15 August 2019 Reaction of the President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta
The President of the Republic of Albania, H. E. Ilir Meta is following with a great deal of attention the deep concerns expressed by the community of Albanian journalists and by the international organizations monitoring the freedom of the media in our country regarding the “Anti-Defamation” legal initiative proposed by the government.
While sharing the conviction that any attack on the media institutions is a crackdown on our democracy, President Meta stresses the indispensability of the government and also of the Parliament to review and to consider all the suggestions placed forward by the community of journalists with the proper care and attention that they deserve.
President Meta expresses the conviction that the engagement of the institutions and our society in support of freedom of expression serves as an indicator of democracy, good governance and of the public accountability in the country.
President Meta emphasizes that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and an irreplaceable and vital column of a modern and democratic society, as well as the guarantee of the accountability by all the public institutions.
The drop by seven places in the World Media Freedom Index, according to the findings of the World Reporters without Borders;
The conclusions of the Freedom House annual Report that the media in Albania is partly free;
The conclusions of the “Media’s Freedom Mission” compiled by seven global organizations according to which “The Albanian authorities are not fulfilling and meeting their obligations under the domestic law and international instruments as well to guarantee the freedom of expression and the media, stressing that there has been a deterioration of security, conditions of work and access to information by the journalists”;
The OSCE / ODIHR’s preliminary report highlighted that “the large media outlets serve as lobbying platforms for their owners, therefore placing under question marks their editorial independence and imposing self-censorship”;
These serve as loud alarm sounding bells about the worsening and extremely disturbing situation that journalists in Albania are facing at the present day.
President Meta guarantees the community of journalists that he will always supports them against any attempt aimed to infringe and to harm and to threaten the free speech and media’s independence, which risks to return our country 30 years back.
Albania’s path to the European Union is impossible without a free and independent media.