AEJ Albania condemns the arrest of journalist Qamil Xhani by the police
13. 12. 2020
The Association of European Journalists, the Albanian section, strongly condemns with the utmost severity the arrest for several hours of the editor-in-chief and vice-president of the Association, mr. Qamil Xhani. This is an act beyond the legal framework by the police force, which shows once again that law enforcement, and the political leaders of this majority nurture a language of violence and aggression towards media employees.
The arrest took place at the editorial office, at the moment when the journalist Qamil Xhani, was filming the police forces while they were arresting some protesters. In addition to the illegal arrest, the police also used violence against the journalist, hitting him several times, without cause or motive and deleted the videos that he registered with his phone.
AEJ Albania branch appeals to the state police to distance themselves from this scandalous act in violation of freedoms and human rights, and to conduct an in-depth investigation to punish the violators in police uniform, of this serious event. Unfortunately the police forces haven’t made any reaction about this case.
Police have flagrantly violated the law by arresting a journalist on duty and in the newsroom, which is totally unacceptable for a country that want to become part of the European Union.
Such acts show that the freedom of the media in Albania is not only declining day by day, but the country is endangering the European future due to these scandalous actions, by the government body.
AEJ Albanian Section
AEJ got this message from European Commission, GD NEAR (Neighbourhood policy and Enlargement) about the events in Albania:
“The 2020 Enlargement package clearly indicates the need for zero tolerance for intimidation and threats against journalists and the media in the region.
It is crucial that journalists in Albania are able to do their job free of any threat of violence, harassment and intimidation to ensure that citizens have access to all information”
Ana Pisonero (spokesperson GD NEAR)