March 23, 2024

23.03.2024 – Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama Under Fire for Physical Contact with Journalist: Press Freedom Concerns Arise

On 19 March 2024, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has come under scrutiny following an incident involving journalist Ambrozia Meta from Syri TV (, in which an video footage that is online captured Rama avoided her question and making physical contact with the journalist – touched her face. The incident occurred during a press statement. You can see the video here: .

Meta asked him about a project on the island of Sazan in Albania where it has been reported that a foreign company will build properties for the tourist trade.

In response to this video, Prime Minister Rama said over his X (former Twitter) – @ediramaal – account:

Apologies?! Apologies following a completely abhorring lie while everything is in video and a dozen of journalists, and cameramans as well are eyewitnesses of the simple truth that not only there was anything near to an agression, but all questions were answered patiently (despite the several unthetical interruptions) in a usual talk to the press and I left after a friendly goodbye?! No I am sorry and not only I have no apologies to make, but I reject the whole characterization of “the leader that has shown contempt toward critical press”, which is simply not true because there are now many years since I don’t engage in any type of legitimate heated debate with any journalist:-) On the contrary I show to the many ethical as well as to sometimes unethical journalists my full disponibility to answer all questions, although the late category is used to disruptive and clearly out of any standard continous interruptions of answers. So sorry that such a “denounciation” does not honour the values of freedom and either the truth, but more then that denounciating an imaginary agression direspects the true victims of power agressions toward women journalists around the world. As for the “inexcusable” behaviour, as a former free press pionieer in my country when my free speech risked my own life, I feel fully intitled to say that press organizations should care to protect the values of freedom, democracy and journalistic integrity not only when they are threatened by power, but also when they are undermined by members of the press community. Otherwise our democratic societies are really in trouble.

You can read his statement here:

The incident has reignited discussions about press freedom and the relationship between government officials and the media in Albania. Many are calling for a thorough investigation into the matter and expressing concerns about the implications for freedom of expression in the country. As the controversy continues to unfold, it underscores the challenges facing journalists and the press in Albania in their pursuit of truth and accountability.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is monitoring developments connected to this case. Such actions set a concerning precedent for the treatment of journalists. Journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear of pressure or physical interference from government officials.

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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