18. May 2017

Why is there silence about assault on Kosovo journalists?

Former editor of the (Pristina) daily Zeri Arbana Xharra has been brutally beaten near her place of residence by "an unknown person." The news has been reported by numerous media, while local media throughout Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia are discharging a sea of comments on the subject. Why no one reacted when the recently beaten journalist Arbani Xharra received numerous threats, asked a commentary published by Al Jazeera. The topic was reported also by international agencies such as Reuters and others, because in essence what is happening in Kosovo is only an echo of a far greater problem than the important, but local story about a known and quality former journalist, who on May 9 join the party that she was among the biggest critics of in the past. Currently, however, after Arbana was beaten, in the Kosovo media and the so-called social media the topic of "Arbana's betrayal" has died down, with the problem of "violence against women" now dominating. Thus a comment appeared on the official profile of Kadri Veseli on May 14 at 10:21 hours, nearly ten hours after Arbana was beaten: "The attack on Arban Xharra is a barbaric, impermissible act. The continuous lynching of a woman and a mother, who has for years represented excellence in her courageous activities for the benefit of the whole of our society, is actually another in a series of cowardly attacks on Arbana, her family and democracy in our country." Early or late comment A few words are also said about freedom of speech and wishes for a quick recovery sent to Arbana, who is, as the chief of the PDK stressed once again, now a member of his party. "I wonder, Mr. Veseli, if it is was late or early for this comment. I will try to leave aside unproven stories that behind the attacks was your party, but I will use this opportunity to ask you - where were you and the authorities a month ago, when Arbana Xharra received dozens of threats through social networks, along with promises of rape, beheading, murders and countless other dirt? Where were you when unknown perpetrators drew a cross on her door?! Is Arbana Xharra, at the time still a journalist and editor, a less feminine woman, or perhaps less of a mother, and did not deserve the attention of the competent institutions in this situation? Did she at all represented a citizen of your country for you at that time, who needs protection, because of the nature of work that she dealt with, because they she reasonable grounds to be frightened by what befell her? Why didn't Arbana deserve t least half of this attention when she wrote articles about religious extremism in Kosovo? Those from a few years ago in which he warned of this dangerous phenomenon and the recent ones in which she wrote about women from Kosovo who are joining Islamic State?," said the Al Jazeera commentary. Unknown attackers "As I write this commentary, the perpetrators of the attack on Arbana are still unknown, but Mr. Veseli is briskly moving into the campaign, because in Kosovo, after the government fell and the assembly was dissolved on May 10, the president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, called elections, which will happen in less than a month, on June 11, " it said further. Veseli's promise In the Balkans, year after year, the position of journalists is becoming almost desperate. The story Arbana Xharra, however disappointing for many who appreciated her (although maybe not always agreed with her) is one in a series of bitter ones in the region. "Let us not be surprised that if the belittling of journalists contunues through the silence about the problems of intimidation, poor working conditions, wiretapping, physical attacks and threats, unsolving murders of journalists, with which a problem is had by Kosovo and Serbia and other countries in the region, we will see more more departures of professionals from this profession, behind which will follow a massive influx of 'fighters for women's rights, 'humanists', 'feminists'," concludes the commentary. @b92

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