Great Disappointment –

by Nderim Lushi

Not many times people get deeply disappointed in their lives, for life is too short, but, whether it is for better or worse, my greatest disappointment that I tested in my life was facing the diametrically opposite reality of the Canadian courts and the destructive role of the State Department as well as US Embassy in Tirana. As all other Albanians of my generation, we grew up aspiring to join “the West”. Canada was considered probably as the epitome of democracy, justice, rule of law; the country that protects those who strive for justice and prosperity. Unbelievably, I ended up being persecuted and facing the fist of injustice of the Canadian judges to the extent that Canada could be described as an exile place for me, rather than a safety haven. And this happened only because I had the audacity to help my own brother with his legal case, who was abandoned and betrayed. The Canadian Government is complicit in this indeed, but so are some other officials, offices and individuals.

I am an Albania citizen as well as a naturalized Canadian citizen. I immigrated to Canada in 2015 in the throes of a difficult situation for my family in Albania. My brother was arrested for organizing a peaceful and democratic rally in this city of Kukes. Dozens of citizens, after having signed a petition, were gathered together to request from the Prime Minister of Albania to ease up on an ongoing campaign of arrests and power disconnection due to massive unpaid bills and accumulated debts and late fees. Without going into much detail about this issue, the major negative effect of this governmental campaign was that thousands of Albanian citizens were given no choice but to leave their own country as they could not afford to pay the electricity bills. On the other hand, the government had put on hold all the construction permits which led to a rapid increase on unemployment.

My brother, Nderim Lushi, was arrested and charged for “Organizing the assembly of people in squares and places of public passage, without prior permission”. This was one of the main charges, however. The allegations were definitely denied by him as they were baseless. I personally had a key role in assisting him with this legal matter as he was betrayed by his lawyer in an attempt to refuse to appeal the verdict of the Court of First Instance on May 7, 2015, where he risked a punishment of four years in total. Moreover, I made tremendous efforts to raise public awareness for his release as well as I sought help from the international media, human rights organizations, and the European Union. After two years of a long and difficult process, my brother was acquitted by the Appellate Court of Shkodra, Albania.

Therefore, my role in helping my brother with this legal case was instrumental without knowing, however, that consequently I was going to pay my own price for probably having crossed some redlines, such as raising public awareness about his case and, even worse, internationalizing it. To make things clear, I was not part of my brother’s public and civic activity; I simply helped him as a family member once he was betrayed by his lawyer, betrayed and deceived by Klan TV – the main national TV channel in Albania, and by the former President of Albania Mr. Bujar Nishani. I would like to emphasize the fact the Klan TV had invited my brother to give an interview in one of its main TV shows. Again, he was invited, not the other way around. Surprisingly, parts of the interview, in a distorted way, were used as a basis for his criminal charges.

Speaking of the former president, I would like to clarify his deceiving and complicit role that he had in my brother’s case. Once thousands of citizens had signed a petition, requesting from the Prime Minister to address the issue or, better yet, the crisis of the power debts, in a more reasonable way, Mr. Nishani decided to meet with citizens of the Kukes county, admitting that this crisis had led to massive Albanian asylum seekers in Europe. During that meeting which took place in April, 2015, my brother handed him officially a copy of the petition and Mr. President promised that he was going to take this issue very seriously. The citizens, including Mr. Nderim – my brother – considered the meeting very constructive and positive.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that my brother was invited to that official meeting by Late Mr. D. Nela, a prominent elected official who was a member of the same political party which had elected the President. In other words, the President Mr. Nishani and Mr. Nela were very close to each other: affiliating with the same political party.

Considering that the meeting with the former President Mr. Bujar Nishani was very positive and all those who had signed the petition were encouraged by his support, my brother along with other representatives decided to organize a rally on May 4, 2015. As it is clear, the rally happened a few days after the meeting with the president, who had supported them publicly.

