By Ferdinand Dervish
– Confession of the former Prosecutor: “After the 90s, I met his family and told them the truth, since they knew that the state had taken him out”!
Continues from last issue
Memorie.al / “Make it halal for me, I screamed and moaned when I was beaten…”. These were the last loud words of Shkëlzen Doçi, sentenced to death for forging train tickets, at the time when he was taken by the police with his hands and feet tied to the place of the shooting. The resounding screams were released in the courtyard of ‘Prison 313’ in Tirana, on the evening of April 9, 1985, while one of their attentive listeners was exactly Skënder Haluci, originally from Tropoja, at that time fellow prisoner in prison, and after the 90s, lawyer, president of the court, commissioner of the People’s Advocate, etc.
“Shkëlzen Doçi spoke for us all to hear. As for me, it seemed as if he was freed, as if he was rejoicing from the hell of four months of torture in the dungeon even though he was heading for the bullet. You have to spend a long time in a similar prison cell yourself to understand the burning desire to breathe some other air, some unmolested air, the desire to see more than the possibilities of a square, ashtray of cigarettes. , of the cell window.
That’s why Shkëlzeni burst out apologizing loudly, that’s why it seemed as if he was happy, as if he was satisfied after leaving the cell. A situation is created that you experience as if you were drunk…”, Skender Haluci told us with his eyes fixed somewhere else, like that man rummaging through the memory files, which hurts the most from the memories.
Haluca: “I knew Shkëlzen before…”!
“I knew Shkëlzen Doçin, who was a descendant of one of the most respected families in Tropoja, before he went to prison. First, we had him from Tropoja, even though he lived in Tirana, secondly, he was a guy who got along well with everyone, one of those special types who make friends with everyone. He was both cavalier, but also had a lot of information. Make no mistake, as an official in the Central Post Office; he was given the opportunity to go abroad, something rare for the time. I remember that he told us that he had been to Brazil.
At the Central Post Office, he worked with Enver Hoxha’s son, he affirmed this, but in no case boasting and we were impressed. That’s how I knew him before prison. While in prison, Shkëlzeni had more contact with my cousin, Isuf Halucin, since their cells were next to each other. So a part of the memories I have of Shkëlzen Doçi, I have in my memory not directly, but in the form of my cousin’s stories”, continued the confession of the former accomplice of the one who was shot for forging train tickets.
According to Haluc’s confession, Shkëlzen Doçin was tortured in an unprecedented way, before being shot. All those arrested and sentenced in prison 313 could hear the screams of torture. “Still without sentencing Shkëlzen, they put a death sentence in the cell. An action that was usually done by the investigators and the State Security. In order for the other to be terrorized. To call to mind, to do the calculations well, because that’s how he would end up too. Because the person sentenced to death was nailed in a corner of the cell, with a diving suit on his head, with his hands tied behind him with German handcuffs, which were tightened with a bolt and locked with a key.
A convict who was awaiting execution, his handcuffs were removed only when he ate bread, while when he was taken to the bathroom, his leg cuffs were also removed. But in the bathroom he stood tied by the shoulders with a rope, the end of which was held by the guards. The rope was placed in such a way, that if you tried to make sudden movements, it would tighten to the point of asphyxiation…”!
The prisoners of the time of communism had their own way of getting along, without using the spoken language and when the dividing walls were wide. “It was like a kind of MORS alphabet, where each letter had a certain number of hits on the wall. A way of communication that, over time, becomes very good. While after 24:00 at night, when it was quiet, we communicated even louder. Since their cells were next to each other, Shkëlzeni and my cousin had been communicating all the time with this code, or even talking in the quiet of the night.
While a few hours before he was taken to the bullet, Shkëlzeni had knocked on the wall asking my cousin, Isuf Haluc, that if one day he won his freedom, he would go to see Lirie’s mother. He would hug her once for her. It was a trust. We were lucky not to be put to death. A fate that the shooting of Shkëlzen Doçi gave us, but that is another topic. We were released the day before the American Secretary of State, James Baker, came to Albania. A few days later, the cousin, Isufi, told me how he had gone to meet Shkëlzen’s mother, to fulfill his last bequest…!
Before recounting his cousin’s meeting with Shkëlzen Doçi’s family members, Skënder Haluci goes back a little, as he remembers to clarify another moment. “Judging that Shkëlzeni had an uncle who was an Admiral of the Naval Military Fleet and at the same time a member of the Central Committee of PPSh, and at the same time, adding to this the fact that he came from one of the most honorable families in Tropoja, I during all the time, I was convinced that at least he would not be shot. This belief has accompanied me until the day that the Presidium of the Assembly did not forgive.
Meanwhile, I had an argument with a State Security officer, who wanted to instill fear in me. He apparently came to my cell on the same day that the court sentenced Shkëlzen Doçi, Gasper Çurçi and that woman who sold tickets to death. He boasted that they sentenced all three of them and that they would soon be executed. While I turned to him saying: ‘You can’t kill only Shkëlzen Doçi’. But the word didn’t come out; or rather my word didn’t come out…”!
At the end of the story, Skënder Haluci brings up the meeting with his cousin Isuf who had gone to meet Shkëlzen Doçi’s mother. “Isufi told me how he had gone to Shkëlzen’s family. But before he met his mother, someone from the family came forward, explaining that the old woman did not know that Shkëlzeni had been shot. In order not to kill him as well, they told him that they had sent him to serve abroad “for the high interests of the Party and the state”.
“How did I inform my relatives that Shkëlzeni was no longer alive”!
One of the former officials of the justice system who assisted in the shooting of Shkëlzen Doçi and Gasper Çurçi, who narrated this story, among others, also mentioned the misunderstandings with the fate of Shkëlzen Doçi. According to him, immediately after the change of the system, after 1990, it was written in the media that Shkëlzen Doçi was not shot, that he was alive somewhere abroad sent as an agent.
“On learning about this story, I sent word to my relatives to contact me. I didn’t want them to continue to suffer any longer. When they came, I explained to them that Shkëlzen had been killed and that I myself was one of the people who had seen this with my own eyes”, was more or less the explanation of the former justice official to the relatives of Shkëlzen Doçi . Memorie.al