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The South East Europe Media Organisation, SEEMO, on Wednesday urged Greece to investigate why border guards barred an Albanian reporter from the country as a threat to national security.
“Reporters should be allowed to travel both as private citizens and as information professionals,” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said.
“The [Greek] border police appear to have violated several international standards by impeding the journalist’s free movement. Press freedom cannot stop at countries’ borders,” he added.
On 19 August 2012, Marin Mema, a reporter for Albania's Top Chanel TV, was heading to Greece on a private visit when Greek border police denied him entry.
He was handed a piece of paper that allegedly described him as a threat to national security and as persona non grata.
In an interview with Balkan Insight, Mema linked the ban to a TV report he had filmed earlier on the plight of the Cham community.
These were ethnic Albanians who were expelled from northern Greece during World War Two and who have never been allowed home.
“Greece is a European Union country,” Vujovic said.
“The actions of the Greek border police have to be investigated and explained. International organisations like the Council of Europe or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe should also look into these practices,” he concluded.
The Vienna-based organisation was established in 1990 in Zagreb, Croatia, to create a bridge between international media activities and the media developments in the region and defend press freedom.
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