Greece must: Recognize the Albanian Genocide!
Greece must: Recognize the Albanian Genocide!
Why this petition matters
The Greek government should Recognize and Apologize to the Albanian people for the brutal Genocide conducted by The Greek (para) military and headed by Greek General Napoleon Zervas in 1944 in the region of Chameria. Thousands of innocent women children and elderly were slaughtered in the most inhumane way, burned alive, beheaded, beaten to death, shot, raped in-front of their children and killed. Thousands of survivors were forced to walk to Albania where many died during the trail. The survivors are still banned to return back to their homes or even visit their parents' graves.
Exactly seventy-six years ago, in 1944, Greek authorities under resorted to the worst atrocities witnessed in this region. On June 27, 1944 more than 600 men, women, and children were massacred in a town called Paramithia. From June 1944 to March, 1945, 1286 people were killed in the town of Filat. 626 people were massacred in Margellic and Parga and 192 were killed in Gumenica. In total, 2900 men, 214 women, 96 children were killed. 745 women were raped. 32 children, who were less than 3 years of age, were massacred. 68 villages of Chameria were razed to the ground. 5800 houses and places of worship were burned down. Valuable property that belonged to the Chams was confiscated.
The 1912 Ottoman Census about Chameria illustrates the following:
There are five major regions within Chameria:
(1) Gumenitza (with 10,126 Albanians)
(2) Filati (22,348 Albanians)
(3) Paramithia (13,780 Albanians)
(4) Margariti (15,732 Albanians)
(5) Parga (800 Albanians).
The total number of people in these territories, the census states, was 71,983.
Out of this population 62,786 were Albanians. The rest were Greeks and some Jews.
1. Albanian Roots NGO is calling on the Greek government to recognize the existence of the 80,000 Albanians living in Chameria today and all other ethnic minorities in Greece. In spite of the fact that Greece is a member of NATO and the European Union and that it has signed all international covenants on human rights, the Greek government officially denies the existence of Chamerians and all other ethnic minorities in Greece. Greek citizens of Albanian, Turkish, Macedonian, Vlach, and Roma descent do not enjoy fair and equitable treatment under the law and face enormous obstacles in preserving their culture and exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The international community must make Greece accountable for its failure to recognize ethnic minorities living inside their borders and to protect their rights.
2. Albanian Roots NGO is calling on the Greek government to publicly apologize for the fact that “Chams” were the victims of successive waves of mass expulsion and genocide, culminating in the massacre of more than 5,000 men, women, and children, the forcible expulsion to Albania and Turkey of 35,000 more, the confiscation of thousands of acres of Cham-owned land, and the looting and burning of 68 Albanian villages and towns and a hundred mosques from June 1944 to March 1945.
3. Albanian Roots NGO is calling on the Greek government to recognize the right of Cham survivors and their descendants in exile to return to their land and to receive recompense for their destroyed and stolen assets, involving approximately 150,000 people and property valued at more than two billion dollars in today’s market. It is incredible that the Greek government, which condoned the seizure of Cham property in law at the end of World War II, has denied the survivors and their descendants even the right to visit their ancestral lands.
4. Albanian Roots NGO is calling on Greece to respect the human and civil rights of Chams, as well as the rights of approximately 500,000 Albanians living in Greece today as temporary workers. Albanians in Greece seek equal protection under the law, freedom from forced assimilation and governmental repression, and opportunities for public employment and education in their own language. They should enjoy the same rights that the Greek minority enjoys in Albania.
5. Albanian Roots NGO believes that to successfully resolve the Cham problem, Albanian Americans need to educate the West about Chameria (Çamëria) and to create a strategy for “internationalizing” the Cham problem. We need to make it clear that Chamerians (Albanians of Greece) are requesting recognition of their ethnicity, the restoration of their human and civil rights, the right to use the Albanian language, the restitution of their assets, and the right of return. This effort will not be easy, because the Greek lobby is one of the largest contributors to House and Senate reelection races in the United States, and Western Europe is reluctant to take on any issue that can potentially destabilize its neighbors to the south. But the diplomatic path must be taken and played out in 21st century terms. Justice, so long denied to Chameria, is finally to be achieved.
Video Testimonies of Survivors:
Italian Documentary - https://youtu.be/7DehrZjdW68
Photos of Cham Albanian Refugees - UN Archives
Greek scientists accept Greek's - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5dePt4U74I
- Katerina Sakellaropoulou
- WASHINGTON D.CUnited States Congress