December 21, 2005


Vienna, 21/12/2005

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is alarmed about the recent attack on a media house in Albania.

According to information before SEEMO, on the night of 18 December, unknown persons threw explosives into an area close to the building in which three newspapers, Shekulli, Sporti Shqiptar and Biznesi, and one magazine, Spekter, have their offices. Although the journalists were still working in the building, nobody was injured, but there was damage to property.

Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General, condemned this incident, “We are especially worried because only a few days ago there was a brutal physical attack on a journalist in the city of Gjirokastra. Once again, we would like to emphasise that journalists must be able to report without fear of harassment or intimidation. It is obvious that such acts of violence against journalists are attempts to scare them and obstruct their work.”

SEEMO believes that a safe working environment for journalists is a fundamental principle of any democratic society. We urge the Albanian authorities to investigate this case immediately and to take all necessary action against those responsible.