The Safe Journalists Network speaks out against the “Anti-Defamation” Law

The Safe Journalists Network has expressed concern about the government’s plans to pass the controversial “anti-defamation package” law without taking into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The Safe Journalists Network is a regional platform represents more than 8,200 professional media outlets in the Western Balkans.

“While it is important to address issues of hate speech, defamation, disinformation and other related phenomena attributed usually to the online media, it has to be done by consulting relevant stakeholders and with the meaningful participation of civil society and media organisations. Self-regulation is paramount here as well as supporting the professionalism and independence of media”., said Blerjana Bino from the Network of Safe Journalists.

According to Bino, if the government is determined to pass the media law, then it will have to face a small part of the opposition left in the Assembly, as the Parliament is currently with one party.

From December 2018 when the first draft of the Anti-Defamation package was proposed by the Council of Ministers until December 19, 2019, when the amendments to the laws were approved by the Albanian Parliament, have been confirmed as major concerns for freedom of expression, for Democracy and the Rule of Law by the Venice Opinion on Albanian and foreign media organizations.