Albania – Freedom of Expression and Media Freedom in danger

a law which:

  • gives to the government agencies the powers similar to those of courts.
  • prescribes that decisions, sanctions and fines of government agencies are immediately applicable even when the media outlet files a case with the court.
  • offers no guarantees that journalists can exercise their profession and their role to check government work and be potential sources for prosecutors to initiate investigations.
Klara Buda

The two anti-defamation draft laws passed by the Media Commission of the Parliament session and yesterday, 18 December, the parliament voted the law, while journalists and civil society were protesting outside the parliament building. The opposition voted against but couldn’t convict the majority to change the draft.

The majority didn’t listen to the recommendations by the European Commission and Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights and passed the red line by voting a law which:

  • gives to the government agencies the powers similar to those of courts.
  • prescribes that decisions, sanctions and fines of government agencies are immediately applicable even when the media outlet files a case with the court.
  • offers no guarantees that journalists can exercise their profession and their role to check government work and be potential sources for prosecutors to initiate investigations.
  • prescribes very high sanctions and fines which will be destructive for the small independent media.
  • gives no guarantees that government agencies will be proportionate in their decisions.

We ask OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to review the position about the autoregulation of media online #Albania and a low which gives to AMA the powers similar to those of courts. The effect will be dramatic for #FreedomOfExpression, media freedom, and #democracy.