Albania’s High Prosecution Council has announced that after three years, journalists will be able to return to hearings, but only after applying for accreditation.
The form, sent to journalists has raised several concerns over attempts to instruct journalists on what they can report on, using data protection as a reason.
For example, journalists are prohibited from publishing any specific names except for council members and those who have been suspended or dismissed. During disciplinary hearings, the media cannot report on the name of those involved. If journalists do not agree to these terms, they are forbidden from covering the hearings at all.
Under Article 23 of the Albanian constitution, meetings of elected collective bodies are open to the public. Furthermore, Article 22 states that freedom of the press is guaranteed and prior censorship is prohibited.
Journalists say the ban makes it impossible to report on the functioning of the institution and will undermine public trust in a process that was supposed to restore public confidence in the system.