European Federation of Journalists

Albanian PM insulted journalists for reporting on drug trafficking involving former minister

The European Federation of Journalists joins its affiliate the Association of Professional Journalists of Albania (APJA) as well as the Association of Electronic Media of Albania (AEMA) and the League of Albanian Journalists (LAJ) in expressing profound indignation over the insults and the attacks done by Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama to the Albanian media on October 25, 2017.

Following the Plenary session – where the ruling majority voted against the request to lift the parliamentarian immunity for the arrest of the former Minister of Interior, Saimir Tahiri, suspected to be linked to the activity of an Albanian-Italian narcotics trafficking organization – the Prime Minister said to journalists during live broadcast for several TV channels in front of the Parliament:

“Shame on all of you and those like you who have not yet understood what it is about and continue to torment people with these nonsense questions.” Your questions arise out of ignorance, you are so ignorant, pitiful”. “These are miserable questions”. “You transmit as copper wire, which neither grasps nor understands.” “You put me in an idiotic position with your questions”, “You are an unexpected rumor amplifier, “How can you understand when you don’t read”, “It’s your right to act as a fool”.

The EFJ reminds that any journalist has the right to ask questions that politicians may dislike and this is not a reason to intimidate and attack them for their investigative work. This repeated behavior towards Albanian journalists must stop.

Photo credit: GENT SHKULLAKU / AFP