Investigative Journalist Denounces Harassment and Intimidation Against Him And His Family

Investigative journalist Basir Çollaku denounced the harassment and intimidation against him and his family by a person taking pictures and filming his apartment.

Çollaku wrote today that a person in his fifties had taken pictures and filmed the entrance to his apartment in early morning hours, and had run away when family members had spotted him and questioned what he was doing there.

The journalist wrote his family feared retaliation from government and criminals because of Çollaku’s work in revealing ties between them.

He called on President Meta, Prime Minister Rama, Minister of Interior Lleshaj and Head of Secret Service Bendo to push for investigations on the case.

Earlier this year, the journalist received a death threat on live television for exposing drug trafficking ties of government members. The prosecution has not identified the person yet.

Basir Çollaku exposed the Tahiri-Habilaj connection through his interviews with Dritan Zagani and Antonio Nazeraj, two Albanian anti-drugs police officers who were forced to seek asylum in Europe. They both claimed that the Habilajs, an international drug trafficking group, were directly connected to the then Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri.

Prime Minister Edi Rama defended his minister Saimir Tahiri and attacked the whistleblower.

Çollaku was also threatened when he exposed the Rraja–Balla affair. He broadcasted an interview with police officer Emiljano Nuhu, who claimed he was threatened at gun point, inside the police station, in the presence of Socialist Party (PS) MP Rrahman Rraja, SP Head of Parliamentary Group Taulant Bala and Kruja Mayor Artur Bushi. Nuhu claimed that they wanted him to drop the case against MP Rraja son, suspected of rape.

Right after the broadcast, a person called Shijak TV, threatening Çollaku: “We are going to kill you all”.

Again, amidst accusations that the Ministry of Interior was mishandling the case and protecting Socialist Party MPs, Prime Minister Edi Rama defended his minister Fatmir Xhafaj and attacked the whistleblower.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has named Basir Çollaku as the main collaborator and author of German newspaper Bild journalist Peter Tiede’s articles on the Albanian Electiongate wiretaps.

“Bild published this, but [the article] was written by Ylli Manjani and Pastref (denigrating name)… what’s his name… Çollaku. So, they are the providers and authors of the text,” Rama stated.