RSF condemns the Albanian Prime Minister’s ban on journalist

RSF condemns Albanian Prime Minister for banning journalist from attending press conferences for three months due to asking perceived unethical questions about a minister’s conflict of interest. The move is seen as hindering media freedom in a country ranked poorly for press freedom.

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama told Klevin Muka, journalist of A2 CNN TV station (affiliate of CNN in Albania), that he is not allowed to attend any other press conferences of the Prime Minister for the next three months and must be sent to “re-education” for what Rama considers unethical behaviour on the side of a journalist.

Klevin Muka asked Minister Olta Xhaçka about her conflict of interest as a minister and her husband as a strategic investor of the government of Albania in the tourism sector. 

Rama did not allow the Minister to answer; instead, he publicly designated the journalist as not welcome in future conferences.

RSF and other press freedom advocates wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama about his decision.

Seven NGOs warn that arbitrary restrictions may seriously affect the Albanian media’s ability to carry out their watchdog role. The government’s decision is emblematic of the obstruction of free and independent journalism in Albania, which ranks 103rd in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, dropping annually by 20 places.