Rally planned to protest detention of Himare mayor-elect Beleri

Rally planned to protest detention of Himare mayor-elect Beleri

The ethnic Greek organization Omonoia is holding a rally in the southern Albanian city of Himare on Monday evening to demand the immediate release of Fredi Beleri, the city’s mayor-elect, so that he can be sworn in and assume his duties. 

The protest will take place at 6 p.m. at the pedestrian street of Spilaion. The date was chosen as a deadline for Beleri’s swearing-in ceremony expires. According to Albanian electoral law, a mayor must be sworn within three months from the date of his election. In Beleri’s case, the deadline is August 14. Organizers hope that the event will activate the international community to demand his release.

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis is traveling to Himare to meet with members of the ethnic-Greek community and address the rally.

Beleri was detained on May 12 on allegations of bribing voters, a charge that he denies, and elected mayor of Himare on May 14. His repeated appeals lodged with the Tirana courts have been rejected. Greece has repeatedly protested his continuing detention.

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