The Albanian Media Council (KShM) has warned the government against closing ORA Radio and Television.
In a press statement on Friday, KShM urged the Albanian government to step back from shutting down the broadcaster, calling the attempt an “unprecedented act” where a health agency decides to shut down a media outlet.
The organisation states that the right to information and freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Constitution and cannot be blocked by administrative decisions.
Furthermore, they note the disproportional fines of about 17,000 euros and shutdown decision as direct government attacks against media freedom and free speech.
“The Albanian Media Council calls on the Albanian Government to withdraw its decisions and apologize publicly for this pure act of violence against the entire media,” they stated.
They called on the EU and US embassies, OSCE, and Council of Europe to react in defending media freedom in Albania.
The KShM urged their fellow Albanian journalists and media to show solidarity with their colleagues at ORA RTV, reminding them that “an attack on a media outlet is not just an attack on a group of journalists working there, but an attack on journalism.”
KShM was formed by journalists after the Rama government’s attempts to push forward laws aimed at censoring online media.