IFJ Protests Over Intimidation of Independent Media and Critical Journalists in Albania

The International Federation of Journalists today protested in a letter to the Albanian Prime Minister, Fatos Nano, against legal actions taken against the Koha Jone and its publisher Nikolle Lesi.


Fatos Nano,

Prime Minister

Albania,

Fax: 00355 4 234818

Email: administrator@km.gov.al


21 May 2004


Dear Prime Minister,


The International Federation of Journalists, the world’s largest journalists organization representing over 500,000 journalists, is concerned about recent actions by your office against the editors of Koha Jone and Tema.


According to our information you are bringing a case of defamation against Nikolle Lesi, the editor of Koha Jone, and attempting to withdraw his immunity from prosecution that he currently enjoys as a member of parliament.


The Association of Professional Journalists of Albania and the League of Albanian Journalists, both affiliated to the IFJ, have condemned these actions believing them to be part of a larger attempt to intimidate independent media and critical journalists.


A further protest from the Albanian Forum of Free Media cites recent cases against the daily Tema and the editor Mero Baze as further attempts to undermine the free press.


The IFJ calls upon you to immediately withdraw your case against Nikolle Lesi and the Koha Jone and to cease all actions that undermine journalism critical of the government.


Kind Regards



AIDAN WHITE

IFJ General Secretary