Monday 23.1.2017 in Latest Developments in Albania Country Page
Albania: Environmentalists protest waste import bill in Tirana https://t.co/GAb472NhWw— ISO (@ISObserver) November 24, 2016
While a variety of protests took place peacefully at the end of 2016, a protest against waste importation turned violent. As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, the importation of waste has been a key issue for Albanian environmental activists throughout 2016. On 24th November, protestors clashed with security forces outside parliament, after the authorities asked them to remove a tent at the mobilisation. Authorities claim the activists did not have permission to protest and swiftly arrested two participants. The two activists were later charged.
A number of peaceful protests have also been held in Albania in recent months:
- Teachers protested to demand better working conditions and an annual bonus;
- The youth wing of Albania's Democratic Party and their supporters protested against the current government and five of its major ministries;
- Roma Association representatives protested to demand better rights for the Roma community;
- Shkodra hospital medical staff protested against Article 96 of the Penal Code which defines medical malpractice as criminal conduct;
- People in Fier protested against the construction of a landfill in Mbostar which they fear will endanger children's health;
- Students protested to demand the resignation of the Minister of Education.
On 10th December, an Albanian MP proposed to ban unregistered online media outlets during elections. The move comes after Albanian authorities expressed concern over news outlets that are run anonymously. The changes to the electoral code will grant authorities the power to close unregistered outlets who campaign during elections and also imposes conditions on campaigning tactics. As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, the proposals come at a time when many freedom of speech advocates claim the legislative environment for journalism in Albania is worsening.