By Reshat Kripa
– “People who have never known dictatorship and tyranny find it easy to give in to the rhetoric about freedom, forgetting the simple and terrible reality of willful oppression where it always exists”.
Giovani Sartori: “Once again for the theory of democracy”.
Memorie.al/ Robert Krasta, had made it a habit that on every anniversary of his parents, he would go to the cemetery and place a bunch of flowers on their grave. He would look at the picture stamped on the porcelain and start a conversation with them. He had been doing this habit for a long time. The conversation seemed to soothe his soul. He told them about everything that had happened in the family. Sometimes, when he found difficulty in something, he asked them for help, and it seemed to him that they answered him. Perhaps this, could be some guess of his own, yet he believed it.
The jingling of keys and the sound of the door opening was heard in the cell where Agron was locked up. The gate opened and in front of him appeared a guard he had never seen before.
– My name is Isuf. From now on you will have to deal with me. Come on! – he said.
He put the handcuffs on her hands and, taking her by the arm, escorted her to an office on the second floor. It was Demir’s investigator’s office. On the table was a calendar. Agroni noticed that he marked the date November 10. According to the calculation, it had been fifteen days since he had been arrested. This happened on Irida’s birthday, which was celebrated on October 26.
So, there were fifteen days locked in that dark cell where you couldn’t tell if it was day or night and where you lost track of time. On the opposite wall was a clock that struck a quarter to one. He looked out the window and saw that it was dark. It was past midnight.
Meanwhile, investigator Demiri entered and sat on the chair behind the desk.
– Choose! – said to Isuf.
He removed the handcuffs and, after receiving a sign from the investigator, left.
– Sit down! – addressed Agron
He sat down and was waiting to see what would happen.
– Do you know why you were arrested?
– You are accused of; you joined a group that sought to organize sabotage in enterprises, for terrorism and for agitation and propaganda.
– This is your fantasy.
– I advise you to be more honest in your answers. Do not burden the accusation more…!
– And I declare to you that; everything you said is just a figment of your imagination.
– Don’t remember that, you will throw ashes in our eyes with what you declare? Whether you accept them or not, we don’t really care. We have a lot of evidence and witnesses, ready to testify as I said above.
– Then why don’t you present those proofs so sure?
– He came late tonight. I called you only to declare that you are accused that together with your two friends, Stefan Gjoka, Gjergji Panon, as well as some other friends, you organized the blowing up of the new turbine of the hydropower plant and after that, together with your families, you would flee to Yugoslavia. You are accused of doing such an act according to the instructions you received from the Soviet KGB, in whose service you were put since you were a student in Bulgaria.
– The tale of the king.
– If I give you three days to think. I advise you to accept the charge, as others have accepted it.
– That’s why you locked me in that medieval cell, to force me to accept false accusations?
– To refute your guess, I will tell you that now you will stay in another cell.
– I want to meet the mayor. Lead me to him.
– He is on duty. There is no time to meet you. Keep in mind that, from the moment of arrest, you are a defendant and don’t whistle so much.
A bell on the table rang and Isufi entered the office.
– Holes in cell number seven.
Isufi threw off his handcuffs and took him by the arm to accompany him where the investigator ordered him. The cell where they put him was bigger. There was a small barred window in the gate. On one side, there was a bed with a straw-filled mattress, a straw pillow and a blanket.
In one corner was a barrel covered with a piece of board.
– If you need it, go to the toilet, – said the guard, – you go to the toilet once a day, in the morning.
The cell was lit by a lamp shining on the ceiling. Agron lay down on the bed and covered himself with a blanket. Even fifteen days after he had been arrested, his spirit was still boiling like a volcano after the eruption. The mountain of accusations that Demiri had thrown at him crushed him like a big stone that he couldn’t lift and his breath was taken away.
He felt that he was in front of a great threat, the consequences of which could be terrible. The weakness that had seized him, caused his eyes to close. But even sleep was disturbed. In the dream, creepy scenes appeared to him.
The gate opened and Isufi entered the cell again.
– Raised to carry out personal needs.
He was still sleepy. Fifteen days, almost no sleep, and now that he was in bed, he was being asked to get up. Even sleep, although very disturbed, after being detained there in the cell.
– Thanks, I don’t need it.
– I’m sorry, but I’m telling you, you can’t go back. Therefore, I advise you not to miss the opportunity.
– Leave me alone in my trouble please. I told you I don’t need it.
– Do as you like, I owe you.
The gate was closed. Agron fell into a deep sleep again. But after some time had passed, the gate opened again and Jesus appeared with the bowl of food.
– Get up to eat bread.
But he wanted to sleep, just sleep and not be woken up by anyone. He wanted neither bread nor dishes.
– Why did you treat me like monomarriage? Please let me sleep in peace. I just want sleep.
Isufi understood his condition. He left the bowl of food in the cell and left. After a few hours, when he was full of sleep, Agron woke up. His bowels were on strike. After all that rest from insomnia, he was hungry. His eyes went to the bowl of food. He took it and, in a few minutes, he finished it all. His mind flew away, to where his heart ached, to his family, to his mother Gjyla, to Lumtua and of course to Irida. What were they doing now? He could not answer. He didn’t know what to say. She was an enigma he couldn’t solve.
He remembered the conversation he had with investigator Demir. He had told them about Stefani and Gjergji, about Soviet agencies and I don’t know what else. Agroni had heard that the State Security used different types of torture to force the prisoner to accept what the investigator wanted. Until now, apart from the isolation in that dark cell, which was illuminated from time to time by a strong searchlight and the great thirst after eating a lot of salty food, he had not experienced any other kind of torture.
He had heard of electric currents, of putting fresh boiled eggs under his armpits, of piercing his toenails with a needle, of being crucified like Jesus Christ on the hooks placed in the wall, which he had seen in his cell, and other kinds of torture. So far these had not yet been tried on him. He doubted that in the future, they would be used. However, he had decided that he would not accept those false accusations even if they cut his flesh with scissors.
With these thoughts he fell asleep again. He had weakened beyond measure and his crippled body had no choice but to rest in sleep, where he found a little peace, like what he was enjoying at that moment.
The Head of the Branch, Petriti, was standing in his office and giving orders. Investigators came in and out one after the other. They took the necessary instructions and left. It was the office where all the scenarios that were to be developed were prepared. In short, that office was the brain of that entire building which, according to the country’s Constitution, was the protector of the interests of the people’s power.
Everything, which was later implemented by the investigators, was first prepared in that office. None of them dared to act with initiative. Otherwise, he could pay with his own head. The investigators were the mannequins, while the chairman, their director. This was the law of the time and no one could dispute it.
That day he was reading a secret instruction of the Minister of the Interior, according to which, all Branches of the districts were instructed to increase vigilance against foreign appearances. In the instruction, it was said that; taking advantage of the treachery of some leaders, who were put in the service of imperialist-revisionist espionage (and their names were mentioned), negative phenomena had begun to appear in culture and in other fields, such as in the economy, the army and others.
According to the instruction, a spirit of impermissible liberalism had begun to spread in our country. In the end, it was emphasized that; there should be no mercy against anyone who opposes the Party line and Comrade Enver’s teachings.
He knocked on the door.
– Come in!
Investigator Demiri entered the office.
– I’m sorry for bothering you, – he said, – I know you have a lot of work and my concern can hinder you in your work…!
– Talk about what you have and don’t make your introduction too long.
– Yes, Comrade President, that Agron Canaj, does not accept any charges.
– And then?
– I don’t know how to act. I think we should arrest his two friends.
– Without his deposition? No way. You have to find a way to get that deposit out. You have all the tools, who stopped them?
– I thought of another method, but I need your approval.
– What method?
Calling his family, his wife as an example and putting pressure on his eyes to force him to speak.
– I don’t care what method you will use. I just need the result. Now go and don’t come to me for such problems again.
Demir left without opening his mouth. The mayor had cut him down like a woodcutter who cuts wood with an axe. However, he had also given him some freedom. In the end, he had told her that he could do whatever he wanted with her. It was now up to him what method he would use.
Agron’s fate was already completely in his hands. All kinds of torture methods began to come to mind. Some of them had seen them in a film that had been shown during the investigation course in Tirana. It was about the Nazi methods of torture. He would also use those methods. If there was no result, what would he do? An idea flashed into his devilish mind. He smiled and thought that this was the most likely option that could give him what he wanted. Besides the others, it was a variant that would also give him a pleasure. He felt himself more relieved in his mischief.
People’s characters are different. The most stoic keep their character throughout life. No matter what happens, no matter what kind of conditions they find themselves in, you will always find them steadfast in their convictions. Their stoicism made them endure any kind of pressure or torture, physical and psychological, that could be exerted on them.
Others are either elastic or brittle. They know how to adapt to any type of environment and are not ashamed to lick today’s saliva tomorrow. They are ready, after they have praised you to heaven, when you fall from your horse, to throw upon you a thousand curses and epithets from the lowest. In short, they are a kind of chameleon that changes its skin color according to the circumstances in which it is located.
These are the two main characters we encounter every day on the streets of our cities. But there is another type, a separate type from the first two. They are neither stoic like the former nor resilient like the latter. In them, the feeling of hatred has been cultivated which has blinded their eyes and destroyed their conscience. Hate is the only feeling that owns their hearts.
And this feeling makes them selfish, sadistic, barbaric, ready to use any kind of means to realize their desires, which in most cases are outside of any norms of human society. They are types eager to absorb the blood of fellow citizens. Blood is the food of their black souls. Unfortunately for Agron, his investigator, Demiri, also belonged to this category of people.
With this feeling, he left the mayor’s office and began to brainstorm Satan’s methods that he would use. He was thinking and, without his awareness, an ironic and triumphant smile was drawn on his lips. He anticipated the moment when he would break the prisoner’s pride and felt an almost physical pleasure in doing so. It seemed to him a wonderful idea, that cynical invention of a man who knew no moral standards.
– Why are you laughing at yourself, you moron? – heard the voice of Operative Ilias, similar in character and morals to him as two drops of water.
– How nice to meet you! Come here because I want to tell you something. We have a big game on our hands.
They both met and started talking. Eyes turning like hyenas in the dark. They rubbed their hands as if they had invented the most precious thing in the world.
– Let’s go celebrate, – said Demiri.
They left and entered a cafe.
– Two double shots of brandy and two chops, but quickly because we don’t have time.
The waiter brought the order and left. He went to the counter and said to the bartender:
– These two horsemen came again. (This is what the State Security employees were called in popular slang).
– Bobo, why do you hear their drums!
However, they were forced to listen to them. Everyone knew them and knew where they worked. Such a thing made them invulnerable. No one dared to get in front of them. Two people who were drinking at a nearby table got up and left as soon as they had started drinking. Memorie.al