Attacks on media outlets and organisation, Top Channel, 27/03/2023, Tirane

    Country AL
    Name and Surname Top Channel
    Gender Group Top Channel
    Date 27/03/2023
    City / Location Tirana
    Type of incident Attacks on media outlets and organizations
    Type of media Radio and television print online
    Media name Top Channel
    Legal closure Ongoing (or case not closed)
    Was journalist`s association informed Yes
    Were authorities informed? Case was reported to the police

    Firearm attack against Top Channel: Guard killed


    The Safe Journalists Platform is alarmed by the tragic incident that occurred at Top Channel, one of Albania’s leading national TV stations and largest media companies. On March 27, 2023, at approximately 01:00, unidentified individuals opened fire at the Top Channel premises in Mzeze, resulting in the tragic loss of 60-year-old security guard, Pal Kola.


    The State Police have established a dedicated investigative team, working closely with the Prosecutor’s Office to examine the circumstances, gather evidence, and identify and apprehend those responsible. Police services have been actively pursuing the perpetrators, setting up checkpoints and investigating a burned Range Rover with stolen license plates found in Golem of Kavaja, along with two firearms inside the vehicle. At the scene of the shooting, 25 Kalashnikov cartridges and two Kalashnikov firearms were also discovered.


    Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Begaj have both condemned the violent attack on Top Channel and called for a decisive response from law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly.


    Safe Journalists extends its condolences to the family of Pal Kola and stands in solidarity with the entire Top Channel community. Blerjana Bino, Safe Journalists researcher, stated: “We urge for swift action to investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. A coordinated and effective response by all relevant law enforcement institutions is needed, as well as strong solidarity with Top Channel and their entire media community.”


    The Safe Journalists Platform will continue to monitor the situation closely, advocating for the safety and security of journalists and media professionals, and urging authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure justice and prevent future attacks.







    Update on the case as per CoE:

    “In response to this serious incident, the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office have joined forces to establish an investigative group tasked with uncovering the circumstances surrounding it. The Judicial Police Services at the Tirana Local Police Directorate operating under the guidance of the Prosecutor, have conducted thorough investigations, and the collected evidence has been handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office at the Tirana Judicial District. The criminal offenses being pursued include “Murder in other qualifying circumstances, dangerously affecting the lives of many people” as well as “Unauthorized use of weapons, ammunition, and production of explosives,” as defined by articles 78/2 and 278/1 of the Criminal Code. The Judicial Police Services at the Local Police Directorate of Tirana, in collaboration with the Prosecutor’s Office of the Judicial District of Tirana and the Criminal Police Department, remain fully committed to their efforts until the responsible individuals are apprehended and brought to justice.”