May 19, 2005


Vienna, 19/05/2005

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 deeply concerned about a recent attack on journalists in Albania.

According to information from the Albanian Helsinki Committee, on 8 May, two journalists and two cameramen from local TV stations in Korca were forbidden from filming the activities of municipal police officers, who were in the process of suspending activities at a private bar in the Korca district. Furthermore, the chief of the municipal police of the Korca district exerted violence against Juliana Dhimitri, correspondent for Top Channel TV, and threw away one of the cameramen’s equipment.

Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General, condemned these attacks on journalists. “Attacks on journalists and destruction of their equipment are unacceptable. It is particularly worrying if these attacks are coming from high officials, like from a chief of the municipal police. Journalists must be able to report without fear of harassment and intimidation.”

SEEMO would like to reassert 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 the necessary action against the responsible persons.