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Video-testimonies: Demir Pojani about Burrel prison


Even when you died, they broke you in half. A friend of mine died at Burrel Prison, and they
would bring some small coffins. They broke the body into four pieces, folded the bones and
put them in the coffin. They desecrated the body: whenever the officer walked by, he’d kick
the dead man’s face. To them, man had no value whatsoever. They went and took them
kilometers away, to the units where workers had slept in Puka; they’d take wooden boards
with bedbugs. They brought them to the cells, pretending they felt bad. The most terrible
thing! The boards had bedbugs and they had brought them intentionally to have bedbugs
sucking our blood. They came out in the evening, even during the day, like gnats. We didn’t
know what to do with them. We took them with a newspaper and burned them. It was
impossible to escape from them. You lived like a dog, 6.9 grams of oil, 42 grams of rice,
pasta, or beans, which were infected too. Very often they had worms and flies, and 120 grams

of vegetables. The leeks had soil on them, disgusting leeks that I don’t know where they
found them, because they were wild leeks, and pepper. You cannot imagine what they did.
The cell had its window open permanently. It never closed! There were no panes. There was a
door at the front. When the door opened at winter, there was terrible wind. Temperatures
would hit negative 15-20 degrees. We slept on cement and there were cases where we tried to
save ourselves by drying the very bread that we longed for so much, we dried its crust and
placed it on our ribs so as not to have them crushed by the cement. There was nothing more
terrible. The body consumed energy for 24 hours on foot like a horse: 10-15 days.

They gave you one blanket at 10 p.m. and took it away from you at 6 a.m. you had one blanket for eight
hours: if you had two pairs of pants, they took a pair away, if you had two shirts, they took
one away. There were doctors, but when one of the prisoners’ appendix burst, they didn’t
open his door but left him to die. If your father died, you would dream to say it, let alone
think of burying your father from prison. You don’t believe it, no-one does. How could
someone believe such monstrosities. Police officers themselves would say: “This is Burrel:
you come in and never leave”. Five people hung themselves during my time there.

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