SafeJournalists: Concerns over Decision Made by Albanian Supreme Court Regarding Case of Journalist Elton Qyno

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    photo: canva

    The SafeJournalists Network expresses concern over the decision made by the Albanian Supreme Court on February 20, 2024, regarding the case of journalist Elton Qyno, whose equipment was confiscated on December 13, 2023, by the Special Prosecution Office against Organised Crime and Corruption (SPAK). Mr. Qyno, a journalist for the Ora News channel, challenged the legality of the seizure of his phones and computers at his home and office, asserting that it infringes upon the confidentiality of journalistic sources.

    As previously expressed by SafeJournalists Network and our international partners, the actions taken against Mr. Qyno, including the inspection of his residence and office and the seizure of his personal and professional equipment, set a worrying precedent regarding confidentiality of sources for journalists and media professionals in Albania.

    While we understand the necessity of legal adherence in judicial proceedings, it is critical to align such actions with the internationally recognized principle of safeguarding journalistic sources. This principle is not only critical to the rights of journalists but is also essential to the public’s right to information and the overall health of a democratic society.

    Dorian Matlija, the attorney representing Mr. Qyno, announced their intention to submit an appeal to the Constitutional Court of Albania. He argued that, with its ruling, the Supreme Court has breached its own binding decision which unambiguously outlines the procedures and standards the prosecution must follow when seeking sources from professional journalists.

     

    The SafeJournalists Network awaits the full disclosure of the judicial verdict by the Supreme Court, and urges for safeguarding journalists’ source confidentiality. We will continue to monitor this case. 

     

    Every attack on journalists touches upon public interest, democracy, and the rights of all citizens.

     

    Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica – Tirana, February 27, 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