June 13, 2024

13.06.2024 – Albanian PM Edi Rama Allegedly Accuses Italian Newspaper Domani for False Reporting

On 5 June 2024, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama allegedly accused the Italian newspaper Domani (https://www.editorialedomani.it/) of disseminating false information about Albania during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni. The conference followed a visit to an immigrant reception centers in Shengjin, Albania, where Rama allegedly criticized Domani.

Rama allegedly specifically targeted Domani’s articles which claimed that Albanian mafia clans control human trafficking in the areas where the reception centers are being constructed. He asserted that the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime (SPAK) had not found any evidence to support the existence of such criminal activities in these regions or other part of Albania. According to Rama, SPAK, part of the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) network, confirmed that there are no conditions to label any region in Albania as criminal. Rama said also allegedly about Domani during the press conference: “I would like to express my relief to see you all here, safe and sound, in this area which, according to the Italian newspaper, Domani, is the heart of the underworld in Albania, where clans linked to human trafficking operate.” The report in Domani from this press conference, including report about Rama, is online: https://www.editorialedomani.it/fatti/meloni-albania-visita-centri-migranti-propaganda-elettorale-shengjin-gjader-ty2w0170

Rama’s comments were a direct response to Domani’s 1 June 2024 article titled “Emigrant Centers in Albania Were Raised in the Stronghold of Criminal Clans,” (https://www.editorialedomani.it/fatti/i-cpr-in-albania-eretti-nella-roccaforte-dei-clan-i-pm-e-la-rete-criminale-uqjww9k3) which highlighted SPAK’s recent operations in Lezhë, Albania municipality.

Rama’s defense was further complicated by Meloni’s support during the press conference, where she expressed solidarity with Rama and the Albanian people, when Albania decided to offer collaboration to Italy with centers for migrants coming to Italy from safe countries.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is monitoring the developments in Albania and Italy. SEEMO calls on political leaders to respect and uphold the principles of a free and independent press, which are essential for a functioning democracy.

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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