Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of Aleksandër Kondos, the Albanian weightlifting legend who lost his life at the age of 27 in tragic and still completely unexplained circumstances, during a car accident in Queens New York, USA, where he was placed as a political immigrant after fleeing Albania in May 1985, staying in Yugoslavia at the time, after the national team returned from the European Weightlifting Championships held in Poland in those days. The complete voluminous file of the former State Security in charge of Aleksandër Kondos, declassified by the Authority for Information of the files of the former State Security, where there are hundreds of pages belonging to the period from 1981 when the operational pursuit and surveillance of regularly against him by the secret services of the communist regime, until 1987, when that file was finally archived, after his tragic death.
In Tirana in the early ’80s, not only for many sports fans but also beyond the young people of the Albanian capital, a young man stood out and stood out, then at the age of 20, as for his portrait and physique , as well as for the appearance, with the clothes of foreign fashion, who carried on his shoulder the sports bag that he never removed from his shoulder and on the other side, a large radio-tape recorder, which he brought from abroad when going out with the national weightlifting team in international activity. He was Aleksandër Kondo, a member of the “Dinamo” weightlifting team of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (where at that time he served as a senior soldier in the Republic Guard, also his father), and also of the national team, which at that time, thanks to the differentiated assessment and treatment given by the communist regime in power to some serious sports, had achieved high results in the international arena.
The name of Aleksandër Kondo as an athlete began to become more and more famous, especially after his high results achieved in 1984, in the Sports Palace “Partizani” of the capital, when he fixed the figures 200 kg. (in the style of pushing) electrifying thousands of sports fans, (that day more spectators were outside the sports palace than inside it), who under numerous applause, did not leave the square in front of the palace, without seeing that guy up close, who had amazed them with his results and performance. Since that day, Sander Kondo almost became a myth in Tirana and Albania of that time, as his results came ever higher, not only in national championships, but also in the international arena where he consistently had high results. .
But much more than this period of time when Sander Kondo, was at the peak of his career, his name became even more famous and began to be discussed throughout the country, at the end of May 1985, when during an international event in the framework of the European Weightlifting Championship that took place in Warsaw, Poland, (where he lifted 210 kg.), Kondo did not return to Albania, but together with his teammate, Xhelal Sukniqi from Shkodra, from Montenegro went to Belgrade, waiting to gain political asylum in the US.
The event of the escape of two Albanian athletes caused a great commotion not only because of the great name and fame that Aleksandër Kondo had at that time, but also because that event became the object of “quarrel” between Albania and Yugoslavia, as official Tirana at that time publicly accused (in the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit”), the Yugoslav authorities, saying that the two Albanian athletes had been abducted by the Yugoslav secret services (UDB) and demanded their return home.
But that claim of official Tirana had nothing real, as Kondo and Sukniqi denied it in the meeting that took place in Belgrade, between the representatives of the Albanian embassy and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Yugoslav side, where Sander Kondo, after cursing the communist regime of Enver Hoxha again and again, tried to hit the Albanian diplomat with an ashtray, insisting that he should return to Albania, where his family and the whole society were waiting for him.
After that, Sander Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi gained political asylum in the USA, where Sukniqi is still, while Kondo, lost his life in a car accident, on May 1, 1987, (always according to the official version of the communist regime of that time ), and his remains were returned to Albania in 2003.
All these have already been known for years, as much has been written about Aleksandër Kondo as the legend of Albanian weightlifting and his father, Vangjel Kondo, has given several interviews in both print and visual media, and even made some television documentaries, for all his life and history, until the day he parted from this life. But again, the “Alexander Kondo case” has not yet been fully uncovered, especially the part related to his tragic death which continues to remain shrouded in mystery, as well as the surveillance of him by the Security of The Albanian State and its segments since 1981, which was made public for the first time by the Authority for Information of the Former State Security Files, headed by Mrs. Gentjana Mara Sula, who in 2018, handed over the file to the Kondo family, or more precisely to his father, Vangjel Kondo.
