Journalist Bujar Vitija threatened by a state official

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PRISTINA, 09.06.2018 – The Association of Journalist of Kosovo was informed by its member, journalist Bujar Vitija, for the threats he received by the state official, Zenel Kuqi. The case is reported to police.

Journalist Vitija said that on Friday afternoon he was contacted by Zenel Kuqi, procurement official of Pristina hospital, and asked for a meeting, and the journalist refused.

Vitija, editor-in-chief of online magazine Shneta said that the official called him because of an article that was published by Vitija few days ago that was related about Kuqi’s trial, in which he was released on all charges. Kuqi was accused for damaging state’s budget.

After Vitija refused to meet Kuqi, the latter threatened the journalist by swearing and offending him, and in the end has suggested to him to contact prosecution and police for the threat. “Notify the police and don’t waste time, as long as it is left for you”, Kuqi said.

Vitija reported the case to police and submitted as evidence the recorded telephone conversation. He added that Kuqi might have additional motives for the threat because of new investigation about latest tenders in University Clinical Centre of Kosovo and Ministry of Health. “The threat can be an attempt to stop future articles,” Vitija told AJK.

AJK strongly condemns this threat from the state official against journalist Bujar Vitija and demands from justice and security bodies to treat this case under legal timeframe.

Attacks and threats against journalists are direct attacks on freedom of expression and the right of citizens to be informed. Each attack against journalists is attack against public interest, democracy and citizen’s rights.

Association of Journalists of Kosovo, Pristina, 09/06/2018