March 5, 2024

05.03.2024 -Journalists Threatened During Coverage of Church Construction in Skënderaj / Srbica, located in the Mitrovica District of Kosovo

On 26 February 2024, serious threats and intimidation were directed towards the team of ( in a village in Skënderaj / Srbica, Kosovo. Journalist Adelina Ahmeti and cameraman Jetmir Hoxha, while covering the construction of a church in the Upper Klina (Kline e Eperme/Gornja Klina) village in Kosovo, faced severe threats from one individual, a resident of Middle Klina in the Skënderaj municipality. The website is a BIRN Kosovo and Internews Kosova product.

The issue arose as the team investigated the recent controversy where a proposal to build a Catholic church has encountered resistance from some residents who claim that the land is privately owned and they do not want to have a church.

Having gathered perspectives from Upper Klina residents, the team sought to interview this individual regarding the reported obstacles he faced during the church construction. However, upon arriving at his residence on 26 February 2024 they were confronted by his brother, as confirmed by the Skënderaj Police.

This persons hostile behavior included verbal abuse, threats, and obstruction of the journalists’ work. Despite attempts by the team to defuse the situation and continue their duties, he persisted in his aggressive behavior, even issuing threats directed at the journalists’ safety and freedom to report.

Adelina Ahmeti and Jetmir Hoxha reported the incident to the Skënderaj Police Station, prompting an investigation into the matter.

In response to this incident, the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) stands in solidarity with the journalists of and calls for swift and thorough action by authorities. Freedom of the press and free reporting is essential for democracy, and any attempt to intimidate or obstruct journalists must be met with the full force of the law.

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.

#fyp #mediafreedom #seemo #freespeech #southeasteuropemediaorganisation #ngo #journalist #kosovo #AdelinaAhmeti #JetmirHoxha #kallxo #journalistsattacked #SEEMO #pressfreedom #mediafreedom #freemedia