From: Otassios Theofilou.
On the 3d of August an Albanian former prisoner named Pëllumb Marnikollaj shows up to register with his local police department – he was recently decarcerated and obliged to report to his local police department regularly.
Pëllumb’s tracks were lost since then.
When his family begins to look for him on the 13th of August, the officers on-duty at the police department informed them he had committed suicide by falling off a fourth floor window right after being told he would be re-arrested on account of a new warrant against him. That simple. Despite having his permanent residence on record they did not consider informing his family. Nevertheless, his family was told that Pëllumb had been taken to the Red Cross where he was pronounced dead and his body was sent to the morgue from there.
His relatives received the body just before his burial as an anonymous person and made sure an autopsy was performed in Albania, where forensics scientists discovered signs of torture on the body.
This issue has mobilized the Albanian embassy in Greece and the media in Albania, however Greek media still remain silent about this case.
From: Omnia TV
While Albanian media are bringing into the public eye the tragic death of a 28 year-old man from Leza, who was tortured before dying in a police department in Athens, and the Albanian Consulate posing serious questions regarding the treatment of this case by the Greek authorities, the local mainstream media in Greece refuse to report on the case.
Pëllumb Marnikollaj was last seen on the 3rd of August when he went to register with his local police department and his tracks were lost after that. His relatives began to search for his whereabouts, only to be informed by the police that he jumped off a window and killed himself when he was told there was a new warrant against him. The family was not given any other piece of information by any officials or the appointed coroner on the case. Pëllumb’s relatives were only able to retrieve the body just before a burial ordered by the police and they made sure the body was taken to Albania to determine the cause of death through extensive forensic testing.
The autopsy and other forensic tests were performed on Saturday night throughout Sunday 11am, in order to derive valid conclusions regarding the 28 year-old’s cause of death. Albanian criminologists rejected the suicide claims made by the Greek police, since Pëllumb’s body exhibited signs of torture and brutality. The autopsy report confirms the suspicions that Pëllumb’s death was a homicide since aggravated assault was identified as the young man’s cause of death.
Had this case really been a suicide there should have been a full report available to the Albanian Consulate and the media, but on the contrary, Albanian officials in Greece were informed about the incident through the Albanian local media “Realiteti Shkoder News”. The facts that surround the lives of Albanian nationals in Greece must be communicated to the embassy as the law provides, stated the officials. The representatives also mentioned that the case raises serious questions as to why the Greek authorities failed to inform the victim’s family and his lawyer about his death and most importantly why did the authorities decide to bury the man in secrecy as an unidentified person 9 days after his death. The Albanian Consulate demands answers from the Greek state.
Maria Konstantopoulou, a lawyer in Athens who helped locate Pëllumb’s body, noted that according to her own research the victim suffered torture at the police department and was neglected at the hospital. Doctors and hospital staff failed to provide information on whether Marnikollaj was dead or in a coma for more than five hours.
The authorities have not commented on this case despite the fact that the victim’s family is determined to take legal action.