February 12, 2024

08.02.2024 – Journalist Ardit Hoxha Attacked in Tirana, Albania

On 6 February 2024, a concerning case happened inside the building of the Parliament of Albania in Tirana, Albania. Journalist Ardit Hoxha (@ardithoxhabr), the reporter from Euro News Albania (https://euronews.al/), found himself at the center of a disturbing situation with a member of the Albanian Republic Guard who attacked him inside the Parliament building.

As part of standard protocol, journalists covering parliamentary sessions are required to arrive in time before the proceeding starts, positioning themselves outside the meeting area in a special area where journalists are waiting. However, on this day a guard from the Republic Guard forcibly ejected Hoxha from the vicinity.

The aggressive behavior of the Republic Guard towards the journalist is completely unacceptable. This incident represents a troubling escalation in the already fraught relationship between media professionals and security personnel inside the parliament.

It is not the first time that a verbal or physical threat by the state security staff against a journalist in Albania happened. Journalists in Albania are also often verbally attacked or they receive threats from politicians in power or from the opposition or politicians are refusing to respond to a question asked by a journalist who is critical about a politician.

You can see the video of the attack here: https://twitter.com/i/status/1754928706940788976

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the assault on journalist Ardit Hoxha. The physical aggression perpetrated by a member of the Albanian Republic Guard against Hoxha is a serious violation of press freedom and journalistic rights. Such acts of intimidation and violence against members of the press undermine the democratic principles of transparency and accountability. SEEMO calls on Albanian authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident and ensure the safety of journalists covering parliamentary proceedings. This condemnable attack highlights the urgent need to safeguard press freedom and uphold the rights of journalists to carry out their vital work without fear of harassment or reprisal.

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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