New Albanian Anti-Corruption Law Threatens Media Freedom

Update: 01 Mar 2017 Resolved
Year 22 Aug 2016 Country Albania Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
22 Aug 2016 Albania E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Level 2

As part of the judicial reform, the Albanian Parliament has drafted a law, officially aiming to fight corruption, that will threaten freedom of speech and media freedom, says the Association of professional journalists (APJ). The article 13 of the draft legislation regulating “the organisation and functioning of institution to encounter corruption and organised crime" states that "any inappropriate influence on the work of the special prosecutors or their actions on specific issues through the public authorities or the media, or any other form of pressure that impacts on the independence of prosecutors, is prohibited and punished by the law." Journalists’ associations in Albania have expressed concerns that the wording might limit their right to free speech and impose censorship. Under the provision, any journalist or media organisation reporting on the case pursued by the authorities could be accused of violating the law and could face up to three years in prison.

Resolved Taking into account the modifications to the anti-corruption law, as adopted by the Albanian Parliament in October 2016 and which subsequently entered into force, that clarified the article 13, amending its ambiguous provisions, on 1 March 2017, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

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