JUNE 3, 2005
Posted: August 22, 2005

Bardhyl Ajeti, Bota Sot


Ajeti, 28, a reporter for the Albanian-language daily Bota Sot (World Today), died in an Italian hospital on June 25, three weeks after being shot in Kosovo, Agence France-Presse reported.

Ajeti was driving from Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, to the eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane on June 3 when at least one attacker shot at him from a passing car, according to the Kosova Journalists Association, a local union. Ajeti fell into a coma after being shot and was evacuated to a hospital in Milan where he died, according to Agence France-Presse.

Police spokesman Refki Morina said that Ajeti was shot in the head from a close range, but did not identify any possible motives, according to The Associated Press.

Baton Haxhiu, president of the Kosova Journalists’ Association, told CPJ in a telephone interview that Ajeti wrote daily editorials for Bota Sot, which is allied with the governing Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party. He often criticized opposition party figures in his editorials, Haxhiu told CPJ.

The Temporary Media Commissioner, Kosovo’s internationally supervised media regulator, said in a June 6 statement that Ajeti filed a complaint with the office on May 17 saying that his life had been threatened in a recent newspaper article.

In summer 2002, Bota Sot and Ajeti supported international authorities who arrested former members of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) as part of a broader anti-crime campaign, according to the London-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

A July 11, 2002, editorial by Ajeti carried the heading, “Let’s support KFOR and UNMIK in the war against political and organized crime.” In a July 22 issue he criticized nationalist Albanian protestors for demanding that international forces release the arrested members of the KLA.