On 15 July, during the coup in Turkey, Berat Buzhala, a leading Kosovo journalist known for his satirical comments, wrote on Facebook: “I invite the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who are holidaying in Turkey to align with the army.” The comment was signed with an Internet emoticon with a tongue protruding, indicating it was not serious.

On 20 July, the Turkish Embassy in Pristina sent a note to Kosovo’s foreign ministry urging it to take action over the journalist’s comments. The note reads that the ministry should “ensure that necessary steps will be taken about this person in accordance with the law”. It also quoted a newly-adopted law in Kosovo which prohibits citizens from joining armed conflicts outside the country, adding that according to this law, those making comments such as Buzhala’s “shall be sentenced to jail terms from six months to five years”.

The Association of Journalists of Kosovo considered that the request made by the Turkish embassy is a heavy breach and recalled that journalists in Kosovo have the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution and laws in place.

Source: Council of Europe, http://www.coe.int/en/web/media-freedom/all-alerts/-/soj/alert/18617247