2 November 2019 Message of President Meta on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalistst
Media freedom in our country has unfortunately worsened significantly.
The environment and working conditions for journalists as well. Censorship and self-censorship are clearly felt in their daily reporting. Excessive and diverse political pressures have shut down television shows and removed prominent figures from journalism. While the evening’s political broadcast panels are more oriented to the interests of oligarchs and PPP-s, rather than the public and national interest.
Many illegal websites have put “Fake News” into the system, serving the state of propaganda. While the practices of “ready-made tapes” and “central directed” broadcasts are increasingly being imposed on television.
A government-proposed “anti-defamation” legal initiative has shocked the community of journalists and world-wide organizations monitoring media freedom in our country.
“Voice of America” and “Deutsche Welle” remain the only reliable sources of information for Albanians even 30 years after the fall of communism, as Albanian media continue to be pressured and blackmailed, at the expense of reporting the real news missing credibility in the eyes of public opinion.
The concerns of journalists are not being heard, and many media owners and executives who benefit from suspicious sources of funding or from public funds are shamelessly “yelling” for media freedom.
Still today no one knows the authors and those who ordered a gun attack on the family home of journalist Klodiana Lala or the barbaric beating of journalist Elvi Fundo, although a state investigation has been launched in both cases.
For all these reasons and not only, according to the conclusions of the journalist organization “Reporters Without Borders”, Albania has dropped by 7 places in the World Press Freedom Index.
“Freedom House” has raised the alarm that media in Albania is partly free.
The conclusions of the seven global organizations “Mission for Media Freedom” and the OSCE/ODIHR report have also drawn attention to the deteriorating, grave and highly distressing situation facing journalists in Albania.
Without a free and independent media, Albania’s path to the European Union is impossible.
So today, on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, I strongly urge the renunciation of physical and psychological violence, intimidation, blackmail and any kind of pressure, wherever it may come from, on journalists.
I express my full solidarity with them and encourage them to pursue their mission boldly, without fear, in the interest of public and national interest, transparency and accountability at every level of the state.
Their professional and human integrity should be strictly respected and no one should dare, for any reason, intimidate a journalist in the line of duty.
By condemning vigorously and severely any form of violence against reporters, I emphasize that freedom of speech and media freedom are an indispensable condition to respect human rights in a democratic society.