Albania: Journalists League Appeals Against Committees

by way of Carlos Moreno (heiko@easynet.co.uk)
Sat, 24 May 1997 22:28:04 -0500


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World News Review 23-5-97a ******************************************************** Albania: Journalists League Appeals Against Committees

Tirana TVSH Television Network in Albanian 1800 GMT 20 May 97

In a statement brought to Albanian Television, the Journalists League issues an appeal to the institutions of the Albanian state, the International Federation of Journalists, and various international institutions that defend the press, concerning the severe plight of most of the press in Albania. For more than two months, the so-called salvation committees have prevented the distribution of independent newspapers and those of right-wing parties in six districts in southern Albania. In these areas, the so-called salvation committees only allow the distribution of the newspaper Zeri i Popullit, the organ of the Socialist Party, and other newspapers that are close to the Socialist Party, like Koha Jone and others. The committees have forcibly prevented the distribution of non-left-wing papers and the independent newspapers Albania and Rilindja, often burning them. Gangsters have burned vehicles and in some cases have abused journalists and technical personnel involved in the distribution of the press. The Journalists League has repeatedly asked for help from the Albanian Government and Prime Minister Fino personally to create equal conditions for the Albanian press. However, neither the government nor Prime Minister Fino has even formally taken any step to improve the situation. This political discrimination against the press and the ban on the distribution of more than half of the press for political reasons is a very serious act against the fundamental principles of a democratic society. The Journalists League of Albania protests the forcible ban on the distribution of the press for political reasons, and asks for the help of the institutions if the Albanian state, the International Federation of Journalists, and other institutions in order to put an end to this state of affairs.

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