The People's Advocate Office reports that from yesterday it has initiated an administrative investigation regarding actions by the National Inspectorate for Territory Protection (IKMT) to pull down several building to clear the way for an infrastructural project in Shkoza, Tirana.

Representatives of the People's Advocate were on the ground yesterday to examine the procedures implemented by the IKMT and the State Police in the area of ​​Shkoza.

Also, the representatives of the institution took contact with the citizens affected by the above project. According to them, IKMT announced a few days ago that houses built after 1991 would be destroyed, despite the fact that pursuant to previously announced regulations, the owners has initiated a legalization process. According to them, the legalization Agency ALUIZN, had informed them just a few days ago that their homes could not be legalised.

According to the inhabitants, about 150 families are left homeless due to the infrastructure project.

Based on the information above, the PA experts submitted requests to the IKMT, ALUIZN and the Albanian Road Authority, to provide all the relevant documentation regarding the procedures under this project with such a dramatic effect on the life of citizens.

Another issue being pursued in parallel by a second group of experts from the PA Institution is the State Police escorting some of the protesters to the Police Station.

According to our findings, 10 citizens were escorted yesterday afternoon by the State Police and held for about three hours in the premises of the Commissariat no.1 in Tirana where they were interrogated as individuals under investigation procedures.

A lawsuit was filed with the Prosecutor’s office against these citizens on account of "disobedience to police officers", "organization and participation in illegal gathering and manifestation" and "traffic obstruction".

One of the individuals under investigation is J.M, a minor, and the People's Advocate has called on the authorities to observe the international standards on juvenile rights.

Citizen J.M. was questioned in the presence of the defence counsel chosen by the family and a child psychologist.

These citizens were escorted to the police station at 16:45 and released at 19:30 on 14 September 2017, following the intervention of the People's Advocate's expert.

The People's Advocate guarantees citizens that their will, their rights and interests are and will remain the main focus of the work of this institution in every circumstance.