Yesterday, the home of News24 journalist Klodiana Lala’s parents was fired at with an automatic weapon gun.
According to Balkanweb the incident took place around 03:00–04:00 this morning. Persons who have yet to be identified fired a hail of machine gun bullets towards the home of Lala’s father. The bullets hit the walls of the domicile, as well as the house’s outer door. 10 shell casings were found on the scene.
At the time when the bullets were fired, Lala’s relatives, constituting of her parents, her brother, her sister, as well as her two daughters, were inside the house. Lala and her husband had been in the house until late in the evening. Fortunately, no persons were harmed from the gunfire. Lala’s parents’ house serves as a sort of second home for the journalist, as, during most days, her parents take care of her daughters while she’s working.
The incident led to a massive response of Albanian and international institutions, including Reporters without Borders, the OSCE, EU embassy, and US Embassy, all denouncing the violence against the press.
Albania has one of the lowest levels of press freedom in Europe. In the past, the European Commission has been reluctant to call out Prime Minister Edi Rama, known for his frequent, Trumpian attacks on the “trashcan” of the media. In May, Prime Minister Rama openly attacked a journalist during a press conference.
Meanwhile, the opposition linked the attack on Lala’s family to a series of articles she published two weeks ago, which included audio recordings of PS deputy Jurgis Çyrbja and Gilmando Dani, a member of the criminal gang of Emiljano Shullazi. As former director of the Regional Asset Registry (ZRPP) in Durrës, Çyrbja was allegedly involved in widespread corruption, fraud, and maladministration.