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Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
News

LGBT Rights Groups Bring Legal Case to Fulfil Long-Delayed Promise

Last week Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT, announced his organization would file a lawsuit requesting recognition of same-sex partnerships.
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Kristi Pinderi, the executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT.
News

Investigative Journalist Should be Free on Bail as Trial Proceeds

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
News

11-Month Pre-Trial Detention Unjustified

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
News

Urgent need to safeguard students, teachers and schools during armed conflict

Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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 Vladimir Mitrić, a Serbian journalist, has always been drawn towards unearthing the darker side of life: human and drug smuggling; war crimes; corrupt politicians, war profiteers, tycoons and murders shielded by…
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It’s not easy to be an investigative journalist in the Western Balkans. Besides the inherent challenges of the job, reporters can face physical attacks, intimidation, even death threats. Reporting an attack to the authorities rarely brings justice.…
A cartoon in Serbian Blic satirizing Olja Bećković’s weekly TV show Utisak Nedelje
News
Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
News
On September 17, a court in Kosovo acquitted Fatmir Limaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and high-ranking politician, and nine others of war crimes related to the 1998 torture and killings of Serbian and Albanian civilians in a makeshift…
News

Called for Violence Against Pride Paraders

(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…
News

Prime Minister Should Refrain from Interfering in Case

(New York) - Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania should not interfere with the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of three anti-government protesters on January 21, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The three protesters were killed…