From: Exit Staff
Albanian Police Fail to Make Progress in Case of Death Threat Against Journalist

Reporters Without Borders has called out the Albanian police for failing to investigate or make any progress in investigating death threats sent to journalist Alice Taylor.

On 21 August, Taylor was sent threats via Facebook that detailed how the individual would find her, assault her and then rip her skull off. She proceeded to file a complaint at Ali Demi police station. She was told that the name used by the account holder was fake, and therefore the matter would be passed to the cybercrime department.

Meanwhile, Taylor found other pictures of the individual, using the same name, on different social media accounts including Instagram. One picture showed him posing in front of a car with the license plate clearly visible. She sent this information to the police but did not receive a response.

RSF then contacted the police for updates on the progress of the investigation. Their first response was that they had no knowledge of any incident of this nature and no record of a complaint being made. After being sent a copy of the statement, they did not reply.

Taylor was then made aware that the file has still not been passed over to the cybercrime department and is still sitting on a desk in the Tirana Directorate of Police. This means that no attempts have been made to investigate the matter further than searching for the name of the account holder on the police database.

RSF said, “we are appalled by the lack of progress in the investigation into the online death threat that Exit journalist Alice taylor received…in spite of all the material sent to the police.”

They urged the authorities “not to leave this act unpunished by speeding up the investigation to apprehend the perpetrator so that impunity against journalists does not become the norm in Albania.”

Assaults and threats against journalists have been increasing in recent years, yet not one complaint made has resulted in a conviction.

Taylor said:

“I am horrified to discover that even after doing part of the police’s job for them, they have not made a single step of progress in over a month. In recent years, there have been zero convictions for crimes against journalists which sends a terrifying message. It shows that 1) the government don’t care about the lives of journalists, and 2) that crimes against us can be committed with impunity.

I have seen first-hand what happens when impunity reigns, as was the case of my colleague Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. The police, which is supposed to protect me, have failed and I am left looking over my shoulder and triple locking my door when I am home alone with my children, in case this threat is real and imminent.”

The Coalition For Women In Journalism also called out “negligence and lethargy” regarding the ack of progress. They demanded the case be looked into immediately.