Opposition-led demonstrations to protest against "widespread corruption" and to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s government on Friday turned violent, as police and protesters clashed.
Amnesty International has urged Albanian authorities to investigate the deaths of three people during anti-government protests in Tirana, local reports said on Saturday.
Opposition-led demonstrations to protest against “widespread corruption” and to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s government on Friday turned violent, as police and protesters clashed.
Security forces used teargas, water canon, rubber bullets and, eventually, live ammunition. Demonstrators threw stones, bottles, sticks and Molotov cocktails.
All victims were shot with small-calibre weapons. One was killed by security forces when demonstrators attempted to storm Mr. Berisha’s offices, as seen on a video circulating in the internet.
“The police have a right to maintain order and protect the public, but they must not use excessive force against those carrying out their legitimate right to protest,” said Andrea Huber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.
The New York-based organization is a leading international human-rights watchdog.
The conservative Berisha and the Socialist opposition leader Edi Rama swapped accusations for the violence. The premier accused Mr. Rama of attempting a coup, and Mr. Rama responded by saying that police provoked the violence.
No new violence was reported from Tirana since the clashes ended on Friday evening, but a heavy police presence was visible in the streets.