Reports   |   Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey

Balancing Act

Joining the club: accession and press freedom

Accession to the EU is often described as one of the most effective democracy promotion projects in the world. Countries vying for membership must prove themselves on a range of political and legal criteria that include provisions on standards for human rights, freedom of expression, and press freedom. Currently, five countries—Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey—are negotiating with Brussels, with Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo as so-called potential candidates. None has a respectable press freedom record. “They score significantly below the EU average,” notes Jennifer Dunham, project manager at the U.S.-based watchdog organization Freedom House. CPJ research has documented systemic press freedom failings, all confirmed in the European Commission’s annual progress reports, which assess the countries’ conformity with EU norms.

Alerts   |   Albania

CPJ concerned about Fatullayev's safety, calls for his release


New York, March 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed alarm today about reported threats in prison against embattled editor Eynulla Fatullayev, at left. According to CPJ interviews and local press reports, Fatullayev has feared for his life since his recent transfer to a new jail, prompting him to request that he be isolated from other inmates. Now in solitary confinement, his health has deteriorated and he has not received medical treatment, according to CPJ research.

According to Anar Gasymov, a member of Fatullayev's legal team, the journalist's life is in danger. Fatullayev received a tip that hostile inmates have been getting ready to assault him since he was transferred to Prison No. 1 in Baku on March 2, Gasymov, told the independent Caucasus news website Kavkazsky Uzel.

March 21, 2011 2:32 PM ET


Blog   |   Albania

Tirana attack prompts comments from editor, businessman

Our news alert on Wednesday detailing a vicious attack on Albanian editor Mero Baze elicited e-mail comments from both victim and a businessman accused in the attack. Baze said he is recovering but is experiencing head pain. He also echoed reported witness statements that identified Rezart Taci, a principal in local oil companies, as being involved in the attack. Taci, who responded to us through one of his companies, denied involvement in the assault.

November 5, 2009 2:42 PM ET


Alerts   |   Albania

Albanian editor attacked following critical reports

New York, November 4, 2009—Assailants badly beat Mero Baze, chief editor of the independent Albanian daily Tema and host of the prime-time television show “Faktor Plus,” at a bar in the capital, Tirana, on Monday, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack and calls on authorities to bring the assailants to justice. 

November 4, 2009 3:56 PM ET


Alerts   |   Albania

Police block newspaper staff from entering offices

New York, January 9, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed that the Albanian authorities today blocked the offices of the daily Tema, which recently published stories alleging official corruption.

January 9, 2009 3:57 PM ET


Alerts   |   Albania

Bomb damages office of popular daily newspaper

New York, December 19, 2005—An explosion on Sunday evening damaged the Tirana headquarters of Shekulli, Albania's most popular independent daily, but staff members escaped injury, according to international press reports.

Editor-in-Chief Robert Rakipllari said 15 staff members were working when the bomb exploded outside the newspaper building, The Associated Press reported. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, nor had anyone made any recent threats against the newspaper. "I'm sure this was some type of warning, but I can't explain it," Rakipllari told the AP.
December 19, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Letters   |   Albania

CPJ urges assembly speaker to back defamation reform

Dear Mr. Speaker: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending press freedom worldwide, encourages you to support pending legislation to reform Albania's criminal and civil defamation laws.

May 23, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Albania

Attacks on the Press 2004: Albania


Prime Minister Fatos Nano and his socialist government continued to pressure independent and opposition media in 2004, using criminal and civil defamation complaints as a stick and politically motivated state advertising as a carrot.
March 14, 2005 11:46 AM ET



Attacks on the Press 2003: Albania

Albania's contentious political environment and economic underdevelopment continued to make the country a relatively chaotic and difficult place for the independent press in 2003. Journalists faced government pressure, criminal libel lawsuits, arbitrary dismissal by politicized owners, and limited access to basic government information, particularly when investigating official corruption and organized crime. Furthermore, low professional standards, an editorial emphasis on sensationalism, and the financial influence of political parties over many media outlets give journalists little public credibility and often force the press to practice self-censorship.
March 11, 2004 12:07 PM ET
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