July 1, 2024

01.07.2024 – Alarming Threats Against Kosovo Journalist and Attack by MP on Flutura Kusari

Kosovo-Journalist Vullnet Krasniqi, who is working for Nacionale (https://nacionale.com/) has recently faced a severe death threat, delivered through a TikTok video by a resident of the Preshevo Valley (Lugina e Preshevës / Preševska dolina), Serbia. The video contained explicit and violent language, with the individual threatening to harm Krasniqi and his family. Krasniqi has reported the incident to the Kosovo Police, and there are urgent calls for immediate action to locate and apprehend the individual responsible. There is also an urgent need for police protection to ensure Krasniqi’s safety, highlighting the severity of the threat and its potential impact on press freedom.

Simultaneously, concerns about media freedom in Kosovo have escalated due to recent statements by a Member of Parliament (MP) from one of the political parties in Kosovo, who used his platform in the Kosovo Parliament to launch unprecedented attacks on the media and civil society members. During his speech, he boasted about halting financial flows to the media. This MP specifically targeted media lawyer and press freedom activist Flutura Kusari, accusing her of attempting to dictate parliamentary actions under the guise of media freedom. He accused her of publicly attempting to dictate parliamentary decisions on the Independent Media Commission (IMC) law while supporting oligarchs under the guise of media freedoms.

Flutura Kusari leads the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF – https://www.ecpmf.eu/) legal support program, helping media workers across Europe. She co-leads the Anti-SLAPP efforts in Europe and is an expert for the EU and Council of Europe. She holds a PhD in Media Law from Ghent University, Belgium.

In response to these incidents, South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the recent attacks on media freedom in Kosovo and urges the authorities to take decisive steps to safeguard journalists’ rights and ensure a free and open media environment. SEEMO stresses that such attacks are a serious infringement on press freedom and calls for immediate measures to protect journalists and uphold democratic values in the region. SEEMO stands in solidarity with Flutura Kusari.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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