By Gjon Mark Ndoj
Memorie.al / Gjon Mark Ndoj were born in Orosh of Mirdita, in 1928. He continued his secondary schooling at the gymnasium of Shkodra. He was arrested on June 14, 1946, accused of being an “opponent of popular power”, when he was serving as a teacher in Rrëshen. After a few months, where the investigator was tortured inhumanely, he was sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment, which he mostly served in Burrell prison. During this period, John Mark Ndoi wrote stories and poems as well as a poetic poem. Unfortunately, this author did not see the light of publication because his manuscripts were seized during frequent checks in Burrel prison, but they could be read by the fellow sufferers of that time, such as: Gjergj Kokoshi, Arshi Pipa, Father Pjetër Meshkalla, etc. He has published books of stories and novels, such as “Cardinal Ahuni” and “Punishment of Innocence”
Continues from last issue
FRAGMENT FROM THE BOOK “THE PUNISHMENT OF INNOCENCE”
A scream – a threat interrupted the defendant, or more precisely, it attracted the attention of the judges and the people in the hall: – It’s a lie, it’s a lie, a lie, and while he was speaking as the perpetrator, I signaled to the president of the court to close the session…!
During a head-to-head conversation, with the door closed from the inside, after they had orders from the guard officer that no one should disturb them, the civilians and the head of the Section agreed that the matter should be solved gently and gently.
He ordered them not to treat him badly, but not well either, and to give him food and water if he asks for something to drink. From 10 o’clock in the evening, the vice president himself went to take him from the dungeon. Even Pjerini had come to his own conclusions taking care of his condition. They will destroy me.
Ever since they assigned me to do this job, it has been decided. They will shut up the two friends, they are not the main ones responsible and they will accept any promise. No other reasoning led him to a somewhat more convincing conclusion than this. It was still not entirely clear why he acted, but now he was convinced that he had been used as a pawn and the two friends who had suggested it and the excess of consequences that he had not thought of.
More and more it was taking place and it became clear, the treatment that had been given to him and his friends had judged him to be sarcastic and kind to them, the cedar was following him, in his mind, giving him a way and a solution, they had been caught not without purpose and by chance Catholics.
This reinforced the treatment, so much so that he felt contempt for himself and his friends. Anger had overcome him so much that he could barely control himself. But if they had fed and incited hatred, they had also taught those tricks and pretenses against infidelity.
For about an hour, they kept Pjerin and the guard officer, who was sitting in front of the door, although he tried to get a word out, but he couldn’t. No sound, no sign of life even though there were four people inside. When the door opened and the vice president came out with Pjerini, holding his arm, it seemed to him that it was more of a friendly gesture than a security measure.
– You say we succeeded? – the civilian asked the mayor. I say yes, and putting his lips on the gas ironically he said: life is expensive. Even Pjerini, when he heard the door of the dungeon being closed and was left alone, renewed all the conversations, chores and concerns that had started two weeks ago.
But you didn’t see them through a series of reckless actions, this is how they must end and you have nowhere to turn away. Did you sleep? Who knows, they get tired, young, exhausted…!
Maybe. Sleep…it wasn’t sleep. How could he sleep in his state and conditions, but it was a seizure, dizziness and scary dreams, obstacles that he could not overcome: the first thing that appeared everywhere was an abyss, an abyss… an abyss.
As he shook himself away from this nightmare, he realized that a violent step was walking inside him, putting his own presence under the master’s hoof. Every sensation was hardened and subjected to this power. An old cynical Shkodran had told him once, as if I had forgotten, ah, yes, and those who fed him and prepared his conviction somewhat differently in the explanation, but enough…!
Hate can be blind, most of the time, but it sometimes has a look of clarity that compels the blind bearer to act with or without conscience, but with a strong will, to carry out a punishment, because even God has created the hell that the wicked are punished with endless suffering.
They took Pejerin out of the dungeon and gave him water and even soap for his hands and cheeks. I did this with pleasure because he had always given importance to appearance. After washing, he ran his fingers through his half-curly hair, his forehead. He gave you smooth brows.
Albina had aroused his interest in them, when one day he said to him: Rini “give me your eyebrows, you take mine”, and they laughed happily. How far this time, well no less than 6 months. Two were the difficulties that supported his decision to respond in the same way.
They had tricked him; they had used him as a tool. If he were to answer them now with an opposite attitude, at the very least, he would destroy or nakedly expose their purpose and aim, and this would be very reprehensible, even ridiculous, because it lowered their opinion. And so he would get some payback.
