February 1 - Human Rights Watch: The Rama-Meloni agreement violates international law


Feb 1, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


The Constitutional Court of Albania declared a few days ago that, according to its opinion, the agreement between the Prime Ministers of Albania and Italy for the creation of a refugee processing camp in Albania on behalf of the Italian state is in accordance with the Albanian constitution, but the prestigious international organization Human Rights Watch seems to think otherwise. 

According to her, the agreement actually violates international law, which is binding on Albania and, in the hierarchy of laws, stands higher than the Constitution of Albania.

Human Rights Watch, based in New York, which, among others, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, is known for its activism in defense of human rights, including the rights of Albanian citizens in Albania during the communist regime or rights of Kosovo citizens during the Milosevic regime, criticized on Thursday the decision of the Constitutional Court of Albania to confirm the constitutional validity of the agreement.

"The agreement between Italy and Albania violates international law and is abusive in many aspects, including the potential to create a frozen legal situation for people in need," the statement reads. "However, the plan to detain in Albania people rescued in Italian waters in the Mediterranean Sea appears to be moving forward," the statement added.

"The plan raises many questions. How will Italian rescue ships manage to land in Albania instead of the nearest port in Italy and how will this affect search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean? Will families be separated? Where and how and by whom will "vulnerable" men be identified? How will the Italian authorities guarantee fair asylum procedures or judicial reassessment of the bans that will be made in Albania?"

Albania is a country that has suffered human rights violations, forcing many to flee the country to escape persecution. One of the people who have experienced such a situation is the current prime minister, who fled to France after being raped in Tirana in 1996. Human Rights Watch denounced the violence against Rama repeatedly at that time. According to international law, such persons have the right to reside in another country and the host country has the obligation to provide protection and survival for them.

The Rama-Meloni agreement has raised concerns not only that the rights of asylum seekers may be violated by keeping them in Albania, but also because of Albania's potential legal responsibility for these violations.