TIRANA, April 15– Albanian police arrested 37 persons for using violence during Saturday’s anti-government protest, police said in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, Tirana police under the direction of the Tirana Prosecutor Office have arrested 37 people for the criminal offenses of using violence against the constitutional institutions, opposing public order and public and private property destruction.
The police also said 23 people were prosecuted.
Justice Minister Etilda Gjonaj said the protest was being used for political purposes, as opposition seeks to destabilize the country.
“Violence is unacceptable in any kind of protest. The constitutional mission of the political parties should be to influence the country’s life through democratic means. The opposition wants to destabilize the country by preventing its path towards European Union,” Gjonaj said at a press conference.
Thousands of opposition supporters from around Albania gathered around 6:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Saturday in Tirana’s main Martyrs of the Nation boulevard in front of the prime minister’s office, holding anti-government posters and slogans, throwing firecrackers and other projectiles at police forces.
Five police officers and 15 people were reportedly injured during the clashes between the police and protesters.
This was the ninth protest organized by the Albanian opposition parties, which claim that the current government is corrupt and linked to organized crime. – XINHUA