In that file that Mr. Vangjel Kondo trusted him exclusively for the publication of Memorie.al, the light is shed and it becomes known, the evaluation, treatment and all the surveillance and persecution, which was done at that time by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, one of the most voice of Albania, such as Aleksandër Kondo, who was well known in the international arena. Based on this fact, Memorie.al will publish the complete file in question (with the relevant facsimiles), in some issues of the dossier section.
Continued from the previous issue
The article of the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit”, regarding the disappearance of two Albanian athletes in Yugoslavia
June 5, 1985
ONLY A DARK ISSUE REQUIRES HIDDEN THINGS
A week has passed since two of our weightlifters suddenly disappeared in Titograd, Yugoslavia, returning to Albania. The long silence that the Yugoslav side kept as it is natural raised a great concern in our public opinion, among sports fans, and the respective families for the fate and life of two Albanian citizens. Finally, following the persistent requests of our Foreign Ministry, through diplomatic channels, the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia only verbally informed the Albanian Embassy in Belgrade that the two Albanian athletes had presented themselves to the Commissioner of the Yugoslav Refugee Council and had requested his protection.
The long time it took for the Yugoslav authorities to provide such an explanation could not be the result of bureaucratic procrastination or the result of mere negligence. The prolonged silence, as pointed out by the spokesperson of the MFA of the RPS of Albania, speaks that something contrived happened to our athletes. The Yugoslav perpetrators of this typical mafia operation apparently took a long time to find this version. Whichever way you look at it, the prolonged silence about the fate of Albanian athletes speaks to someone in Yugoslavia’s involvement in the issue. There is a definite political stance in all this turmoil, which aims not to shed light on the truth, to keep in ignorance both the interested Albanian opinion, as well as the foreign opinion and the Yugoslav one itself.
Only a dark matter requires covering up the truth and hiding things. The mysterious way in which the disappearance of two Albanian athletes was dealt with, cannot but create feelings of concern for the Albanian citizens crossing into Yugoslavia. The above attitude towards athletes and towards our country is held at a time when Yugoslav officials are making statements to improve bilateral relations. But the disappearance of our two athletes in Titograd and the stance taken on this issue do not match these statements. Pretexts, causes, and problems, to add to the irritations, can be found and created in full. The attitude of the Yugoslav authorities on the disappearance of our two athletes in Titograd does not serve the development of good neighborly relations.
Radio VOA’s comment on the Albanian government’s protest against the Yugoslav authorities to two athletes, Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi
Voice of America Radio
ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT PROTEST AGAINST THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT
The Albanian government protested to the Yugoslav government over two Albanian weightlifters who suddenly disappeared on Yugoslav territory. The Albanian Telegraphic Agency says that two athletes, Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, were returning to their country after participating in the weightlifting championship that took place in Poland. They disappeared on Tuesday in the Yugoslav town of Titograd, near the border with Albania.
According to the Albanian Telegraphic Agency, Yugoslavia has not responded to Albania’s requests for the return of the two athletes. The Albanian Telegraphic Agency calls this a serious political act.
Joçi / N.Vasi
ALBANIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY
TANJUG news agency, regarding the announcements and comments of foreign press, for the two Albanian athletes who sought political asylum in Yugoslavia
June 8, 1985
NEWS ABOUT ALBANIA
ALBANIAN ATHLETES ARE LOOKING FOR POLITICAL SHELTER
BELGRADE, June 7 / TANJUG /. – Two Albanian athletes, Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, who have been in Yugoslavia since May 28, insist on their request for political asylum. Kondo and Sukniqi are members of the Albanian national weightlifting team. Their disappearance was reported to the Yugoslav authorities on May 28, at a time when the Albanian national team, while returning from the European Weightlifting Championships in Poland, was passing through the town of Titograd, Republic of Montenegro, Southwest Yugoslavia.
