Avni Rustem

Rustem, Avni

 

Born Sept. 26, 1895, in Libohovë; died Apr. 22, 1924, in Tirana. Figure in the Albanian national liberation and revolutionary democratic movement. Schoolteacher by profession.

In 1918–19, Rustem organized revolutionary youth in Vlonë (Valona) and initiated protests against the Italian occupation forces. In 1920 he was imprisoned in Paris for his attempt on the life of the reactionary Albanian political leader E. Toptani. In response to progressive public opinion, Rustem was set free, and he returned to Albania. From 1921 to 1924 he was an organizer and leader of the democratic organizations Atdhe and Bashkimi; he was also a leader of the parliamentary opposition. He was killed as the result of a conspiracy organized by the government of A. Zogu. Rustem’s funeral turned into a nationwide antigovernment demonstration.