Press freedom in Albania is deteriorating, the Committee to Protect Journalists and six other international press freedom and freedom of expression organizations said in a statement released yesterday.
From June 18 to 21, CPJ joined a delegation of press freedom groups on a mission to Albania, and met with journalists, editors, lawyers, press freedom advocates, and politicians to gather information about challenges to freedom of expression and press freedom in the country and to bring concerns directly to Albanian government representatives.
In recent years, CPJ has documented cases of journalists being attacked, targeted by smear campaigns, or caught up in violence during anti-government protests in Albania.
The statement notes that physical attacks against journalists have gone unresolved, public officials regularly use language that belittles and smears critical journalists, and the government, including the office of the prime minister and the mayor of Tirana, are not transparent in their interactions with the media and restrict access to critical journalists. Recently proposed legislation, including a draconian regulation scheme for Albanian and foreign online media outlets, is not in line with European and international human rights standards.
Read the full statement here.