Other attacks on journalist Ambrozia Meta, 19/03/2024, Tirana

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    Country AL
    Name and Surname Ambrozia Meta
    Gender Female
    Date 19/03/2024
    City / Location Tirana
    Type of incident Other threats to journalists
    By whom By public officials
    Type of media online
    Media name SYRI TV
    Source https://www.syri.net/politike/673182/dhuna-e-rames-ndaj-gazetares-ambrozia-meta-te-syri-tv-berisha-akt-i-shemtuar-prej-gangsteri/
    Legal closure Ongoing (or case not closed)
    Was journalist`s association informed Yes

    On March 19, 2024, in the aftermath of 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 refused 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. She told him ‘Please, don’t touch me anymore’, and Rama walked away.

     

    Prime Minister Rama rejected demands for a public apology and wrote on X: “No I am sorry and not only I have no apologies to make, but I reject the whole characterization of ‘the leader that has shown contempt toward critical press’, which is simply not true because there are now many years since I don’t engage in any type of legitimate heated debate with any journalist:-)”.

     

    After an article was published at Politico about the case and Rama’s refusal to apologise, he insisted on X he will not apologise and stated that is was “a completely innocent gesture, such as a friendly pat on the shoulder following a normal conversation with the press where all questions were answered without any lack of patience”. 

     

    Then on 21st March, during a live interview, Prime Minister Edi Rama said, “I do not apologize for the act against the journalist”. Rama referred to the Ambrozia Meta as an “actress” and “remote controlled missionary”. 

     

    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 community of journalists have called for a protest on 26th March in front of the Prime Minister Office. 

     

    SNJ reaction for this case as a reference for other coverage: 

     

    https://www.reporter.al/2024/03/19/kryeministri-cenon-fizikisht-gazetaren-ambrozia-meta/

     

    https://balkaninsight.com/2024/03/19/albanian-pms-intimidation-of-woman-journalist-condemned/

     

    https://www.politico.eu/article/albania-pm-hits-back-after-being-accused-of-intimidating-female-journalist/

     

    https://citizens-channel.com/2024/03/19/edi-rama-nga-epoka-e-riedukimit-ne-epoken-e-prekjeve-fizike-ndaj-gazetareve/

     

    https://fom.coe.int/en/alerte/detail/107640748