Albanian police fail to intervene as journalist is assaulted in Tirana

An Albanian journalist was physically attacked in Tirana on 11 October while reporting a dispute between teachers and students next to the school “Cajupi”.

Ledio Guni, a reporter with Fax News, was sent to report from the event, but one man physically attacked him by throwing a chair while filming. Guni declared he was a journalist, but the attacks continued. Despite the presence of police at the scene, they did not intervene to prevent the assault, reported exit.al on Wednesday.

Nertila Spiri, Director of Information at Fax News Media, said they were concerned the police didn’t react and protect Guni. The incident was not even included in the official statement issued by the police about the parent-teacher conflict.

Blerjana Bino, researcher of Safe Journalists Network in Albania, said, “the violence against journalists and media staff cannot be and must not be tolerated considering limited effective preventive measures in place to protect journalists and limited investigations”.

“Also, we need a clear message of support and solidarity needed by media professionals”, she said.

Safe Journalists Network represents more than 8,200 journalists in the Western Balkans. They condemned the attack and called on the police to investigate the police and inform the public of the outcome of the investigation.

Violence and threats against journalists in Albania are common, but convictions for these crimes are not. There have been no convictions of crimes against journalists in the last three years, including online threats, physical assault, and threats including machine-gun fire on their homes and bomb attacks.

In August 2021, Exit journalist Alice Taylor filed a complaint about an explicit death threat sent to her Facebook page. Despite providing police with identifying information on the perpetrator and expressing far for her and her child’s safety, the police are yet to act.