"Renaissance", at the most inopportune time possible, when the country is in a civil emergency and is facing the catastrophic consequences caused by the devastating earthquake, taking advantage of the chaos and confusion, started the first steps in the installation of the dictatorship in Albania. The first step in moving a country towards dictatorship is to "disappear" and "eliminate" all voices against the government, such as critical media that highlight scandals and corrupt affairs.
A few hours after JOQ Albania published a video-scandal, where a police officer was seen taking aid to those affected by the earthquake to his apartment, the Police of Lleshi announced a "wanted" order for the administrators of JOQ Albania, while a day later the government, in an act unprecedented, AKEP ordered to block the access of citizens living in the territory of the Republic of Albania to the domain "joqalbania.com".
Well-known media and political figures in the country reacted to this scandalous initiative of the government, in these difficult days for our country, with an absurd decision by AKEP, which saw our media as a subject that engaged in gambling activity and, moreover, it is referred to the law.
After labeling the media and journalists as "garbage", Rama now has only to close all the media that do not follow the editorial line of "Renaissance" and do not use the megaphones of its propaganda, to convey deceptions and facades of the government to the citizens.
The scandalous behavior towards the media and journalists, as well as the blocking of access to the domain of our media, has also been reported to the Council of Europe.
The news was given by the media rights lawyer, Flutura Kusari, who through a post on social networks announced that the actions of Rama's government against the media and journalists were reported to the Platform of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Journalists.
In the reports provided by the Albanian Media Council and BIRN Albania, the extraordinary pressure that Rama exerts on journalists, threatening to close the media, is reflected and presented. Also, in a second announcement on the official website of the Council of Europe, the closure of the domain of JOQ Albania is reported, without a court order.
As Rama's unprecedented attacks on the media have already echoed in the highest international institutions, the government is obliged to account for its absurdities before all member states of the Council of Europe.
The full post of the judge Kusari:
I am extremely happy to inform you that the actions of Edi Rama's government against the media and journalists are today reported to the Platform of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Journalists.
1. The announcement that shows the extraordinary and terrible pressure of Edi Rama against journalists: http://bit.ly/2RoMb0g
2. Notice of closure without a court order of the JOQ media page: http://bit.ly/2OWGe9v
It falls to Edi Rama and his people to justify their actions before all the member states of the Council of Europe.
We made sure that the whole world understood how terribly Edi Rama treats journalists and the media.
The reporting was helped by BIRN Albania/reporter.al, which are the most reliable and professional medium out there and the main partner of international organizations that protect journalists.
Full article on the official website of the Council of Europe:
The Albanian Media Council (AMC), an NPO composed of journalists and media professionals, has accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of exploiting the emergency situation caused by the earthquake of November 26, 2019 and the illegal closure of online media, claiming that he ordered AKEP (Electronic and Postal Communications Authority) to block online news portals, including joqalbania.com.
On December 1, 2019, the AMC posted a “Statement of Concern Regarding the Government's Attack on the Media” saying that the authorities “cannot stop citizens or portals from denouncing the mismanagement of the situation (where it exists) and, moreover, cannot can block an entire portal for a single issue. According to Reporter.Al, Prime Minister Rama "has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the media" when faced with difficult questions about the government's ability to effectively manage the consequences of the earthquake.
According to journalist Gjergj Erebara, Prime Minister Rama has used social media platforms on several occasions to put pressure on online portals, threatening to close them down. He stated on November 28, 2019: "This is the final warning to portals and information channels that under the conditions and within the legal framework of an emergency situation, I will be forced to intervene by force to close them down to end this dramatic phase, if you continue with panic spreading fake news!
Another video message was shared on Facebook on December 3, 2019 in which Prime Minister Rama addressed the general public, urging them to avoid watching news on television and not to follow internet portals that created "so-called information sources". "repulsive and uncertain smell and confusion".
While AMC calls on the media to show restraint in verified news reporting, it also calls on the Government to "not copy the infamous case of Erdogan who used the post-coup situation to attack, arrest, shut down and crackdown on critical media outlets .”