The SafeJournalists network is deeply concerned by the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Trade’s decision to confirm the suspension of Klan Kosova’s business license last night.
This decision jeopardizes pluralism and media freedom while also delivering a strong message to other media outlets. Klan Kosova said it will appeal the verdict in court.
The SafeJournalists network and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) are alarmed by this decision. AJK thinks this decision has been politically motivated from the start by the ruling party and PM Kurti’s government in their efforts to bring down Kosovo’s largest private TV channel. They also consider that this decision emphasizes the government’s open and unprecedented attack on the media, and it serves as a signal that other media outlets will be targeted next.
“We are totally shocked to see the Kosovo Government and Prime Minister Kurti go this far, by taking a decision to effectively close Klan Kosova. We see it as a brutal attempt to undermine media freedom in Kosovo and as an open and unprecedented war of this Government against media in the country. We fear that the decision for the biggest TV channel in Kosovo, is just a warning for what might come for other media in the future, which are not to the liking of the ruling party. As the case moves to the court, we believe a just decision will be taken for Klan Kosova to continue its operations unhindered” – said Xhemajl Rexha, chairperson of AJK.
The SafeJournalists network, which represents over 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, shares AJK’s concern and calls on international journalistic organizations to condemn this action of the Kosovo authorities. Network also calls on the court to overturn this baseless decision of the government and thus shows that it protects democracy and the rights of citizens.
The SafeJournalists network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about this case.
Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy, and the rights of all citizens.
Pristina – Skopje – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Belgrade – Podgorica, 29.07.2023
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
BH Journalists Association
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Independent Journalists Association of Serbia
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro