06 Jan 2020 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 05 Dec 2019 n° 144/2019 Albania
Information Website joqalbania.com Blocked
On 30 November 2019, the information website joqalbania.com was blocked by the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP), Albania's telecommunications regulator. AKEP did not issue an official statement regarding its action nor the legal grounds in support of such blocking. According to Reporter.Al: "the Albanian government appears to have ordered internet companies to block access to the website". The only contact made by the authorities with joqalbania.com came from the police who informed the two website executives, Erland Dalliu and Gentian Cengeli, that they were referred to the Prosecution Service. The referral was based on a complaint that joqalbania.com posts have spread panic amongst the population. The posts shared by Dalliu and Cengeli on social media referred to the aftermath of the 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn earthquake that shook through the capital of Tirana and nearby Durres on 26 November 2019. The Albanian government increasingly blames the media for stirring panic. Prime Minister Edi Rama appeared to have suggested that the citizens of central Albania "have been more appalled by media reports about the earthquake than by the earthquake itself." The website’s executives have since opened a new domain, joq-albania.com, which is accessible from all networks within the country. However, the original website remains blocked for domestic access, while the legality of this action is still under question.
06 Jan 2020
Reply from the Albanian authorities
Key information :Erland Dalliu, Gentian Cengeli
Administrators of the website joqalbania.com