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KINGDOM OF NORWAY:
JOURNALIST AND FAMILY AT RISK 0F DEPORTATION

Update info:
24 Nov 2015
Country:
KINGDOM OF NORWAY
Subject:
Genci Angjellari (m), Fatjona Angjellari (f) and Sofi Angjellari (f)
Gender : Both
Period:
28 Dec 2015
Distribution date:
24 Nov 2015
UA No:
257/2015

Investigative journalist, Genci Angjellari, his wife and his 14-month-old daughter are at imminent risk of deportation from Norway to Albania. The family fled from Albania in 2014, after a physical attack on Genci Angjellari and receiving death threats. If returned to Albania their lives will be at risk.

Genci Angjellari, an investigative journalist from Albania, is facing deportation from Norway along with his wife, Fatjona Angjellari, and their 14-month-old daughter, Sofi Angjellari. On 30 October their application for asylum received a final rejection from the Norwegian authorities. A final appeal is possible, but does not have suspensive effect (meaning that the authorities are not obliged to wait until the outcome of the appeal is known before implementing a deportation order). Genci Angjellari and his family remain at real risk of intimidation, harassment and death, if returned to Albania, and will not receive adequate protection from state authorities. The family is currently in an undisclosed location in Oslo, as they fear Norwegian police will enforce their deportation after 13 November.

On 19 November 2014, in Albania, Genci Angjellari was attacked by two men on a motorcycle. The men punched him, held a knife to his throat and told him to cease his investigations into alleged links between the mafia, business and political actors. The following day Fatjona Angellari was approached by two men on a motorcycle who threatened to kill her husband and their daughter, and to rape her unless he “stopped playing with fire”.

The Angjellari family fled to Norway on 22 November 2014 and sought asylum there. In the course of several appeals, the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board found their account of the events leading to their flight credible, but ruled that the family could be returned to Albania as they could seek police protection there. Genci Angjellari was already denied such protection in November 2014, and Amnesty International’s research shows that the Albanian authorities have consistently failed to protect journalists from threats and physical attacks, or bring the perpetrators of such attacks to justice. In addition, according to Genci Angjellari’s lawyer, relevant evidence was not considered during the appeals process, including an email from Genci Angjellari about the threats received on 19 November 2014 and an expert witness’ statement on the nexus between organized crime, corruption and political and business interests in Albania.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Investigative journalists in Albania are regularly subject to threats from both state and non-state actors, including politicians, business leaders and alleged members of the mafia. Others have been subjected to physical violence or harassment by members of the Albanian police force, while reporting on allegations of corruption or the activities of business or organized crime.

A leaked internal report from the Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE), presents evidence (compiled from documents in the public domain) which suggest a close nexus between police, politicians, business and mafia, which would allow impunity for such threats and attacks to persist. The European Commission in their most recent Progress Report on Albania, published on 9 November, has reported that “corruption is widespread and more efforts are needed to make progress with a view to establishing a solid track record of investigations, prosecutions and convictions at all levels”.

Take action

Please write immediately in Norwegian, English or your own language:

  • Urging the Norwegian authorities not to deport Genci Angjellari, Fatjona Angjellari and Sofi Angjellari to Albania, as they would not get adequate protection from the Albanian authorities and would be at real risk of serious human rights violations;
  • Calling on them to reconsider the application for asylum and/or other available protection in light of the testimony of an expert witness and an email from Genci Angjellari regarding the specific nature of the threats made on 19 November 2014, which were not considered by the appeal body;
  • Urging them to provide them with accommodation that is appropriate for a family with a young child.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 28 DECEMBER 2015 TO:
Minister of Justice and Public Security
Anders Anundsen
Postboks 8005
Dep 0030 Oslo, Norway
Fax: +47 22 24 95 33
Email: postmottak@jd.dep.no
Salutation: Dear Minister

Director General, Immigration Directorate
Frode Forfang
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. Box 8108
Dep 0032 Oslo, Norway
Fax: +47 23 35 15 01
Email: udi@udi.no
Salutation: Dear Director General

Director, Immigration Appeals Board
Ingunn-Sofie Aursnes
Utlendingsnemnda
Pb. 8165
Dep 0034 Oslo, Norway
Fax: +47 21 08 50 01
Email: postmottak@une.no
Salutation: Dear Director

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.