Albanian Former Dissidents End Hunger Strike

Posted October 22nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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A group of former Albanian political prisoners says they are ending their month-long hunger strike because of exhaustion and political pressure.

The activists have been protesting delays in government compensation for time they spent in jail under the country's communist government.

Twenty people began the strike last month, but only six strikers were left on Monday. The rest became sick or injured, with two protestors setting themselves on fire to draw attention to their cause.

The group says they will resume their protest, which included camping in the downtown area of the capital, Tirana, in the future. A court ruled last week that the protest was illegal.

The protestors want the government to compensate all the victims of the harsh rule of communist dictator Enver Hoxha, demanding that it honor its pledge to pay each victim $18.50 for each day spent in prison.

Officials say the government has already begun making the payments.

Tens of thousands of Albanians were killed, executed or imprisoned between 1944, when the Nazis were driven out of Albania, and 1990, when communist rule collapsed.