The Reporters without Borders (RSF) has welcomed the Albanian President’s decision to return to Parliament the two laws on online media, dubbed as “anti-defamation package” by the government. Journalists and media organizations consider the newly approved laws as tools to censor the media.
In a tweet today, the RSF wrote:
“@RSF_inter welcomes the decision of #Albania President @ilirmetazyrtar to return to Parliament 2 laws of the so-called “anti-defamation package” seen as a government attempt to control the media in violation of the Albanian Constitution & Human Rights Conventions.”
In decisions that were published yesterday, President Ilir Meta argued that both laws violate:
- The fundamental constitutional principles of a democracy;
- The right to freedom of expression, press and the right to information;
- The previous decisions of the Constitutional Court;
- The European Convention on Human Rights.
He called on the Socialist majority to review the laws accordingly.
Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist Party dismissed the sharp criticism from journalists, local and international media organizations, the Council of Europe, OSCE, and Members of the European Parliament, and on December 18, 2019, they passed the laws in Parliament.