Civil society organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the police violence against Rilindja Demokratike journalist Bledi Kasmi on Saturday during the opposition protest demanding the resignation of Minister of Interior Fatmir Xhafaj.
In a tweet, RSF stated Prime Minister Edi Rama “must publicly condemn the use of violence by the police. There seems little chance of this becoming reality, as Prime Minister Rama has cultivated a climate of hate against the free press, which he often derides and ridicules on live television. Recently, the government also censored a website that satirized the Rama government.
RSF has repeatedly raised the alarm about press freedom in Albania. In their 2017 annual report, RSF called the media regulatory authority AMA “politicized” and the media only “partially free,” while a recent report revealed that Albanian media are controlled by a tightly knit group of oligarchs, all of which are affiliated to the Rama government, leading to wide-ranging self-censorship.
The EU Embassy in Albania has so far failed to issue any response to the physical attack on the free press.