SafeJournalists: Strongly Condemnation of PM Rama’s Inappropriate Actions Towards Journalist Ambrozia Meta in Albania

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    photo: canva

    At today’s press conference Prime Minister Edi Rama refused to answer journalist’s Ambrozia Meta questions and inappropriately tried to touch her cheek.

    After a meeting with district political leaders at the Socialist Party headquarters, Prime Minister Rama held an impromptu press conference. During this event, he was questioned about an investment project in the Sazan and Zvernec areas linked to Jared Kushner, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law. Ambrozia Meta sought answers on the project’s benefits for Albanians, the contracting procedures, the existence of a feasibility study, and whether similar tax deductions as those for the Port of Durrës investment would apply. The Prime Minister’s refusal to address these public interest questions, followed by his demeaning remark—”ignorance is not an argument”—and physical contact by attempting to touch her cheek is unacceptable and alarming.

    This incident is part of a concerning pattern where Prime Minister Rama has exhibited contempt towards journalists, particularly women, who pose challenging inquiries. His history of evading questions, coupled with retaliatory actions like banning journalists from press conferences and demanding “re-education,” underlines a disregard for media freedom and journalistic integrity (Previous Alert for Ambrozia Meta and Alert for Klevin Muka).

    The SafeJournalists Network considers such behavior a direct threat to the principles of transparency and accountability underpinning a democratic society. The intimidation faced by women journalists, in particular, not only undermines their professional rights but also perpetuates a culture of intimidation towards women and their participation in public space.

    We demand that Prime Minister Rama issue a public apology to Ms. Meta and the media community. We insist on a commitment to respectful and constructive engagement with the media, recognizing journalists’ essential role in scrutinizing power and fostering informed public discourse.

    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– 19 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