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TV Klan Kosova host threatened by former parliamentarian

(IPI/IFEX) - VIENNA, 17 November 2010 - The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South and East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), strongly condemns the alleged threats received by TV Klan Kosova moderator Baton Haxhiu from former Member of Parliament (MP) Gani Geci in Kosovo.

According to information received by SEEMO, on 9 November 2010 the show "Debate Zone" on TV Klan Kosova was cancelled due to the alleged threats made by Geci, a former MP of the Democratic League of Dardania (LDD).

"The show was interrupted due to the assault from Geci, who violently prevented the host, Baton Haxhiu, from starting the show," TV Klan Kosova announced on the television and on their website. In a subsequent press release, Geci alleged that his actions were due to Haxhiu's attempt to exclude him from the show. TV Klan Kosova confirmed said intent. Geci left the premises shortly before the arrival of the police, who were reportedly summoned by the station.

"SEEMO strongly condemns this case and considers such actions as interference and obstruction of the media, made worse by the fact that the perpetrator is a former MP," said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.

"Any such actions, especially violent ones, create a difficult environment for journalists; no excuse can wash away the stain of such deeds. We call for the LDD and authorities in Pristina to distance themselves from such acts."

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