It wouldn’t go as far as they thought. The civilian, who was following Pjerini’s attitude carefully and timidly, told the major about this boy with a rapturous and lively nature: this party is so calm… he may have been convinced by our promises…!
– Maybe, let’s hope.
To go from the dungeon to the courtroom, it was a distance of maybe 50 meters. Even passing through a piece of yard did not satisfy you with fresh air. The narrow space with gloomy surroundings only suppressed and made the situation more sensitive and, worst of all, darkened the hope. They stopped in the corridor that ran in front of the hall and ended at the outer door.
Opposite was a small room, the office of the officer of the guard. They enter there; a civilian was sitting behind a simple table and by his side, standing, and the head of the Section.
– We will meet you with the families as long as is the rule, for family work. If he spoke, he kept his eyes on Pjerini. Not a single muscle moved not a wrinkle or line of expression moved in his long face. He waved to the guard officer and four women entered. They were the mothers of Pjerini’s two friends, stronger even though they were older than Pina.
The nans have tears in their eyes but they didn’t cry, they were in a hurry to ask and express as much as possible. Pina was being held by Albina’s arm, which had pretended to be like that, when they gave Albina a chance to come to the meeting. Pjerini liked this trick because it would avoid compromising Albina.
During those short and permissible questions they said under the breath, but without attracting the attention of those who are killing…!
– Bina, doesn’t forget my mother. This request of his, he said in a flash, fulfilled all those expressions that they could not say to each other. When they all came out, the thoughtful civilian said under his breath to the President: I did not notice any sign of softening or giving in Pjerini’s face.
He was right that Pjerini was trying exactly this thought when he was judging this meeting among himself… everything but deception… But now he was not able to surrender to any softening of feelings. The hall was full.
Not only those who had been in the previous session were invited, but some of their relatives who might have heard of any edge or detail, no matter how small and superficial. The president of the court, with a solemn, but beautifully tall voice that cursed the judge, where he wanted to emphasize, opened the session: –
We continue the trial session, which, as we know, was interrupted by a new element expressed by the defendant Pjerin Kini, an uncontrollable moment of his, which compromised the defendant himself, and a fact we proved publicly, about the weapons that were found in the church, in the place where the believers go to pray, the Catholic clergy, as always on the side of reaction, darkness, deception, insert weapons where the cross and the gospel were.
And it went on and on for half an hour. The silence was complete, but there were also movements of impatience. They wanted to listen to that young man, named Pjerin, who, although those who were in the hall in the majority were inclined to regard him as an enemy, his young age, his painful appearance, pale, if not pitiful, as if of a ball the evil that in many ways could fall upon the son, their relative brother.
The prosecutor fumed, repeating what the chairman said, but presenting the defendant as an unstable, irresponsible and deceitful man. Two or three times, Pjerini got angry and answered, but the mayor intervened and softened the situation. When the prosecutor left, the chairman addressed Pjerini:
– Defendant Pjerin Kini, you mean it. He moved slowly but surely. His face was completely pale. Like a rigid statue, he stood straight, without moving either arm or hand. At first, his mind trembled, but then he came more sure and clear:
– Mr President! Yesterday I said in front of you here that the weapons that were found in the church were brought in by me and these two friends. Not even a breath could be felt in the hall. – I repeat, with my honor, this oath, with my life. They didn’t even put Fretni in there, nor do they know about it. The prosecutor interrupted him to pour out a stream of words and attacks. He asked to remove the word of the defendant. Pjerini wanted to speak, but the chairman cut him off:
– The word of the defendant should be removed. The accused did not react, in fact, to everyone’s surprise; he sat down and remained silent. The prosecutor maintained the claim. They were speeding up the procedure, to limit their rhetoric. When the jury came out and sentenced me, there was a little conversation in the hall. People didn’t know how to act and think. Something had happened that they could not grasp under the guise of a sudden astonishment.
Ever since Pjerini was sentenced to death by firing squad, Pina, after seeing the Nadja mass at the Great Church, went to see him and brought some food to the boy. But they had never accepted and explained it, but only looked at it with disdain. This went on for a week.
She did not feel insulted that she could return home with a glimmer of hope that her son was still alive. But one day what was supposed to happen happened, because it was over. They tried their hardest to give him the final rams. With the snarl that savagery has, one day they told him: “Go and look for the boy in Zall of Kiri…”! Memorie.al