11 Jun 2019 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 18 May 2016 Albania

Sports Journalist Assaulted by President of Football Club

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index
Partner Index
Journalist Eduard Ilnica was assaulted on Gjollesha street around 22.00 on 9 May, 2016 and claims the perpetrator was President of the Kastrioti football club, Alban Vogli, Panorama Sport reports. The football president allegedly tried to force the journalist into his car. Ilnica was hospitalised shortly after. “The suspect attempted to forced him into his car and assault him due to a news piece that he [the journalist] had written in a local newspaper,” police said, according to Balkan Insight. The incident took place after Ilnica reported on the violence that occurred during a local football match in Peshkopi. Ilnica told Panorama Sport that he does not know what prompted the attack, but he believes it's connected to his critical stance against the Kastirotit club. Vogli was arrested as a suspect by the police of Tirana. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned an attack on journalist Eduard Ilnica in Tirana Monday night, and called on the authorities in Albania to carry out a swift and thorough investigation into the incident. “I condemn this attack; violence against journalists must not be tolerated,” Mijatović said. “I welcome the swift response by the police and hope that the investigation will yield results and bring all perpetrators to justice.” “Our staff denounce this cowardly act and call on state structures to do justice as soon as possible,” Telesport said, according to Balkan Insight. “It is a shame that a sports journalist has been beaten up for doing his job.”
Resolved
11 Jun 2019: In May 2016, the journalist withdrew his complaint being unsure about the identity of his aggressor. The alleged assailant (Alban Vogli), was released after one month's detention. On 11 June 2019, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
State replies
18 May 2016
Reply from the Government of Albania
Follow-ups
18 May 2016
OSCE media freedom representative condemns attack on journalist in Albania, urges swift and thorough investigation
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