AJK calls on Govt, LVV to distance themselves from social media group

The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) expressed concern and condemned what is categorized as being an ongoing smear campaign against journalists by members of a Facebook group #mekryeministrin (#withprimeminister).

"This group, which functions with the support of the ruling Vetevendosje party and PM Kurti, continuously smears journalists of different media outlets. Immediately after reopening, the group administrators launched a new series of attacks by labeling some media outlets as 'Pronto Clan'," the Association said, urging the Government of Kosovo and the Vetevendosje Movement to "distance themselves from this denigrating language and stop supporting such attacks, even if indirectly."

Kallxo asked Vetevendosje MP Fitore Pacolli, who AJK says publicly endorsed the Facebook group, to comment on allegations.

Pacolli said she did not see the Association's reaction but noted that she did not create the group. She however admitted that her brother is a member.

"He is an independent individual, I do not control him," she said. "He set up a Facebook group, this is all part of democracy. If we look at democracy, we need to look at it from both sides."

In a subsequent post on Facebook, Pacolli said to AJK: "You cannot find any example of me smearing or threatening journalists. If you do, please immediately take it to court. Please. You say you speak on behalf of the freedom of expression all the while undermining someone else's freedom."