Safe Journalists Network, the partner organizations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wrote a letter to the Head of the Special Prosecution against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) in Albania to express concerns over the recent actions taken by SPAK against journalist Elton Qyno. The decision to seize Mr. Qyno’s equipment and pressure him to reveal his sources is a matter of significant alarm for us as organizations dedicated to the protection of the rights of journalists, media freedom, and journalistic integrity. 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. Such measures will impact journalist’s rights and media freedom in Albania and beyond.
Safe Journalists Network and the partner organizations urged SPAK to reassess its approach in this case. Returning the seized equipment to Mr. Qyno and ceasing all efforts to uncover his sources would demonstrate understanding, respecting, and upholding media freedom and the protection of journalistic sources in Albania. This approach would align with the standards established by the European Court of Human Rights and other international entities dedicated to media freedom.
We appealed to SPAK to prioritize the protection of journalistic sources, which is crucial for maintaining press freedom and democratic principles. The relationship of trust between journalists, their sources, the public, and law enforcement depends heavily on the respect and upholding of these values.
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
European Center for Press and Media Freedom
European Federation of Journalists
Free Press Unlimited
International Press Institute
Reporters Without Borders
The reaction of the Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) to the open letter can be found below:
Free translation Response of SPAK in English can be found below: