29 Jul 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 29 Jul 2019 Albania

New “Anti-defamation” Legislative Package Threatens Online Media Freedom

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner RSF Article 19 EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner RSF Article 19 EFJ/IFJ
On 3 July 2019, as part of a reform of the judiciary, the Albanian Council of Ministers approved a series of amendments known as the “anti-defamation package” and aiming, according to the authorities, at fighting against defamation.

If passed by Parliament, the proposed amendments to the laws No. 9918 “On electronic communications in the Republic of Albania” and No. 97/2013 “On Audio Visual Media in the Republic of Albania” would empower a state administrative body (the Audio Visual Media Authority) to regulate content published by online media. The draft bills seek to tighten the control over online media, as the Complaints Council, which is part of the Audio Visual Media Authority, could increase censorship by ordering the removal of online content on grounds of protecting the citizens’ “dignity and privacy”.

Several international organisations joined Albanian civil society and independent media in calling the government to withdraw these bills.
Follow-ups
29 Jul 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative presents new review of laws on online media in Albania, recommends further improvements
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