Arrest of Greek minority candidate in Himara prompts diplomatic response in Athens
Contrary to earlier reports from the Athens-Macedonian News Agency suggesting Beleri’s temporary release, it has been learned that he remains in custody, as reported by Kathimerini.
The Athens government has lodged a formal protest with the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and diplomatic sources have confirmed that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias reached out to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Meanwhile, Greece’s ambassador to Albania, Konstantina Kamitsi, is en route to the Vlore Police Department to meet with Beleri, who is currently being held there.
Minister of Citizen Protection Takis Theodorikakos also engaged in a phone conversation with his Albanian counterpart, Bledar Cuci, regarding the case. Theodorikakos requested the immediate release of Beleri.
Beleri’s candidacy, as the president of the local branch of Omonia, has garnered support from the Greek Minority Unity for Human Rights Party (known as KEAD in Greece) and Omonia, as well as the opposition coalition led by the Democratic Party, headed by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, and the left-wing Freedom Party, led by former President Ilir Meta.
Throughout his campaign, Beleri has faced vehement attacks from both sections of the media and Prime Minister Edi Rama. Allegedly, just hours before his arrest, Rama made televised statements suggesting that he would personally confront Beleri after the elections.