Albania ex-political prisoner sets himself on fire

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 9:19 am •  Published: October 8, 2012
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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A former Albanian political prisoner has been hospitalized after setting himself on fire to demand quicker payment of compensation for victims of the former communist regime.

Gjergj Ndreca, 53, is among a group of some 20 former political prisoners on hunger strike on a street in central Tirana. They are demanding that the government meets its pledges to pay victims of the former regime 2,000 leks ($18.32; €14.05) per day of imprisonment.

Police said Ndreca's injuries were not life-threatening. He had been jailed for six years for anti-Communist activities.

Protest coordinator Skender Tufa said a second striker who tried to put out the fire Monday also suffered burns.

About 100,000 Albanians were executed, imprisoned or sent to labor camps by the former communist regime that ruled Albania from 1944-1990.