Safe Journalists: Condemnation of Life Threatening Message to Journalist Isa Myzyraj in Albania

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    photo: canva

    The SafeJournalists Network strongly condemns the life-threatening email sent to Isa Myzyraj, a journalist at Ora News and an activist of human rights in Albania.

    This alarming incident occurred on March 12, 2024, when Mr. Myzyraj and his employer received an email filled with hateful, anti-Semitic, and homophobic content, aiming to intimidate him and undermine his journalistic integrity. Such actions represent a serious threat to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists and activists who courageously tackle critical human rights issues.

    Isa Myzyraj, in response to the threat, stated, “Hate speech against journalists and activists is certainly fuelled by characters who have found spaces both in public settings and in the media. The direct consequence of the campaigns of slander and misinformation by extremist groups are these very disturbing threats not only to me but to all human rights activists in Albania.” 

    The SafeJournalists Network stands in solidarity with Mr. Myzyraj and all journalists facing similar threats. Threats of violence, whether online or offline, have a chilling effect on free speech and can lead to self-censorship, which is detrimental to the public’s right to information. When these threats are also laced with homophobic and anti-Semitic language, it underscores the intersectionality of the issues at stake. We insist on a swift and thorough investigation by the authorities into the threats against Mr. Myzyraj. Such investigations should not only bring those responsible to justice but also send a clear message that threats to journalists, whether through digital channels or in person, are taken seriously.

    We also urge media organizations, civil society, and the international community to join us in condemning such intimidating tactics against journalists. 

    SafeJournalists Network will continue to monitor this situation closely, advocating for the rights and safety of journalists. Network reminds all stakeholders that a vibrant, free press is fundamental to democracy, serving as a watchdog for society and a critical voice in holding those in power accountable.

     

    SafeJournalists Network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.

    Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and the rights of all citizens.

     

    Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Skopje – Zagreb– 14 March 2024

    Association of Journalists of Kosovo

    Association of Journalists of Macedonia

    BH Journalists Association

    Croatian Journalists’ Association

    Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

    Trade Union of Media of Montenegro