March 15, 2024

15.03.2024 – Campaign of Harassment Against Albanian Journalist Ola Xama: A Threat to Press Freedom and Gender Equality

The relentless smear campaign targeting Albanian investigative journalist Ola Xama, affiliated with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN –, has once again intensified, sparking widespread concern among observers. Earlier this month, some online platforms unleashed a barrage of personal attacks, including “slut-shaming,” divulging private information, and targeting her family. Such reprehensible tactics not only endanger the safety of the journalist but also undermine press freedom and gender equality.

The harassment against Xama escalated following her investigative report published by BIRN on 13 July 2023, exposing alleged corruption in a public waste management project in Tirana, Albania. You can see the link to Ola Xama’s article here:

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns these attacks and called on media outlets to cease their damaging campaign against Ola Xama, which has been ongoing since July 2023.

SEEMO expresses deep concern over this alarming trend, not only in Albania, of media outlets engaging in smear campaigns, emphasizing the urgent need to protect journalists like Xama from such harassment.

Such attacks not only tarnish the reputation of journalists but also impede their ability to report freely on matters of public interest. It is imperative for relevant authorities to investigate these incidents and ensure the safety and security of journalists like Ola Xama.

SEEMO stands in solidarity with Ola Xama and calls for an immediate cessation of these damaging tactics, urging the responsible media entities to uphold the principles of ethical journalism and respect the essential role of journalists in a democratic society.

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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