Albania: Two media outlets and four journalists sued by judge

Two defamation lawsuits have been launched on June 9 by Gjin Gjoni, a member of the High Council of Justice in Albania. They target the daily Shqiptarja.com along with its journalists Adriatic Doci and Elton Qyno, as well as the Balkan Investigative Reporting in Albania (BIRN) and reporters Besar Likmeta and Aleksandra Bogdani. The latter two journalists are both winners of the prestigious CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism. Gjoni and his wife Elona Caushi are seeking a total of 7 million lek (€52,000) in damages, for three stories published by BIRN over the last year, related to an investigation…

Albanian journalist Elvi Fundo attacked in Tirana

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns the attack perpetrated against Elvi Fundo, director of Citynews.al online portal and Radio Best, on Wednesday 8 March 2017 in Tirana, Albania. According to media reports, Elvi Fundo was beaten up by unidentified assailants near the train station. He was later sent to the hospital. He declared to Balkan Insight, the news portal of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network: “Two individuals attacked me near my office at 10.30 am, causing injuries (…) I don’t believe it’s a political attack but the work of criminals financed by corrupt media clans tied to drug-trafficking.” Albanian…

Albanian government accused of “sophisticated silence censorship”

Four months before the next general elections in Albania, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received alerting information regarding new regulations affecting media freedom situation in the country. The EFJ has been informed that new amendments proposals have been tabled by the ruling Socialist Party to the Article 78/7 of the Election Code and if adopted would seriously damage online media freedom in the country and potentially legalize censorship in Albania. The proposed amendments ambiguously target “uncontrolled and unregistered news websites” and “mandates state authorities to close them down if they engage in election propaganda or conduct unauthorized opinion…

15 points to improve working conditions for journalists in Western Balkans and Turkey

Bosnian / Türkçe / Shqiptar / Montenegro The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate the Association of Professional Journalists in Albania (APJA) have successfully organised on 19/12/2016 in Tirana (Albania) the training of trainers’ workshop for Labour Rights Expert Group (LAREG+) in the framework of its Unesco supported project called Building Trust in media in South East Europe and Turkey (#TrustinMediaSEE). Tim Dawson (NUJ President, UK) acted as expert during this event and gave the course based on his long serving experience as trade unionist in the United Kingdom to trainers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro…

Albanian journalists barred from attending media commission hearing

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate, the Association of Professional Journalists (APJ) in Albania expresses firmly its disappointment and concern for failed Commission hearing in the Albanian Parliament. The session was planned for today, where a hearing was organised at the Commission of the media with the former director of the TV Channel A1News. Alida Tota, who was sacked due to an investigative report made last August. The investigation was about the tragic death of a 17-year-old man Ardi Gjoklaj, who was illegally working at a landfill under supervision of the Municipality of Tirana. The Association…

EFJ and IFJ condemn threats on journalist in Kosovo

The International and European Federations of Journalists today called on the authorities in Kosovo to guarantee effective protection of journalist Leonard Kerquki who has received threats. Leonard Kerquki, editor-in-chief of online portal Gazeta Express in Kosovo, has been receiving death threats after his report on war crimes during the conflict between Kosovo and Serbia was premiered on the website on 23 October. The documentary he directed addresses a sensitive aspect of the Kosovo war: the war crimes of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) against Serbian and Bosniak minorities. Leonard Kerquki began receiving threats on Monday 24 October 2016 on the…

Albanian journalists demand Parliament to reject law threatening media freedom

The Association of Professional Journalists (APJ) in Albania together with a coalition of journalists’ organisations called on the Albanian Parliament to withdraw a provision in an anti-corruption law that would threaten media freedom. According to APJ, the controversial Article 13 in the law regulating “the organisation and functioning of institution to encounter corruption and organised crime” will impose censorship on journalists and media organisations. The provision says ”any inappropriate influence on the work of the special prosecutors or their actions on specific issues through the public authorities or the media, or any other form of pressure that impacts on the independence of…

Albanian National Theatre Director attacks a journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Association of Professional Journalists in Albania and the Union of Journalists of Albania condemning the attack of television journalist, Eni Shehu, by the Director of the National Theater, Hervin Çuli, on 15 January in Tirana. The attack took place on Friday when Shehu and his collegues went to the premiere of a play shown in the National Theater. It was not known why Çuli attacked Shehu. Following the attack, Shehu has reported the attack to the police. He suffered from minor injuries. The two journalists’ organisations was outraged by the attack and have demanded the Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and the Minister of Culture, Mirela…

Media Integrity Matters

EU & Public service values in the Western Balkans media

On 18/11/2014, a conference entitled “Media Integrity Matters – Reclaiming public service values in the Western Balkans media: How should the European Union Respond ?” has been organized in Brussels by MEP Tanja Fajon. The event was a follow-up to the publication of the book “Media integrity matters” in June 2014, comprising the research conducted in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia. The study aims at addressing the obstacles to a democratic development of media systems in the countries of South East Europe/Western Balkans by pointing out corrupt relations and practices in media policy, media ownership and financing,…