From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Summary of Insults Used by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama against Journalists and Media

As Albania waits to find out whether the European Union will agree to open accession talks in May 2020, media freedom continues to decline. Two controversial “anti-defamation” laws were passed by Parliament in December that could post a chilling threat to media freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression in the Western Balkan country. 

While they are on the backburner now, due in part to pressure from international press freedom organisations, the European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and Members of European Parliament, the situation on the ground is still tough for Albanian journalists and media workers.

As highlighted in a number of reports, including one compiled after a delegation of international media freedom organisations visited in June 2019, one of the biggest issues facing Albanian media is attacks from politicians.

Prime Minister Edi Rama, in particular, has been repeatedly called out for his aggressive, threatening, and abusive language used against the media. Despite calls to change his rhetoric from local and international watchdogs, he continues unabated. 

Here are some of the insults that Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has used against the press since November 2017 [click on each insult for sources].

  1. Trashcans
  2. Defenders of crime
  3. Hypocrites
  4. Parasites
  5. Anti-government
  6. Liars
  7. Lazy
  8. Enemies
  9. Irresponsible
  10. [He said they] spout accusations
  11. [Journalists are the] cause of the country’s problems
  12. [Journalists]  ask meaningless questions
  13. [Journalists] should be ashamed
  14. Idiotic
  15. Ignorant
  16. Nonsensical
  17. Disgusting
  18. Gossipers
  19. Inappropriate
  20. Drunks
  21. Empty-headed
  22. They have a lack of English
  23. I understand your poor work because you have a son”- Rama to female journalist Ilva Tare
  24. I am here to satisfy all of your needs”- Rama to female journalist Eni Vasili
  25. Sorry, I was looking at you but I was thinking of another person, a male colleague of yours […] I know that’s not a problem for you,” – Rama to female journalist Eni Vasili
  26. Prostitutes of information
  27. Unprepared
  28. Raving
  29. Writers of fake news and here
  30. Obscuring the truth
  31. Like a tumour
  32. Meeting journalists will upset your digestive system
  33. Poison
  34. Human rights abusers
  35. Illiterate 
  36. Unethical
  37. Dogs
  38. Shut up
  39. What is this woman?
  40. Are you sober?
  41. Stupid
  42. Tormentor
  43. “you have poisoned people’s minds’
  44. You’ve been fooling people”
  45. “Why do you fill people’s minds with such nonsense?”
  46. Do you even speak Albanian lady?” (to a female journalist)
  47. Unpatriotic
  48. “It’s fascinating how low your level of hearing is yet how high your insistence of error is”
  49. “No one damages Albania as much as those with a microphone in front of them”
  50. “Mythomaniacs”
  51. “You throw in the face of citizens a stinking dish of stupidity”
  52. “You vomit on screens and portals to make Albanians vomit as well”
  53. “Receiving this sludge and serving it as food for Albanians is a shame that embodies those who nurture this approach and have a wish to f*ck up this country.”
  54. “Contented pigs”
  55. “those [journalists] keep Albanians for hours night after night with nonsense and balderdash where they act as experts on the fight against crime but are more corrupted and incriminated than all of us put together.”
  56. “Degraded”
  57. “Protect yourself from the media
  58. When I see young [journalists] I say hopefully you have better habits, but you instead you come and you are worse than those who are veterans.
  59. Calm down” (to a woman journalist)
  60. Corrupt media machine”

Albania currently ranks at number 82 in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, but it is expected to drop yet again due to a particularly bad year for journalists in the country.