The SafeJournalists Network sent a letter of concern to the Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Albania over journalistic access within the Albanian Parliament.
On the 9th of November, journalists attempting to question ministers and deputies were impeded by the Guard in the assembly’s yard. According to our knowledge, these are not isolated incidents but are part of a troubling pattern of obstruction, substantiated by the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) in Albania, and coincide with rising political tensions.
It has been reported that the Guard, citing “new directives,” has restricted journalists to a designated area even in the yard, which significantly hampers their ability to conduct interviews and report live. Such practices limit the media’s ability to independently navigate and report on parliamentary proceedings and raise serious questions regarding the transparency and openness of the legislative process. The reliance of the Guard on vague ‘verbal orders’ risks creating a repressive environment for journalists, who play a critical role in ensuring a well-informed public. We notice with concern that the Media Accreditation and Orientation Regulation is not available online on the Assembly’s website.
In light of the recent physical confrontations within the Parliament and the transition to online sessions, it is imperative to uphold the highest standards of democratic principles of transparency and accountability, thus ensuring a conducive and safe space for journalists to report.
We hope that the Albanian Assembly will address this issue with the urgency and seriousness it deserves by paying careful attention to the concerns of journalists. We, therefore, urge the Albanian Assembly to facilitate an environment where journalists can freely report on parliamentary proceedings, an essential cornerstone of any democratic society.
On behalf of
BH Journalists Association
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro
Croatian Journalists Association
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
Independent Journalists Association of Serbia