16 Jul 2020 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 29 Aug 2019 n° 100/2019 Albania

News 24 Channel Shuts Down two Critical Talk Shows

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On the eve of the launch of the new television season, the first Albanian 24-hour news television channel, News 24, announced the closure of two talk shows: Ylli Rakipi's "The Unexposed Ones" and Adi Krasta's "Krasta / A Show". Both programs were critical of Prime Minister Edi Rama and aired for a year on News 24 owned by the Focus Media Group. Journalist Adi Krasta had his employment terminated last weekend after the president of News 24, Irfan Hysenbelliu, was reportedly “threatened” by the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj. On 19 July 2019, journalist Artur Cani had revealed that the Prime Minister had met with the owner of News 24 to ask for the dismissal of journalist Ylli Rakipi, warning at the time that Adi Krasta was likely to lose his job as well. Adi Krasta was offered another position within the television channel.

Journalist Ylli Rakipi has accused Prime Minister Rama's government of shutting down his show and terminating his contract with the Focus Media Group. Irfan Hysenbelliu denied that the closure of both talk shows resulted from government pressure and the Prime Minister’s office called the allegations “fake news”.
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