The article was originally published in Balkan Insight