The tragic testimony of the former teacher from Tropoja: I was sentenced to prison because I refused to go one night to the bed of Feçor Shehu's friend!

2023-10-14 08:17:59Histori SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

They condemned him for politics, that he would flee abroad, when something like that had never occurred to him. The arrest of Rukie Rama, in the winter of '75, did not resemble any of the stories we are used to hearing during the regime, despite the fact that it was served as such.

The motive for handcuffing the beautiful teacher of Tropoja hills was not related to enmity with the system. Rukie Rama had fallen victim to another enmity: He had refused to submit to a senior Security official and had ended up in the pay cell. Her story would eventually be collected in a 'secret' file, with fictitious names and events, that contained nowhere the truth of the punishment.

However, she, with the strength of her character, was able to overcome this and rise stronger, to strongly denounce him, so that her friends would not experience such fates. Punished by the beauty and greed of the powerful of the system, it revealed another unknown aspect of the perverse character of the regime's representatives. In an exclusive interview, Rukie Rama agrees to show the real "file" of her drama, pointing the finger at the protagonist who ordered the opening of the ghost file, which would rob her of the most beautiful days of her youth.

"My file was opened by Feçor Shehu, when I refused to go to bed one night, with a high official of the Ministry of the Interior". Beyond the debates about the opening of files, which has involved Tirana recently, Rukie Rama, conveys from Brussels, where she has been living for years, the sad message that the process can now be unreliable, not only for the long delays, but also for the compromising way, how they have been operated during this time by the official authorities...!
Mrs. Rukie, what do you think about the recent debate about the opening of the Security files, given that you are one of the victims of the communist regime?
Opening files, useless words and noise. If there was some kind of predisposition, even minimal, these 25 years, they would have been opened several times, and this chapter would have been finally closed. Apparently, this has not interested the political class, those who have run the country, during this time. Now not only is it late, but the process I suspect could be compromising. When I say this, I mean what could have been done with the files, during this period, where various officials did what they wanted with them...!

As far as you were able to find out afterwards, who opened your file?

My file was opened by the direct order of Feçor Shehu, then director general of the State Security. I don't know what was collected there, but its truth has nothing to do with political motives, as they accused me, that; I would escape to Yugoslavia. Something like that had never occurred to me. I didn't even have a reason, a trusted teacher from the Tropoja highlands, to leave my country, my family, my beloved students, who loved me and I loved them with all my heart...!

So there was another reason for your arrest?

I wanted to say a banal reason that even after so many years I find it hard to mention. A senior official of the State Security, a close friend of Feçor Shehu, asked me to sleep with him one night and I refused. This was the reason that Feçor Shehu, this sex maniac, in the form of payback, but also to hide the traces of stupidity, ordered the opening of my file. I don't know what was left written in that file, from this truth, but I can say that, when Feçori was sentenced, someone pointed this out to him as well. Not that he felt sorry for me, but he needed to sink it, as deep as possible. To this Feçor and the awl that he kept close, whenever I hear his name, my flesh tingles...!

Did you know that recently a municipality in Albania declared Feçor Shehu "Honorary Citizen"?

God, don't make it worse...! This is the expression that is most often used by us, in cases of misfortune, and then, to comfort ourselves, the conversation continues: it's getting worse and worse! I heard from the television that the figure of Feçor Shehu was appreciated, he became an "Honorary Citizen". Shame, a hundred times shame! Those who have decorated it, not only have no mercy for our suffering, but bring to the public as a model, a bastard, a criminal, who has left nothing undone, even beyond the laws of time. This is one more reason that convinces me of the real reason why our files have not been opened and will not be opened. In this line, the case of Feçor Shehu is not alone. Surprisingly, this all-Albanian democracy is rehabilitating, and even honoring with solemnities, the persecutors of the regime. This is a wound that will apparently never heal.

Do you think we are dealing with a phenomenon, or is it an isolated case?

When the case is followed by numerous cases of this nature, as has actually happened, this is, in the full sense of the word, a phenomenon. A shocking phenomenon even! Some time ago, from a trip I was taking by tram in Brussels, I caught the eye of a person who harassed me. As the wound, no matter how much it closes, still something remains of it, the change of time teases him. So there are many factors that do not let you forget. Why was I bullied on this trip to Brussels?! The presence of this guy, who was traveling with me on this public transport, took me back in time. This was one of the trusted officials of that regime, at that time, he made a painful and inhumane scene with me. She was on her way to come to the prison, to bring me the change and some food that was allowed in the cell conditions.

Since time was limited for the visiting schedule, she tries to take the stairs of the Committee, to shorten the distance a little to reach the schedule. But an instructor of this Committee, who had gone out into the yard, shook his chains and grazed his eyes at some passerby and, with a sadistic expression, turned to her: "Where are you going, mother of the criminal? You have no right to climb these stairs! Your daughter is an enemy of the people"!

And this mother, with her soul between her teeth, sweating from physical fatigue, begs him: "Leave me, son, because I am going to the Internal Branch, because they are closing the door, it has been two weeks that I have not brought him any change, and I have not I can come next Sunday". But the person, trusted official, is intolerable. He turns it back. How many, and how many others, has this heartless official turned back in those years, when he was proud of his red collar and party tessa in his pocket.

I know on dozens of occasions that this guy, in the name of the party, has sent them to hell in the prisons of communism. Strangely enough, this person is now in the same vehicle with me, and I feel so awkward that I get off the tram at the first stop, so as not to see that stale face. But the wonder does not end there! In an activity that I was seeing on the television screen, this very guy raised two fingers and shouted: "Democratic Party, Democratic Party".

