Lindita Çela is an investigative reporter based in Albania. She has joined OCCRP staff since February 2019, but for more than 15 years, she has covered complex stories that have had a major impact in Albania, showing courage and determination.
In 2017, Lindita Çela was part of the group of journalists who were awarded the "Global Shining Light" award at the Global Investigative Reporting Conference 2017 in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The investigation uncovered an arms pipeline between Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East worth €1.2 billion. The weapons flow, reporters found, were being financed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and Turkey, and systematically diverted to extremist groups, including the Islamic State.
After the story was published, the European Union announced it would monitor the flow of weapons and several countries reviewed their policies.
She has been named winner of CEI SEEMO’s prestigious Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism in 2016 for her uncompromising investigations into corruption scandals and organized crime, including the problem of human trafficking in Europe.
Çela was recognized for her story Vicious Circle: Albanian Victims Struggle to Escape Shadow of Sex Trade, published as part of the 2015 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme.
The investigation highlighted the plight of Albanian women and girls trafficked and exploited as sex slaves and their struggle to rebuild their lives with little help from the state and a society that often refuses to treat them as victims.
She received a commendation from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Albania, UN Women, for the “creation of a professional model of investigative journalism for the reporting on trafficking of women and girls”.
In addition to her contribution to exposing corruption at high levels of Albanian politics and organized crime in Albania, she has been invited to be an ancient lecturer at the University of Tirana, in the field of journalism, as well as in some trainings organized by civil society organizations. civil society in Albania. She is a participant in the most important conferences of investigative journalism but also in dozens of trainings on infestation techniques and the best reporting standards of quality journalism.