Greek ambassador lodges formal protest following arrest of Greek minority candidate

12 Maj 2023, 12:08Politics TEMA

Greece’s ambassador to Tirana, Konstantina Kamitsi, has lodged a formal protest with Albania’s Foreign Ministry regarding the arrest of Fredi Beleri, a candidate for mayor of Himara, a town in southern Albania, by local authorities.

Fredi Beleri, a Greek minority candidate in Himara, located in southern Albania, has been released temporarily following his arrest shortly after midnight Friday by special forces of the Albanian police on charges of vote-buying.

The Greek minority organizations, Omonia and the Greek Minority Unity for Human Rights Party, have strongly condemned what they perceive as an unprecedented attack targeting the ethnic Greek community in Albania. In response, Athens has lodged a formal protest with the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Beleri, who also serves as the president of the local branch of Omonia, is running as a candidate in the municipal elections in Himara with the backing of both KEAD and Omonia, as well as the opposition coalition led by the Democratic Party, headed by former prime minister Sali Berisha, and the left-wing Freedom Party, led by former president Ilir Meta.

Throughout his campaign, Beleri has faced severe criticism from Prime Minister Edi Rama and a segment of the media. Just hours prior to his arrest, Rama reportedly made statements on television suggesting that he would personally address the situation with Beleri following the elections.

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