Bedrie Loka, who lost her life after using Phostoxin this January, was portrayed in news headlines as a victim of social media denigration. However, this was just the hastily served half of the story in the media. What was momentarily overshadowed was the systematic domestic violence from her husband, as revealed by testimonies and collected evidence. The victim had reported the stalking on TikTok, but not the domestic violence. Faktoje revisits the suicide of Bedrie Loka as a tragic two-act play, where TikTok harassment was used by her abusive husband as an alibi for her self-harm.

Anila Prifti

Defamatory TikTok Posts and the Tragic Death of Bedrie Loka

In December 2022, Bedrie Loka, a 41-year-old mother of four and a factory worker near Durrës, went to the police with the following report:

‘My name is Bedrie Loka. Someone has created an account for me on TikTok, where they’ve posted a photo of me and written many derogatory and offensive words about me. I suspect that this account was created by two individuals who live in neighborhood 4. Her name is Albina D., approximately 30 years old, and her husband Bilbil D. The reason is that this girl, Albina D., works with me, and all the comments she has written are about my work.

Almost a year after this report, on January 2, 2024, the woman passed away in one of QSUT pavilions, after being sent in critical condition due to the consumption of photoxine, now known as a suicide poison. The police also confirmed the use of photoxine as the cause of death.

On that day and thereafter, online and traditional media filled their pages and news editions with headlines:

‘She committed suicide after bullying on TikTok,’ ‘Fake profile on TikTok, woman commits suicide’, etc.

After the media rushed to draw conclusions about the event, without being fully informed, the online network erupted with comments and opinions that only considered one side of the story, the one that had been presented by the media in the first 24 hours following the 41-year-old’s death.

CrowdTangle Data, media headlines about Bedrie Loka’s suicide

 CrowdTangle Data, media headlines about Bedrie Loka’s suicide

Many of the outraged individuals and others linking it to the politics of the day, seemed to have been uninformed about the other side of the truth that remained in obscurity for at least a few days.

‘Bedrie Loka herself made the report of defamation on TikTok. Several people have been questioned. ‘We were unable to obtain data from TikTok in time’ – confirmed Skënder Hitaj, Director of the Durrës Police, to Faktoje.

The police referral to the Prosecutor’s Office was also made in December 2022, and the registered criminal offense is ‘Computer Forgery’ within the context of cybercrime. The initial investigations were conducted by a prosecutor who was removed through the vetting process, and the case was then transferred to another prosecutor.

‘As long as the Penal Code is under review, this will be a chapter that will receive greater attention, as it requires a review of the entire legal framework, respecting freedom of the press, but also taking measures against all citizens who are victims of these cases and especially on social media networks, comments, which have no control, no review, or prohibition when they harm and offend citizens’, said Etilda Gjonaj, Former Minister of Justice, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs, to Faktoje.

‘Today, as we speak, Albania has the highest level of online violence and hate speech. Bedria, like few others, reported and followed all the necessary steps that needed to be taken. This makes the case even more serious. Addressing digital bullying needs a multifaceted approach, involving the state, individuals, communities, and online platforms’, – explains IT expert Besmir Semanaj.

Indeed, even the data from the General Prosecutor’s Office point to significant figures regarding violations in cyberspace, which also include the case in question. According to official reports, there were 255 cybercrime cases registered only in 2022, resulting in 30 indictments and 8 convictions.

However, was the social media denigration of Bedrie Loka the sole reason for her suicide (a complex clue to the circumstances in which it occurred)?

The narrative of bullying on TikTok was also employed as an alibi by the victim’s husband, Xhemal Loka.

‘My wife was killed by TikTok; I loved Bedrie’, he is quoted as saying, referring to the post with Bedrie’s photo accompanied by derogatory words.

TikTok post featuring derogatory language (photo and words censored)

Xhemal Loka was arrested on January 8, nearly a week after his wife’s death, as his problematic character began to be publicly revealed with other pieces of information, including some prior criminal precedents.

