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Attackers on Albanian journalist who wrote about corruption still not found: I think this was a “shut up – close your mouth” message.

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Director and journalist of online news portal Citynews.al and Radio Best, Elvi Fundo, was attacked on 8 March this year in Tirana and ended up in hospital due to serious injuries. As the European Federation of Journalists reported, Fundo was attacked not far from his office by unidentified assailants.

After the incident, the journalist posted on his Facebook profile that the attack wasn’t a political one but “the work of criminals financed by corrupt media clans tied to drug-trafficking”. The Albanian Union of Journalists stated that the attack was probably a reaction to the latest articles about corruption and corrupt affairs that Fundo had published.

In order to find out what this was all about and whether or not the perpetrators have been found, we contacted Elvi Fundo, who was recently released from hospital.

I was attacked with a metal tool by two unknown persons in the area known as

a Train Station in Tirana, near my office and home. They came after me and hit me on the head, face and leg. Because of this I was hospitalised for some days, with considerable damages especially on the face (mouth mostly) and my right leg. I think this was a “shut up – close your mouth” message.

Furthermore, he referred on his journalistic work on uncovering corruption cases, for which he believes are the reason for this attack:

The news portal I own and administrate has published a lot of investigation stories about corruption, crime, etc., and I consider my attack as a tentative to stop me from writing about such sensitive issues. Police and the respective instances are working on finding the attackers and sending them to justice, Elvi Fundo for Fairpress.

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