The President: Journalism in Kosovo has remained steadfast against pressures

Prishtina, May 3, 2017 - The President of the country, Hashim Thaçi, officially opened today the international conference “Prishtina Media Days”, organized by the Journalism Department of the University of Prishtina, in cooperation with the University of Vienna and the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO), and supported by the Office of the President of Kosovo.

Congratulating them for the 3rd of May, World Press Freedom Day, President Thaçi expressed gratitude to all journalists who with courage and professionalism continue to carry out their noble work, the right information of the public opinion.

“The freedom of the press, which in the broadest sense includes the freedom of expression and the right to be informed is one of the fundamental human freedoms and among the most desirable. The efforts to achieve this freedom are efforts that honor the history of human culture”, stated President Thaçi.

He said that journalism in Kosovo has remained steadfast despite the pressures and temptations, growing and empowering more and more.

“I congratulate you on the independence and professional integrity you have maintained. I also congratulate the public broadcaster on the editorial independence it has maintained, despite the efforts of politics to undermine and influence it”, he added.

President Thaçi condemned every threat against journalists and also prasied the law and order bodies who have acted immediately against intimidators.

“The attempts to hinder journalists in their work, the threats against them, are unacceptable in the Kosovar society and will be fought with the force of law. I congratulate the law and order bodies that have acted immediately against those who dare to threaten journalists. I have also demanded from justice to reveal the fate of the missing journalists or those killed in Kosovo before, during and after the war”, he added.

The President stressed that the news that this year the progress in Kosovo is also known by the “Reporters Without Borders” is welcomed, which ranked our country eight times higher than a year ago on the scale of press freedom.

“Our dedication, of the whole society, is to protect and further strengthen the freedom of expression”, stated President Thaçi

He also praised the media and the civil society for the public debate on the initial changes proposed in the Criminal Code, that violated the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression.

“This once again proved the power of the media and the free debate”, stressed President Thaçi.

In accordance with his competencies, President Thaçi said that he has been devoted since the first day to protect the Constitution and the laws of Kosovo.

He said that the development of information technology has created opportunities that we never had before to express ourselves and to communicate.

“Today it is easier than ever before to express and share our thoughts. But, this has made it easier than ever before to abuse with freedom of expression. This is a challenge not only for the Kosovar society, but for the entire world. The entire world is facing the phenomenon of false news, but also with the efforts of undemocratic regimes which through hybrid war abuse with the freedom of expression and violate the order of values and principles that liberal-democratic societies build”, he stated.

President Thaçi stressed that challenge today is not only the preservation of freedom of expression from attempts to limit it, but also its protection from attempts to abuse with it.