State Department publishes the Report on Human Right Practices

0
333

The US State Department today has released the Reports on Human Right Practices for 2022.

In the section on Freedom of Expression in Kosovo, it is reported that Freedom of Expression has been generally respected, but that there have been attempts to intimidate journalists and media representatives by politicians, public figures, businesses, and religious groups.

Credible reports persisted that some public officials, politicians, businesses, and religious groups sought to intimidate media representatives. Funding problems also undermined media independence. Journalists encountered difficulties in obtaining information from the government and public institutions, notwithstanding laws providing access to public documents.”

US State Department Report also quotes the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, for the attacks against journalists while reporting in the north of Kosovo, the arrest of the cameraman, Albion Selitaj, by the Kosovo Police, as well as the cyber attacks against the media.

As of December, the Association of Journalists of Kosovo reported 29 instances of government officials, political leaders, judicial staff, business interests, community groups, or religious groups physically assaulting or verbally threatening journalists or conducting cyberattacks against media outlets. In December Reporters Without Borders called on police and security forces to provide better protection for journalists reporting in northern Kosovo after attacks on six media crews between November 15 and December 19.

In February police arrested news agency Ekonomia Online cameraman Albion Selitaj while he was filming a police action in Suhareke/Suva Reka. Selitaj was released without charges after an investigation. The Association of Kosovo Journalists criticized the police for unprofessional behavior that had a chilling impact on freedom of expression.”

The report also highlights the digital smear campaigns against the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, when they defended journalists and media.