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Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
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LGBT Rights Groups Bring Legal Case to Fulfil Long-Delayed Promise

Last week Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT, announced his organization would file a lawsuit requesting recognition of same-sex partnerships.
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Kristi Pinderi, the executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT.
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Urgent need to safeguard students, teachers and schools during armed conflict

Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
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It was a shipwreck in Mediterranean waters so ghastly that even a Europe inured to the drowning of migrants and asylum seekers was compelled to act. Two months ago, a boat sank off the coast of Lampedusa, taking the lives of 366 people and put dangerous…
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Summit Needs Rights-Based Approach to Boat Migration, Syria Refugees

(Brussels) – European Union heads of state meeting in Brussels on October 24 and 25, 2013, should urgently adopt measures to improve sea rescues of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said today. The summit should also…
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On September 17, a court in Kosovo acquitted Fatmir Limaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and high-ranking politician, and nine others of war crimes related to the 1998 torture and killings of Serbian and Albanian civilians in a makeshift…
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Called for Violence Against Pride Paraders

(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…
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On 14, 15 and 16 October 2011 two groups of men were arrested in the Northern Cyprus under Article 171 of the 1929 Criminal Code, which criminalizes male homosexuality. Article 171, brought in under British colonial rule, is the only legal provision in…
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Prime Minister Should Refrain from Interfering in Case

(New York) - Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania should not interfere with the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of three anti-government protesters on January 21, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The three protesters were killed…