From: Exit Staff
Media Organisations Call on Albanian Authorities to Investigate Death Threat Against Exit Journalist

International and local media organizations have spoken out after an Exit journalist received a death threat over the weekend.

Alice Taylor received a message on Facebook where an individual said he would find where she was, have some words with her and “rip her skull off”. This occurred after she had posted articles on Afghanistan refugees coming to Albania, as well as organized an initiative to collect donated items for women and babies.

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Taylor reported the matter to Police in Tirana, and the case has been sent to the cybercrime department due to suspicions the account used to send the message was fake. So far, they say they have been unable to figure out his real identity.

The International Press Institute, of which Exit and Taylor are members, condemned the threats, and called on Albanian police to “swiftly investigate the death threat,” noting that if such incidents are not dealt with properly, they will persist.

“We call on authorities in Albania to put an end to these kinds of attacks and send the clear message that online harassment will not be tolerated.”

The Albanian Media Council strongly condemned the threats, noting that Taylor is also a Board Member of the Alliance for Ethical Media.

“These threats, made from fake Facebook accounts that may come from individuals, companies, politicians or even political groups who have reason to be afraid of the work of independent journalists, are a clear expression of the climate of violence against the media that exists in the country,”  they wrote.

They noted that while the government cannot be directly blamed for such attacks, they should take responsibility for the climate of violence against journalists which allows such attacks to happen.

“This violent climate can be eradicated only through strong reactions from the executive branch and all political actors in the country; as well as through concrete acts to find the culprits.

AMC calls on the Albanian authorities to fully investigate the event and find the persons responsible, so “as to discourage further threats of death to other fellow journalists,” they said.

The Coalition For Women in Journalism demanded an immediate investigation into the matter, noting it wasn’t the first time she had experienced such threats.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, also commented on the threats and called for Albanian authorities to act.

This is not the first time Taylor has experienced harassment due to her work. In 2019, after reporting locally in English and giving multiple comments to foreign media about the Electiongate scandal, opposition protests, and the political crisis in the country prior to the local elections, she was branded a “Russian spy” by pro-government media. She also had the approval of her residence permit revoked while heavily pregnant and unable to travel.

Taylor took the Ministry of the Interior and the State Police to court and won the right to have her permit issued. She then sued all the newspapers that wrote defamatory and false information about her and her family, and won in all cases.