Kondo, 25, and Sukniqi, 24, then turned themselves in to Yugoslav authorities and sought political asylum. In accordance with the Convention and the Protocol on Refugees (Yugoslavia has signed them), it became possible for them to contact a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Belgrade.
The Yugoslav Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs informed the Embassy of the Socialist People’s Republic of Albania in Belgrade about this event. At the request of the embassy, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees made it possible for two representatives of the embassy to meet with the fleeing athletes on 6 June.
ALBANIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY June 8, 1985
(News for Albania)
On this occasion, Kondo and Sukniqi rejected the request made by the representatives of the embassy to return to Albania, stating that they adhere to their decision. Voluntarily seeking political asylum. – Gek (ATSH)
ALBANIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY June 9, 1985
(Bulletin of foreign radios in Albanian language)
Tirana, June 8, 1985
Voice of America Radio
ON THE ESCAPE OF TWO ALBANIAN ATHLETES IN YUGOSLAVIA
The two Albanian athletes, who a week ago was suddenly missing by their friends, are known to have sought political asylum in Yugoslavia. They disappeared on May 28 and later asked the Yugoslav authorities for their protection.
Representatives of the Albanian embassy in Belgrade met with the two athletes in question, who even before them refused to return to their country.
The Albanian news agency -ATSH- has requested a few days ago their return as soon as possible, calling the disappearance of these two athletes, as a serious political act.
The two Albanian youths disappeared when they were returning from Poland, where they had participated in the weightlifting championship.
FACTS ABOUT TWO ALBANIAN ATHLETES
On the occasion of the writing of the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit” of Albania, about the disappearance of two athletes of the RPS of Albania in Yugoslavia, the TANJUG News Agency brings the following facts:
ALBANIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY June 9, 1985
(Bulletin and radio)
Returning from the European Weightlifting Championships in Poland, the Albanian national team passed through Titograd, on May 28 this year, and on this occasion announced the disappearance of two of its athletes.
After a while the members of the weightlifting representation, A. Kondo born in 1960 and Xh. Sukniqi, born in 1961, was presented to the competent Yugoslav authorities in Titograd and sought political asylum. At their request, these athletes were given the opportunity to contract with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in accordance with the Convention and the Protocol on Refugees, of which Yugoslavia is a member.
The Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs informed the Embassy of the RPS of Albania in Belgrade about this.
At the request of the Albanian embassy, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner in Belgrade enabled the meeting of the two representatives of the embassy with the Albanian athletes. On this occasion, A. Kondo and Xh. Sukniqi refused to return to Albania, stating that they remain in their decision to seek political asylum.
Note: This news was also given by Radio of Prishtina, Radio of Titograd and that of Skopje.
ALBANIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY
June 12, 1985
The newspaper “Acropolis” of June 8, 1985, publishes the announcement with a source from Belgrade with the title: “Albanian athletes sought political asylum in Yugoslavia”. It reads: “Belgrade 9 (special service). The two Albanian athletes sought political asylum in Yugoslavia and refused to comply with their embassy’s request for repatriation. They are weightlifters Aleksandër Kondo, 25, and Xhelal Sukniqi, 24, who took part in the European Weightlifting Championships in Poland, and on their way back to Albania via Yugoslavia, the two weightlifters decided to seek political asylum in Belgrade. “The Albanian embassy, but they were not persuaded to change their position. Albania protested because the Yugoslav authorities informed them late about this case.”
The Turin newspaper “La Stampa” of June 8, 1985, published the announcement entitled “Two Albanian athletes seek political asylum in Belgrade”. It reads: “Belgrade. Yugoslav authorities have announced that two Albanian athletes Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, whose disappearance on May 28 in Titograd, was announced by Albanian sources, had caused protests from the Albanian embassy, have requested political asylum “.