Recently democratized, he had finally been rewarded by the ruling party and had come to Brussels (!) Well, is there any principle in these transitions, any ethics, any norms? That it seems to me that it is becoming a game of chairs, since I am not able to understand who has the right to be called a democrat today; the one who, for 30 years, was a member of the Labor Party, a Security officer, an investigator, an operative? He was in executive bodies at that time and today he talks to me about democracy!

So you think that if the files had been opened, this person you say and the others, would have received moral punishment at least?

It is said; "to open the files", is demanded forcefully sometimes in cases of campaigns, but the biggest misery of the political persecuted, is that we are being used as garnishes, in different campaigns. And what files can be opened after 25 years, when they have passed dozens of times, in the hands of those who made them? So, they removed and put what they wanted, who opened these files and left them in their hands.

From the entire group of those who opened and carried out the process against me, most of them today are notaries, inspectors, lawyers, or even diplomatic representatives. During this period, they went and dug into the files of that process. (I have facts about this.) Not that they would be afraid of me, because I was still powerless, but now as democrats, they had to not be their name, in those inhuman actions they have done. However, the files don't tell all…!

One must be realistic in expressing some things, regardless of the times that pass, and indeed, the tortures that were done to us and we have passed on our backs have not been legalized. So these are not recorded in our files, but they are concreted in our minds and hearts, they are documented in our physical, like the finger of my hand. An experiment was done on my being and they really did it in Pukë, where from there, I ended up in Tirana prison. Very beautiful is an expression that is said by an Egyptian thinker: "Man is not judged under torture". However, these sadists took advantage of the words that we could say in the agony of the soul, from the unbearable pain they caused us.

We seem calm in the desert, but the soul always boils and boils. How can I forget the Burrelas, that for a hobby, to please their eyes, that she was a young girl and not ugly, they experimented with torture, to see how her limbs would turn out?! How can I forget January 12, 1975, when all the cells of "Bajram Curri" were soiled with our feces, because we were given spoiled food and no one opened the cell doors to go to that pseudo -bathroom that was used by more than 30 people and very rarely had running water. "Blessed as a fool" - says Balzac, and maybe it would be good to be a fool; as we mountain people say: "Good yogurt, good tamale". So the fool accepts whatever is served to him.

It is January 22, 1975, they are returning me from Tirana. It's very cold. In Tirana this time, they brought me to prove that I had the most sacred thing, to maneuver them to deny that thing, to recruit a person who did not have a backbone, but thanks to the doctors of the Tirana maternity hospital, the names of whom, it is not important to mention them, but who were intellectuals, parents and did not accept any compromise, to tarnish the image of the doctor and wrote as it was. I had three days without putting anything in my mouth. Whether they forgot me or did it on purpose, I never found out, but I know I could barely stand. My companions, the famous investigators, wanted to eat some roasted meat in Gjegjan t Puka, and not having confidence to leave me in the car, even though I was tied up, they were forced to take me to the canteen.

I never forget the chef's face at the kitchen counter. He guessed that I'm a prisoner and says to the waiter: "Tell the investigator to allow that girl a pasta", and secretly put a piece of meat under those pasta. But the vigilant inspector, the investigator, understood that trick and ordered to remove it. However, I ate two spoons of pasta after three days and I got some strength. Of course, this investigator is now dead, since he was then in his 60s, so definitely, his children are somewhere privileged.

Many times the reluctance to open files is justified by the fact that during the regime, everyone was persecuted; how do you rate this?

How much I revolt sometimes when they say: "We have all been persecuted". How wrong these people are! How do they not understand that they stick needles in our crushed souls? How can a prisoner in a cell, beaten and tortured, not eaten and frozen from the cold, be compared with a free person, a ministry employee, a cadre in a department or an employee in a cooperative or farm, but at least, they have not been denied air, water, the right to speak, the right to see their own people. Regularly follows the developments, anywhere in the world. Very rightly, the Germans say: "We had a problem when we opened the files, because there were disagreements within the family."

A Spanish woman wanted to know who had killed her father; not to get revenge, but just wanted to know. But I, who had 43 witnesses against them, not counting some who were part of the Department of Internal Affairs, the 1,200 leks, which were always used. So I argued with everyone, and the biggest misery was, that many of them, I never understood why they entered that dance?! Or did the sea become yogurt, not counting that they were killing a man, not thinking that they were playing with a mother's heart.

Was it at that time, where were these democrats of today, that no one raised their head, in my defense, but I really shadowed these people, with my intellectual and organizational skills, as for my appearance, it was a gift of God and I was in love with myself, with the flowers of the field of Bytyqi, with the carnation of Gjerovica, with the puffiness of the lakes of Sulbica, with my profession. For me, my students were my life and, just as they were flowers, I struggled to make flowers for them and the environment where they were educated. As far as you know, the territorial border of my country, either in the mountains or in the north, I have never had more than an hour's walk away, but it has never occurred to me to cross the border of my country, for any better life elsewhere.

So, Feçori is being decorated, Vito Kapo, the party's investigators and secretaries were democratized and the decorations continue, for everyone, merit or demerit. I was traveling on a plane, returning from Albania, and in the first class of it, there was a lawyer, an employee of the Albanian state. To my surprise, I saw him carrying a bag in his hand and walking with a smile. The price of that bag was 3500 euros and for us persecuted, the fund is not enough for anything. We are always shrinking and crouching, until the earth covers us.

This is the truth that is in my country, this is the word game that takes place, this is the game of chairs. It is democracy. I started it with the popular saying "Don't be worse, oh God" and I'm closing it with this expression: "The thing that is rare, is expensive; even the right, because it is expensive, is rarely found". I am adding something. When Freud was asked to educate a four-year-old, he said, "It's too late." What about these people, who are making and undoing theories every day?!/