PRISTINA, 21.05.2021 – The Association of Journalists of Kosovo – AJK, is extremely concerned that even after the reaction about the invitation of the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova toward the journalist Mentor Gjergjaj, the request that journalists not to be prosecuted due to their profession was not taken into account.
AJK was informed that, although it requested that the invitation of Gjergjaj to be withdrawn for an interview in the capacity of a suspect, the State Prosecution, through the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova, illegally requested his interview as a journalist, in the capacity of a suspect, based on a Criminal Report, filed against him by the same person who 3 years ago, respectively on May 3, 2018, threatened the Express newspaper team.
Moreover, according to Gjergjaj, the filed Criminal Report did not contain submission date or the day of its drafting, by which the Prosecution qualified him as a suspect, which for many reasons provided with the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Kosovo, is very important during the investigative procedure.
Due to the fact that hese invitations from the Prosecution have recently become a practice, AJK, on May 19, through a request sent to the Chief State Prosecutor, Aleksandër Lumezi, has requested of him to call upon the institutions whose mission is to implement the law to act in accordance with applicable laws and to respect the freedoms and rights of journalists, which are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo.
We have also asked Mr. Lumezi to take appropriate measures against the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova and the Prosecutor of the case.
The next day, AJK received a letter from the Public Communication Office at the State Prosecutor’s Office, stating: “After receiving your email, we requested information from the prosecutor of the case, who informed us that in this case he has not taken a decision on the beginning of the investigation but is carrying out the legally binding verification of the allegations presented in the criminal report by a citizen against the journalist in question for unauthorized recording. ”
AJK reiterates that such invitations are scandalous and tend to threaten and silence journalists. Whereas, we invite journalists not to give up when facing these kind of blackmail.
AJK will continue to monitor this case and we invite the Chief State Prosecutor, Mr. Lumezi to come out with a public explanation regarding this illegal action in relation to the journalist Gjergjaj.
Violations like these pose a risk and shake the foundations of a democratic society.