KOSOVO: SEEMO/IPI Condemn Press Release Attacking Journalist Halil Matoshi

KOSOVO, 18/01/2011

The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns a written attack by the Kosovo Liberation Army's Veterans Association against journalist Halil Matoshi, a columnist for the daily Koha Ditore.

On 6 January 2011 the newspaper published an article by Matoshi about the challenges facing Kosovo in 2011. Matoshi reportedly stated that certain people wanted a form of "patriotic anarchy" in which they could claim the right to distinguish between good and bad patriots. 

On 7 January 2011, the Veterans Association sent out a press release in which Matoshi was portrayed as a traitor, and describing him as "one of the pieces of trash the occupiers have left us."

"We are alarmed by the written attack on journalist Matoshi", said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General. "Attacks against journalists, including those seeking to portray them as traitors, are unacceptable and must be strongly condemned."

He added: "Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and any form of pressure directed at a journalist is worrying."

SEEMO will continue to monitor the situation, and urges the authorities in Pristina to thoroughly investigate this situation and to ensure Matoshi's safety.

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