May 8, 2024

08.05.2024 – Meida Freedom Concerns Rise in Kosovo Amid Politician’s Verbal Attacks

Lëvizja Vetëvendosje (Self-determination Movement), Kosovo’s ruling party, has ignited controversy over its recent interactions about the nation’s media environment. The unfolding events began with an interview by a Vetëvendosje Member of Parliament on 3 May 2024 on Radio Television of Kosovo (Radiotelevizioni i Kosovës – RTK – regarding Kosovo’s prospective membership in the Council of Europe. Additional this same person wrote a statement on his Facebook profile.

According to the Kosovo Journalists Association (Asociacioni i Gazetarëve të Kosovës – AGK- AJK – this member of the parliament openly showed a tendency to control the editorial content of the Kosovo public broadcaster RTK, interfering in what is considered a priority to be addressed and reported and additional attacked the Association of Journalists of Kosovo for the work it does to protect journalists and the media. He was trying to dictate what AJK should do and how it should behave.

In response to political statements, the Kosovo Journalists Association (AJK) condemned this stance and emphasized the importance of media freedom and the protection of journalists’ rights.

You can see the link to the RTK interview here:

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the recent verbal attacks against journalists and media outlets in Kosovo, as such actions undermine press freedom and the vital role journalists play in a democratic society. The intimidation and attempts to control editorial content, as demonstrated by the statements made by certain political figures, are unacceptable and pose a threat to media pluralism and independence. SEEMO urges authorities in Kosovo to uphold the principles of media freedom, protect journalists from harassment and intimidation, and ensure that they can carry out their work without fear of reprisal. SEEMO also calls Prime Minister Albin Kurti to take measures against his party members from Lëvizja Vetëvendosje who are attacking journalists, journalists associations and media organisations. SEEMO is also asking President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu to support with a statment the media and journalists in Kosovo and to condemn the statement of this one member of the parliament.

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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