In the CETEKA bulletin for internal use dated 7 June 1985 with the headline “Two Albanian athletes seek political asylum in the RSF of Yugoslavia” is published as news by the correspondent of this agency in Belgrade which reads: “Belgrade 7 June TANJUG denies The statement of the Albanian newspaper “Zeri i Popullit” according to which two Albanian athletes who were returning from this year’s European weightlifting competition disappeared in Yugoslavia last week, TANJUG emphasizes that it is about Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi who on May 28 split from the national team and sought Yugoslav political asylum. ”
The newspapers “Le Monde” and “Liberation” respectively on June 4 and 6, 1985 publish the AFP report entitled “Two Albanian sports disappear in Yugoslavia”. It reads: “Two Albanian weightlifters who went missing on May 28 in Titograd, Yugoslavia, have sought protection from the Yugoslav authorities, the daily” Zeri i Popullit “reported yesterday. Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi disappeared while the delegation was returning from European Championship in Katowice, passing to Yugoslavia “.
Report of the Chairman of the Security Branch on the decision to prosecute and surveillance of Aleksandër Kondo outside Albania
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF DIRECTORATE III Single specimens
Tirana. On 20.6.1985
TO GET IN PROCESSING 2 / A CALLED ALEXANDER KONDO
I, F.H. operational worker in Directorate III, after studying the materials in charge of Aleksandër Kondos
Aleksandër Kondo, son of Vangjeli, born in 1960, born and living in the city of Tirana, with 8 years of education, police officer, athlete – weightlifter in the Sports Club “Dinamo”, engaged, with Albanian nationality and citizenship.
Alexandria comes from a family with a good political composition and attitude. His father, Vangjeli is from the village of Pish-Poro in the district of Fier, a former officer in the RPSSH Guard (formerly Chief of Staff). His uncle is the police chief in the Gjirokastra district. Alexander himself, after finishing 8 years of school, got involved in the sport of weightlifting.
Recently, he was dressed as a police officer in the police and on duty in the city of Tirana. He was engaged to a girl from a family with a good political background and attitude. Alexander has been abroad several times with the national weightlifting team, and the last time, being part of this team, he participated in the European Weightlifting Championships held in Katowice, Poland, in May 1985.
On the way back to Albania, on May 28, while in transit through Yugoslavia, two athletes, Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, disappeared in the city of Titograd. Verifications show that they are in Yugoslavia and have reported to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees seeking political asylum.
From the contacts received from the comrades of our embassy in Belgrade with Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, it appears that both of them have insisted on their request for political asylum and protection in the country, have rejected the call and request made for returned to Albania, and held a bad and hostile attitude, where among others Aleksandër Kondo said: “We fled ourselves and no one kidnapped us, as you want to present it”, “we barely have waiting for this day to come here, in this country where people are free, etc. “,” I achieved my goal, I will leave at the end of the world and I will be an opponent until the end of that country (Albania) “, “These are what I am telling you, I say them publicly, even on television, and I will say them”, “Even if you lay me down with gold, I will not return. “I will return one day, but when the regime is overthrown, because it will be overthrown.”
Likewise Rez. New York by phone No. 935 dated 8.6.1985 announces that: “……………………… he talked on the phone with the Immigration Office in Belgrade and learned that both Albanian athletes have sought political asylum in Yugoslavia and that by the end of June or the beginning of July, they will emigrate to the United States.
Regarding the above, in order to detect, document and prevent the hostile activity that Aleksandër Kondo may carry out against our country, as well as to better clarify the circumstances of the May 28 event in Titograd.
Aleksandër Kondo to be taken into processing 2 / A as a fugitive (he stayed in Yugoslavia after returning from the international activity of weightlifters and rejected the request to return to Albania) who currently has a hostile attitude and who may act in the future actively against our country.
Take the appropriate actions in the file of the Third Directorate./Memorie.al
OPERATIVE WORKSHOP CHAIRMAN OF THE BRANCH
Continues in the next issue