Albanian Police Officer Investigated for Criticising Journalists

State Police in Albania said on Friday that they are investigating Deputy Commissioner Anisa Kostani, a police officer in Elbasan, after she harshly criticised journalists on social media for their reporting of a killing in the city.

"We regretfully followed the unethical and unprofessional reaction of a police officer of the Elbasan Local Police Directorate, who insulted journalists through a post on social networks, with the claim that journalists are slinging mud at the work of the Elbasan Local Police Directorate," the State Police said in a statement.

The statement said that Kostani has been suspended from duty and a disciplinary investigation has been launched "for a serious violation of the State Police regulations".

The post published by Kostani on Instagram on Wednesday was a reaction to media coverage of the killing of a 33-year-old, which police said was the result of a "momentary conflict", but which came after several other killings in Albania recently.

"The police in Elbasan have never been more active than today, have never achieved more than today, what are you asking for?" Kostani wrote in her message to journalists.

"Zero shootings, zero gunshot wounds, zero crime [can only be found] in paradise, if you want to go there you are free to do so, but be careful because you might burn in hell on the way there," she added.

Kostani's post sparked strong criticism from journalists, who described it as inappropriate, threatening and unacceptable.

Klodiana Lala, a journalist who covers crime and corruption, told BIRN that Kostani violated the ethics of the force with the language that she used.

"Such behaviour by a deputy commissioner seriously damages the image of the state police, and is...

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