OraNews TV journalist Elio Laze was injured by the indiscriminate use of tear gas by police during yesterday’s protest.
Journalist Laze denounced Prime Minister Edi Rama for ordering the use of tear gas. In a Facebook post he wrote:
“[…] I was at the Parliament building today. (Unfortunately) I was there not to protest but to report as a journalist […]
You [PM Edi Rama] ordered your failed Minister of Interior to disperse the crowd with tear gas. Protesters, journalists, passers-by and police suffered the effects […]
I wish you suffer the same the way it hurts you most – the tear gas I inhaled and the lack of breath I experienced for many minutes […]”
Following February 16 protest where police fired tear gas several times against the whole crowd of protestors and journalists, the same unprofessional, excessive and indiscriminate tactics were employed by the police in yesterday’s protest. Despite the following harsh criticism in the media, particularly by journalists who suffered the effects of tear gas while reporting live from the Prime Minister’s Office on February 16, the police has not changed the tactic. On the contrary, the police had a plan to use tear gas again as it warned journalists prior to yesterday’s protest to wear tear gas masks.
On February 16, journalist Klodiana Lala and several others were seen to have serious issues breathing and coughing while trying to run away from the tear gas clouds covering the whole area.
Another journalist of OraNews TV, Isa Myzyraj, fainted while reporting (video), due to the tear gas fired by police.