Another detail which makes things even more complicated for the President and the party which had elected him is that the same political party organized on May 4, 2015, in Kukes a political rally. In fact, citizens got confused as well as they considered that political rally as an encouragement for the planned rally organized by my brother. Clearly, Mr. President, the invitation of Mr. D. Nela and the rally organized in Kukes on May 4, 2015, have a direct correlation with the rally that my brother organized on the same day. As a matter of fact, those citizens that had signed the petition would declare publicly that “we have the president on our side”.

Except that Mr. Bujar Nishani was not. On May 4, 2015, my brother was arrested brutally in an unexplainable way, as if there were sinister reasons for doing that. The rally was crushed. He was arrested and charged immediately. The charges were based also on the interview that he had given on Klan TV. Coincidently, the former President Mr. Bujar Nishani, the man who had in a way or another declared his support for my brother and other citizens, he left for New York, in an unexpected unofficial visit, although it was never published nor justified. The fact of the matter is that he never reacted against the violence that the State Police had used in crushing the rally and the brutality against my brother. On the other hand, I – as Mr. Nderim’s brother, wanted to contact the President but there was no email contact on his official website, no phone number, the message option had been removed from his official Facebook account. It was very strange.

As a result, pointing the finger at the former President and considering him as a betrayer is not simply propaganda or speculation; it is the truth and this is a verifiable fact. What makes things more complicated is that the US embassy in Tirana behaved in the same way as well. It never reacted, although it reacts about everything takes place in Albania. This is a fact. The US Embassy, too, had no email contact or phone number on its website, so there was no way to contact it. In addition, Mr. Bujar Nishani chose to travel, at least virtually, to New York that night in order to escape the responsibility. Again, there is a connection between the place where Mr. President chose to hide and the US Embassy. Of course, I am not saying that the US embassy is complicit, but these are the facts, while Mr. Nishani is politically and morally, not to say legally, complicit. Again, Mr Bujar Nishani – the President of the Republic of Albania – had met with my brother a few days before he organized his final rally where he was arrested and faced serious criminal charges. So, this is just to give a full perspective of the situation why I had to step in and raise public awareness in order to release my brother because he was literally betrayed by his lawyer, by Mr. Nishani, and let down as well by the US Embassy – the symbol of democracy and human rights, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, I immigrated to Canada in September, 2015, being sponsored by my former wife. I was fully aware that what I had done in Albania was not unnoticed, albeit I was under the impression that it was only the Albania Government which might have gotten upset with me for having stood up against the brutality of the State Police, and against the betrayal and injustice done to my brother. To my surprise, from the second day I landed in Toronto, Canada, I started to face serious problems, although it was too early to make a connection with what had happened in Albania. In fact, as soon as I arrived in Canada, I called Amnesty International Canada and explained to them about what had happened in Albania and sought their advice.

Fast-forward to 2019. After my former wife and I agreed to go through the divorce process, naturally I had to deal with the court, and I was expecting to really deal with an ordinary civil matter as we had no disagreement. Technically, it was only a matter of a legal procedure. It was this time when I realized that the court was simply a trap that had been awaiting me. Up until that time I was aware that all the difficulties I was facing in Canada clearly were related to my background and my past in Albania, but I seriously believed that the courts in Canada enjoyed to a certain degree good professional and legal standards, except that I was wrong. The judge who presided over the trial, Justice Tamara Friesen of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, regarding a restraining order couldn’t be more ‘politically motivated’; the trial and everything prior to it couldn’t be more orchestrated and theatrical to the extent that I couldn’t believe, but that was only the beginning of a saga of difficulties.

