IFJ Condemns Socialists Over Albanian Attack on Reporter

The International Federation of Journalists today condemned an attack by a government minister in Albania on a journalist during a meeting of the socialist party in the capital, Tirana.

On 14 October, editor-in-chief of the TV station Vizion +, Mr. Ilir Babaramo, was beaten by the Minister of Public Order Luan Rama at Rozafa Palace, during an event organized by the press office of the Prime Minister. This act of violence and intimidation was based on a comment provided by the journalist two months ago in relation to the public security situation in Albania.

“Only days after the local elections which projected an image of democracy and change to the world, such brutal actions stand as a vicious attack on press freedom in this country,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Journalists must be able to work free from intimidation and it is absolutely outrageous that a government official for public order could strike one of our colleague’s,” said White.

The IFJ is saying that the Albanian authorities must respect the principles of press freedom if they are to move forward in negotiations for the conclusion of the Association and Stabilization Agreement between Albania and the European Union.

The IFJ is supporting its affiliates, The Association of Professional Journalists and the League of the Albanian Journalists in calling for immediate action by the government to discipline Minister Luan Rama for his actions.

“Such action by a government official, supposedly representing the public order of the Albanian state, flies in the face of democratic reform and must not be repeated in the future,” said White.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries