Alida Karakushi - The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety
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Alida Karakushi - The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety

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Presentation at the conference Freedom and privacy on the Internet (FPI), 2012, Skopje, Macedonia

Presentation at the conference Freedom and privacy on the Internet (FPI), 2012, Skopje, Macedonia

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  • Journalists sometimes face intimidation as response to critical reporting. In February 2009, an editorial in the generally pro-Berisha private daily KohaJone explicitly called for the murder of MeroBaze, the owner of Tema and host of a talk show on the independent television station Vision Plus.Baze was allegedly assaulted by businessman RezartTaci and at least two of his bodyguards in November 2009. Through his media outlets, Baze had accused Taci of tax evasion and irregularities in his acquisition of a state-owned oil refinery. Taci, who had close ties to Berisha, was arrested along with the two bodyguards, and at year’s end they were free on bail pending trial
  • Albania has jailed 19 former officials over a series of explosions at an ammunition disposal factory in 2008.The court ruled that the officials had failed to follow security procedures for destroying military equipment.YlliPinari, the former weapons department chief, was jailed for 18 years. The other officials received between one and 18 years in prison.Twenty-six people were killed and hundreds injured in blasts at Gerdec, near the capital Tirana.Relatives of those who died have accused the courts of being too lenient on the officials.ZamiraDurda, whose six-year-old child was killed in the explosions, said the court had not given her justice."Four years after the explosion [officials] have killed my child for a second time," she said.A joint statement from the victims' families said that the judges had discovered a lot of details about the case "but who killed our 26 beloved ones remains an enigma".
  • hard core of secrets the national governments are entitled to protect at all costs.


  • 1. The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety (case study: Albania) Prepared Alida Karakushi Independent #fpi12
  • 2. Freedom of Expression &Public interest• Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights• Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.• Public interest is being served if the efforts of the journalist detect or make known crime/serious misbehavior• Story would avert people at large from being disoriented, by some statements or action of an individual or organization.• Stories on important officials or people whose public image is in a high degree in conflict with their private lives.• The story serves to the protection of citizens safety #fpi12
  • 3. National Interests• National interests regard:• Security• Intelligence• Defense• Official telephone tapping• Official opening of people’s email• Les obvious crimes for special investigation• Official , confidential exchanges between governments and and international agencies.• National interests:• Determined by the interests of government.• The national interest is as the government sees it. Government decides what should be protected, government decides through a controlled parliament the way it should be done so.• No autonomous mechanisms is provided by which the national interests can be tested.• No independent mechanism whether the motives of the government in any particular instance are genuine, really in the national interest, or self serving to save the government from humiliation #fpi12
  • 4. Case study (Albania)• Albanian media is partly free due to the below reasons:• Visual media and print one are (de facto) extensions of party interests, business interests present in the strategic industries• There is a huge number of medias comparing the real need of, resulting in a lower quality.• No funds for special investigation• Journalists are specially exposed to editorial pressure due to a lack of employment contracts and irregular pay.• No government restrictions on the internet• Some of the visual medias that have gained financial independence thanks to the high performance and technological advancement are less dependent from the powerful interests.• Online medias ( social networks , blogs) are a clear air of #fpi12
  • 5. Albania National Interests• SHIK (National Intelligence Service ) very likely does not respect someones privacy• If NATO or US asks for someones conversations and info we go overboard to prove we are willing to help a NATO member•+ Albanian constitutional court nullifies maritime boundary agreement with Greece(10 February 2010)•- Gerdec blast (15 March ,2008), Albanian authorities confirmed 26 deaths in the explosions. Officials report the number of injured people at over 300, 2,306 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the explosions. Of these, 318 houses were destroyed completely, 200 buildings were seriously damaged, and 188 buildings were less seriously #fpi12
  • 6. The future of information belongs to almost full transparency and to a journalism vested with ethical professionalism. The line of freedom of expression and state interests will get from thin to thinner in free societies , as may get from line to a real wall in societies where there is rule by law instead of rule of law . “ A free press can , of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad” (Albert Camus) #fpi12