I started to face regular provocations at my work place. My apartment got raided by the Police Service in an attempt to prove that I am not a fit father. My access to my children would get denied on and off. Everything got even worse when I filed a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council against Justice Tamara Friesen who mistreated me and attempted to deceive me in the most shameful way, who, in my view, was politically motivated for reasons clearly related to my past in Albania, i.e. assisting my brother with his legal case after he was betrayed, even though I cannot dive into all the details here in this essay. On the same day when I filed the complaint against this judge, I was threatened and harassed at my workplace and told to leave the job. I eventually left the job. This case was reported to the CJC and other relevant officials. Even today as I am writing this essay, I continue to face difficulties, including here in Albania. In fact, as soon as I came in Albania last year, two relatives of mine threated me that they were going to report me to the Police, even though they could not mention the reason why. It was just an attempt to intimidate me. So, basically, there is a clear connection between my past in Albania and my difficulties and the injustice done to me in Canada. For these particular incidents which took place in Albania, I point my finger directly at the US Embassy in Albania.

The question that begs itself is: is there any connection between Albania and Canada? The answer is: yes. Albania and Canada are members of NATO. Albania and Canada have the same strategic ally, that is, United States of America. Albania and Canada are so called democratic countries. While the Government of Albania could easily receive orders from USA to intimidate, arrest and investigate people, in contravention of the international law and the country’s sovereignty, and the President of Albania has the audacity to improvise virtual unofficial trips in order to escape responsibility and to hide from his deceiving role, the question is, what about Canada? The reality is as follows: I assisted an Albanian citizen with his legal case; I raised public and international awareness about his case; I faced enormous difficulties in Canada; I was wronged by a Canadian judge by clearly breaching the code of conduct during a scandalous trial; I lost my job; as soon as I come back to Albania, I received threats by two relatives of mine that they were going to report me to the police for unknown reasons.

At the same time, US embassy, which reacts for even trivial things that take place in Albania, when my brother was arrested only because he had organized a peaceful and democratic rally, US embassy kept silent. It never issued an official statement showing at least concerns that a citizen had been arrested during a legal and democratic really for a legitimate and fair cause. The main reason why the US embassy kept silent is that my brother had not applied, if I may call it so, for a ‘permission’ to the embassy to organize a public rally. Unfortunately, as it is clear, democratic rallies and public assemblies are not permitted in Albania without US embassy’s permission.

Considering that my role was important in assisting my brother and raising public awareness about the injustice done to him, and considering that the US embassy never reacted about this case, which means US embassy was upset, I can reasonably conclude that all my difficulties that I faced in Canada, including the above mentioned scandalous and theatrical trial, were orchestrated by the US State Department or at least the US State Department was involved in my case. Definitely, it is the Canadian Government responsible for this. In other words, I point the finger publicly at the US Embassy in Albania and US State Department for their implication in my case in Canada.

This shows that the Canadian Government has made a grave mistake by receiving illegal orders from the United States in order to destroy the life of a Canadian citizen for political reasons. This is also a scandal of the Canadian courts. I am ready to defend my position publicly. Meanwhile, I am looking into the option of suing the Canadian Government and The Honourable Justice Tamara Friesen – a justice of Queen’s Bench of Alberta for having caused me irreparable damage and for having colluded with the US State Department in contravention of the international law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I will not exclude the help of any organization, individual and lawyer in the world regarding this legal battle against the Canadian Government that destroys the lives of Canadian citizens in order to please its political ally, i.e. USA. Shamefully and immorally, the US Embassy in Tirana continues with its destructive role against Albanian citizens in contravention of the international law. I will be the first Albania citizen to undertake legal steps against this embassy, as it is at the root of my personal problems, but it is the Canadian Government which is going to be held accountable for the harm and damage caused to me by the court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

To conclude, I am deeply disappointed with the Canadian Government for having chosen to persecute me, by, among others, using a judge in order to inflict harm on me, contrary to the expectations one might have about Canada and its international reputation. While the harm that the Canadian Government has inflicted on me by means of an irresponsible judge is measurable and identifiable, the reasons for doing so clearly are related to my role in Albania in assisting my brother with his legal case. This is a stain that paints the Canadian Government and the judicial system. However, I am very positive that suing the Canadian Government for enormous psychological harm inflicted on me and for the ruining of my future prospects in Canada where I have two children is the right path because I am a law abiding citizen.

Sabri Lushi

May 25, 2021


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