Violence against Bedrie began before TikTok even existed

Since March 2000, when my sister got married, he has mistreated her. He has physically assaulted her multiple times. Among other things, Avdi Bushi, the victim’s brother, speaking to journalists after the tragic event states I believe this action was solely due to Xhemal’s violence and is not related to TikTok.

Testimonies of family members, emerging one after another, revealed the root of the story: Bedrie Loka was a victim of systematic violence years before she was denigrated on social media.

Testimonies confirming the violence, which family members claim they were aware of but all chose to accept and remain silent about, including the victim, Bedrie Loka herself. Durres Police confirmed that there had been no report from Bedrie Loka regarding violence from her husband.

New Sukth, Bedrie Loka’s place of residence

‘As for violence from her husband, we have had no reports. He is currently being accused of suicide instigation’, confirmed the Director of Durres Police, Skënder Hitaj, to Faktoje.

‘On December 27th, when dad came home, he confronted mom, claiming he had heard rumors about her from others. He said all sorts of things to mom. He said exactly that he would kill her, he insulted her with harsh words, and he hit mom with fists and kicks. He even accused her, saying ‘You are cheating on me’, testified Kledjan Loka, the youngest son of the family.

He was one of the couple’s sons, the one who recorded the video documenting the violence and pressure exerted on the victim a few days before her passing, under circumstances that remain unclear.

I have suspicions and a strong belief that my sister consumed poison due to the relationship and the pressure she faced from her husband. I know Xhemal very well; he has been abusive and hasn’t treated my sister well, especially over the past two years. My sister has told me several times that he didn’t treat her well, and I’ve told Xhemal many times not to mistreat my sister‘ says another brother, Mahmut Bushi.

As investigations proceed, the prosecution specifies that, based on current data, it appears that the suicide did not result from denigration on the TikTok, but rather from the long-standing violence of the husband.

Psychiatric experts and criminologists also argue about the effects of violence on tragic outcomes.

We don’t know if Bedrie Loka was offered photoxine, or if she took it herself. She didn’t have mental health issues; she was experiencing ongoing blackmail, psychological, and physical violence. It is up to the anti-crime unit to discover whether her husband Xhemali is the one who, through blackmail, brought her closer to poison or not‘, says a prominent psychiatrist who prefers not to be publicly identified.

Xhevair Çeloaliaj, a criminalistics expert, shares a similar viewpoint.

‘From the moment a fake account was created on TikTok, she was subjected to denigration and blackmail; it caused her distress and positioned her as the guilty party. Her husband could be the one who did this‘, Çeloaliaj suggests.

Suicide and murder of women

More than a month after the incident, investigations continue regarding the charge of suicide instigation, with the victim’s husband as the suspect, but doubts abound. The fact is that 41-year-old Bedrie Loka was added to the list of victims after enduring various forms of violence, including physical and psychological abuse within the walls of her home, as well as prejudice and bullying in society.

She is a victim of a denigrating pandemic against women, a pandemic that seems to have no end. The reaction to women’s complaints is often weak and only comes when a life has been lost, and social and legal sensitivity increases‘ says Vali Qyrfyqi, an experienced journalist on social issues in Durrës, to Faktoje.

The statistics illustrate the alarming situation of violence in all its forms against women. In the General Prosecutor’s report, it is stated that 1038 individuals were convicted of domestic violence in 2022. During the same year, there were 4,000 reported cases of domestic violence, with 2,400 protection orders issued for women and girls.

The report published by the WHO ranks Albania second after Romania regarding this phenomenon in Central Europe. In the same year, there were 233 registered suicide instigation procedures, but only 2 resulted in convictions. Out of a total of 90 suicides, 30% of them are women.  Official data from the State Police provided to Faktoje indicate that from 2010 to the present, 159 women have been victims of domestic violence.

Statistics for female victims of domestic violence (Source: INSTAT)



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