EFJ Condemns Press Freedom Abuses against Albanian Journalists

Today the

European Federation of Journalists expressed its concern about severe threats

to press freedom and violent attacks against several

journalists in Albania following last week protest in Tirana.


situation in Albania makes it impossible for journalists to work freely," said EFJ President Arne König. "A violent

environment is already a challenge for media professionals, but if the police

and authorities add physical violence and legal abuses, then we end up in an

intolerable situation for journalists.  Albanian and foreign public  have to right to know what is

happening in the country and it is the role of the authorities to guarantee the

exercise of the profession instead of putting pressure on journalists".

On 31

January a Parliamentary Commission set up by the Albanian ruling party demanded

access to the phone records of four Albanian journalists accused of being

"conspirators" in the violent anti-government protest that took place in Tirana

last 21 January, when several journalists were attacked.

The ad-hoc

Parliamentary Commission has asked to see the

phone records of Filip Cakulli, the director of the investigative programme "Fiks

Fare" on Top-Channel TV; Sokol Balla, the anchor of the popular show "Top-Story"

on Top Channel TV; Mero Baze, the publisher of the daily TemA and Andi

Bushati, the anchor of a show on Vizion Plust TV called "Zone e Lire".


government's decision follows the violent

street in Tirana of 21 January when several

journalists were assaulted and even shot at by the National Guard.


Janina, reporter for Dhekulli newspaper was beaten in the middle of the street

by a policeman who told him "I do not give a damn that you are a journalist".

Fatos Mahmutaj of ABC News was shot at by a

police officer who opened fire from the Prime

Minister's office courtyard: "I saw the fire in his gun barrel, I felt

the impact of the bullet in my head,"

Mahmuta said.

Two other

journalists, photojournalist feliks Bilani

and reporter Elton Dono were seriously wounded by police officers.


calls on the Albanian authorities to respect European standards of press

freedom, which include the right for journalists to operate freely, not be

targeted by the police and not be forced to reveal their sources of


The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists

in 30 countries
For more information contact

the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200