Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores last week’s violent attack on Elvi Fundo, a respected journalist who specializes in covering corruption, and urges the Albanian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.
The editor of the Citinews website and Radio Best, Fundo had to be hospitalized after being badly injured in the face and a leg by two unidentified men who assaulted him near Tirana’s main railway station on 8 March.
The police are said to be actively looking for the perpetrators of the attack, which caused a stir in Albania and was strongly condemned by Prime Minister Edi Rama. Interior minister Saimir Tahiri visited Fundo in hospital less than 24 hours after the attack to assure him of his support.
Fundo recently investigated the funding of several media outlets including Ora News TV, a privately-owned news channel. Speaking from his hospital bed, he said the attack could be linked to his recent reporting.
“We hope that everything possible will be done to identify those responsible for this attack and bring them to justice,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk.
The Association of Professional Journalists (APJ), the Union of Albanian Journalists (UGSH) and the Broadcast Media Agency (AMA) have all expressed their outrage at the attack and their support for Fundo.
Albania is ranked 82nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.