From Luljeta Progni
-The sad story of the family of the well-known translator, Bujar Doko, that after his conviction, his mother and his 15-year-old sister were also imprisoned-
Memorie.al / Donika Doko, the 15-year-old who spent a year as an investigator in the dark corridors of the State Security, was the daughter of Sanije Doko, also convicted as an “enemy of the people” and the sister of Bujar Doko, the translator of famous, who was imprisoned at the age of 21…! This is just a small part of the shocking story of the Doko family…! Sitting on a chair in the backyard, on “Gjon Muzaka” street, Sanije Doko was hunched over a letter, which he was reading impatiently. With frightened eyes, but also with a certain pride, she did not even notice that her little daughter, Dodona (Donika Doko), who had just returned from school, had appeared in front of her. The girl came closer and looked straight at that letter, where her mother had focused so much. Sanija stood up and tried to remove the paper from her daughter’s eyes. But Dodona had already read the letter, enough to understand that something was written there about his brother, Bujar Dokon.
For days, Dodona cried non-stop in her bed, missing her brother, Bujar, who no longer came home, like every dinner, and there was no one to caress the little one of the house…! Bujari was the most loved man for Dodona. Bujar Doko, it had been a while since he was arrested.
It was 1946, the time when the dictatorship was killing and imprisoning, without mercy, hundreds of boys and girls, men and women, opponents of the communist regime, etc. Bujar Doko, was one of the most educated and cultured boys of the capital, and precisely for this reason, he should be behind bars, as an opponent of the communist regime, which had just established the most brutal dictatorship in Albania.
Donika Doko, or Dodona, as Bujar fondly called her, suffered a lot from her brother’s imprisonment, so she desperately wanted to know what was written in that letter, about him. After some arguments, Sanija allowed Dodona to see the letter. Dodona was only 15 years old. The letter was a very dangerous text for her, and in fact, that letter would predetermine a difficult path, very difficult, for a young girl.
It was a tract describing the trial of his brother, Bujar, and his ten anti-communist friends, where the boys had resisted torture and, against the unjust accusations of bloodthirsty prosecutors, had bravely opposed the communist system and, therefore, had been sentenced to jail. In the tract, their attitude was praised and it was emphasized that the court’s decision was unfair. This text filled 15-year-old Donika Doko with hope. Against her mother’s advice, she took the tract and hid it in one of her notebooks.
Donika was one of the students of the Artistic High School of Tirana, who were condemned not to become part of the youth organization. Like many other lyceum girls, she could not get over the hardships of youth and this separation categorized her as part of the layer of “enemies of the people”.
Her friendships at school were few. As she described in her testimony, she stayed alone, had no friends, and did not even get close to other friends of the “enemies of the people” group, where the regime assigned them.
They were afraid to stay together, because they could be accused of activity against popular power. And yet, Donika would find the opportunity to share with others, the tract of support for her brother, Bujar Doko. Bad luck led him to the wrong place.
Donika shared the tract with a girl who took her straight to the State Security offices. Right here, her ordeal begins the ordeal of a child who would grow up under the bars of communist prisons…! Dodona was arrested, in April 1946, just turned 15 years old.
In flagrant violation of freedoms and human rights, especially the rights of minors, Donika Doko ended up in the investigator, arrested as an “enemy of the people”, being accused of “agitation and propaganda, in an attempt to overthrow the popular power “.
The child before the investigator!
A small, petite girl, with beautiful eyes, but without shine, frightened by the darkness that covered the corridors of the State Security… had arrived handcuffed in one of the infamous offices, where the mysterious investigator, Maqo Pecani, was waiting for her. It was 10 o’clock, Monday, April 24, 1946.
Dodona stood scared in front of the investigator, who asked him about the hostile activity, threatening him that; he would never get out of those bars if he didn’t confess his accomplices. Little Dodona had nothing to show, more than she had done, a tract in defense of her brother, who had shared it with another girl, in whom she had trusted.
For a year, the investigator, Dodona, would face, in an unusual way, the brutality of the dictatorial regime, which was not sparing anyone, not even children like her. At the same time, when she was in the interrogator, in another cell, there was her mother, Sanija, who was also arrested for supporting her son.
He was in another cell, in another prison. The whole family behind bars. One of the most shocking stories of the victims of the communist regime. The arrest was only the beginning of an ordeal that would haunt him until the end of his life.
The document with the minutes of the investigation, to Donik Doko
“Today at ten o’clock, on Monday, the year one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, in the State Security section, Tirana, in front of me, lieutenant colonel Maqo Pecani, Donika Doko, the daughter of Xhaferri and Sanija, is being questioned. I don’t know if any of the parents have been convicted by the courts, until now.
Answer: “My name is Donika Doko, I was born in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-one, in Tirana, with permanent residence in Tirana, Rruga “Gjon Muzaka”, number fifty-eight. I am an Albanian citizen and come from the middle class. I completed primary school in Tirana, in the year nineteen forty.
I stayed with my family for two years and then I started attending high school, high school and I am in the fourth grade of Tirana high school. I have never been convicted, by any court, I am single…!
It is true that in April of this year, I had a tract in my hand, which spoke against the punishment of my brother Bujar, by the people’s court. The tract also spoke about my brother’s friends, who were sentenced together with him, as; Petrit Toto, Kujtim Koculi, others.
The tract spoke against the decision, calling his sentence and that of the other ten unjust, the tract explained that all the accused had maintained a good attitude in court, as nationalists… had insulted the Communist Party… and others…!
I have seen the tract one day, in the hand of my mother, Sanije Dokos, when she was singing it. At that time, I had come back from school and asked my mother what she was singing. He told me it was a letter. I asked him who had given it to him, and he told me that he had found it in the yard. I took it and started singing it and then I put it in a notebook. My mother advised me not to take it and not even give it to the man, but I didn’t listen.
I don’t remember the date well, but I remember that after a few days I gave it to T. Tasi to read. I gave it to her, because that’s all I knew, that there were people of hers in prison. I didn’t have a conversation with him, and I don’t remember whether he returned the tract or not, but I remember that he said to me: “What is this nonsense, I don’t need this”.
I have only seen this tract and I don’t know if my mother has seen others and I don’t know if my sister, Lumturija, knew about this tract, nor my father. I have never spoken against popular power, with any friend, both at school and outside.
I don’t have the stamps of youth and I stay alone, unaccompanied by anyone, not even with others, who don’t have the stamps of youth. I have nothing else to say. My words are true and after I sang them, I am ready to sign them”!
This is the testimony that Donika Doko (Dodona) gave before the investigator Maqo Pecani. After a year of investigation, she was sentenced to a year in prison. The mother, Sanije Doko, was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Donika was sentenced less than her mother, due to her age, a minor. Dodona turned 16 years old, in the cells of the State Security, under the pressure of heartless investigators, away from her mother, her brother, and the rest of the family.
After a year, Dodona was released from prison. There were other battles ahead. For many years, he had to wander from one prison to another, trying to keep his mother Sanije and Brother Bujar Doko alive. Outside the bars of the prison, Dodona was anyway, imprisoned with the stamp of “enemy of the people”./Memorie.al