Agitation and Propaganda against the State
Constitution 55, or Agitation and Propaganda against the State (Albanian: Agjitacion dhe Propagandë kundër shtetit), was a criminal offence in Communist Albania. This law was used from 1945 until 1991 and was into the Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.
The term was interchangeably used with counterrevolutionary agitation. The latter one was in use after the Albanian Resistance of World War II and was gradually phased out by the end of the 1990s in favor of the former one. According to article 55 of the Albanian Penal Code enacted during Hoxhaism, "propaganda and agitation that called to overturn or undermining of the Albanian power" was punishable with at least 6 months of imprisonment and up to the death sentence in the periods of war or unrest.
Article 55 was defined:
- The creation of any type of organization of a fascist, anti-democratic, religious, and anti-socialist character is prohibited.
- Fascist, anti-democratic, religious, war-mongering, and anti-socialist activities and propaganda, as well as the incitement of national and racial hatred are prohibited.
The article 55 was considered by the critics of the Albanian System as a grave violation of the freedom of speech. It was among the main legal instruments for the prosecution of the Albanian dissidents, some other being the punitive psychiatry and the offense of the social parasitism. While the clauses were phrased using the provision "with the purpose of", official commentaries (referred to as "Additions and Explanations to..."), as well as the actual legal practice made it sufficient to assert that the prosecuted person of sane mind must have realized the malicious implications of their utterances. This article was the most common tool in fighting Albanian dissidents. The first time the law was used was in 1951 at the bombing of Soviet Embassy.
- Simons, W.B.; te Leiden. Documentatie Bureau voor Oost-Europees Recht, R. (1980). The Constitutions of the Communist World. M. Nijhoff. p. 8. ISBN 9789028600706. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Bjoern Andersen, Sociologist. "The Albanian Constitution of 1976". bjoerna.dk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "2010 | Kolec Topalli: Communist Persecution in Albanian Studies". albanianhistory.net. Archived from the original on 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Abrahams, F.; Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (Organization : U.S.) (1996). Human Rights in Post-communist Albania. Human Rights Watch. p. 10. ISBN 9781564321602. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Stalinism and Communism in Albania (January 1949)". marxists.org. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Council of American Ambassadors > Publications > The Ambassadors REVIEW > Religious Freedom in Albania". Archived from the original on 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2015-04-05.