By XHABIR DERALLA
CIVIL’s headquarters was the target of yet another break-in. Or, at least that’s what it seems like. This is a third larger incident in five years. And for the third time, we have concluded that this is not an ordinary incident. And somehow they coincide with interesting events and processes in the country. We consulted with experienced professionals in the field of security and concluded that we are right – something isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.
The first incident took place right after the bloody events on April 27, 2017, when six laptops and hard disks with electronic documentation of the organization were stolen. My documentation and notebooks were neatly looked through, and my electronic archive was also stolen. Still, this attack was not entirely successful. The most sensitive data, both in electronic and hard copy format are kept in a completely safe place, so the attackers actually didn’t “achieve” much from that part of their “mission”.
The second incident was more than obvious. It took place at the end of June, 2020, in the midst of the monitoring of the early parliamentary elections. Then, CIVIL’s headquarters was vandalized, but only from the outside. The board with the signs of the organization in the courtyard was turned over, and a shovel was put over it. The front door of the headquarters was damaged with a sharp object and the word Nazi was engraved on it. Garbage was thrown in front of the front door.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions, at least not while the investigation is in progress, but I will use this opportunity to once again remind the public and the institutions about the great challenges that progressive organizations and editorial offices face. As to the documentation, we have no secrets. All data on our work is public, all it takes is to open our internet portals, and we are also open for every additional question. There is no need to break in, except if the goal is to send a different kind of a message.
The attack is absurd in the sense of any gain. If the goal is to also block the work of CIVIL, to send a threat, to intimidate, then the goal has not been achieved. That’s right, the message has been received, but the goal hasn’t been achieved. Maybe we just lost a little time in calling the police, in making a report and writing a statement. That’s the loss. On the other hand, a nice opportunity to talk a bit and to pack the columns even more.
It is known that in the past ten and more years, CIVIL’s teams and the Editorial Office of Civil Media have faced many pressures, slanders, hate speech and death threats. The motives are known, so are those ordering them. Our initiatives for promotion of human rights and freedoms, equality, justice and multiculturalism, and especially the fight against disinformation and propaganda, have a strong and positive effect on the public and society. It’s clear that our work bothers well-known structures in the country and abroad.
But they should know – we are not afraid. For us, the threats and pressure are a motive more to continue with work, uncompromisingly and loudly
On behalf of CIVIL, I thank all expressions of solidarity and offers for help.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska