The Vienna –based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is concerned at reports that journalists from the Pristina –based daily Koha Ditore and privately owned Kohavision (KTV) television were prevented from covering a major cultural event, the PriFest film festival, which takes place in Pristina, Kosovo.
On 26 September 2012, Vjosa Bersiha, the director of the Kosovo Cinematographic Center, reportedly prevented the Koha Ditore journalist from attending the festival and covering the premiere of the film Tri Botet. Two days later, he reportedly prevented the Kohavision crew from filming another film screening.
PriFest’s mission is “ to welcome different cultures of the world through cinema, using it as a medium to promote“, as stated on the festival’s official website, and it is sponsored by, among others, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the European Union; and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE).
“PriFest is a public event,” said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. “The director should not be making personal decisions about which journalists are allowed to attend. I call on the Kosovo cultural authorities to guarantee free access for the media to all public events.”