Journalists Against Government’s Anti-Slander Legislation

On Friday, Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) organized a meeting with journalists and media organizations to discuss government’s initiative to draft laws regulating the online media.

Director of KAS, Walter Glos, said that “[government’s] intervention in media freedom affects the [potential] positive decision [on the opening of negotiations with the EU] in June 2019.”

Journalists in the meeting joined several national and international organizations in condemning the proposed changes in laws regulating electronic communication and audio-visual media in the country.

Armand Shkullaku — Editor at

“[Rama] threatens our existence on a daily basis. There is chaos, there are many online portals, some unregistered, and there is space for slander. However, this chaos, this lack of regulation is better than a law or regime that would shut our mouths. We should discuss and find ways to stop this man. We should take to the streets like students are. This man [Rama] understand the language of force only.”

Ylli Rakipi — “Te Paekspozuarit” TV Show Host

“This man [Rama] is sick worried and anxious. The new laws violate the Constitution. […] The essence of these laws is that [Rama] wants to be a guard of the public moral. The greatest of exhibitionists, who exposed his genitals to us, wants to guard the public moral, which he will define. He wants to have a Council of Ethics to judge us in public trials. He is telling us “I and DH Albania should survive, not you”. Even Erdogan didn’t do this.”

Ergys Mertiri — Sociologist

“Under these circumstances, it’s Prime Minister’s arrangements with the media that threaten free speech. Whence money of people in power buy the media, one’s words will be depreciated even though one can express them. The international factor has been hesitant, non-active and it has tolerated the democracy in this country to be questionable.”

Iris Luarasi — Professor at the Department of Journalism and Communication (UT)

“The fines prescribed in the draft laws are abnormal […] they would bring the online media to closure. I think the current laws are enough to protect journalists and politicians from slander. These draft laws should not be allowed to pass.”

Jonila Godole — Professor at the Department of Journalism and Communication (UT)

“The proposed draft laws are intolerable and improper in this form and at the time being. They are not aiming at regulation anything at all; the aim is to install offices of censorship against free speech and free thinking.”

Aleksander Cipa — Union of Albania Journalists

“We publicly share the assessment that the draft laws are unacceptable. Government institutions are not allowed to control the online media.”

Fatos Hakorja — Editor at TV Klan

“These [draft] laws must be retracted. They do not regulate the online media. They do not solve its main problems. Closure of an online portal is the same as closure of a TV station.”

Aranita Brahaj — Open Data Albania

“We are against these draft laws. We are against the requirement to register the online media with government institutions.”