Today, President Ilir Meta has stated that the restrictive measures taken by the government as a result of the state of emergency must abide by the Constitution.
The President announced his support for the stance taken by the Council of Europe, advising the government to avoid harsh penalties for violators of the restrictions as much as possible, as such penalties raise serious concerns regarding human rights.
Meta reiterated the Council of Europe’s advice that restrictions on freedom of private life, freedom of speech, and the right to organize must be decided only by law, and need to be proportional to the risks. He also added that all restrictive measures must be in accordance with the Constitution and public and national interests.
The president’s statement comes after the Albanian government proposed to parliament to change the Criminal Code, to include prison sentences up to 15 years for violators of quarantine and curfews under states of emergency. The proposal was opposed by a group of 30 human rights organizations who called on the parliament to reject it.