SJ: Public condemnation for obstructing the work of journalists during the elections in the Republic of North Macedonia

Over the period, we have witnessed multiple, severe insults, verbal attacks, and attempts of public discrediting that contributed to endangering journalists’ safety. In several separate incidents, journalists Xhumadije Ibraimi from Klan TV, Salije Sadiku from TV 21 and Ferikan Arifi from Euronews Albania were obstructed in their work while reporting on the elections process by the members of election committees, political party members and policemen.

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) strongly condemned these obstructions and asked from the State Election Committee and the Ministry of Interior to immediately resolve all reported incidents from the past week.

Mladen Chadikovski, President of AJM, at today’s press conference stated: “We are entering in the final and the most fierce phase of the election campaign – we are warning loud and clear that all this must stop immediately. The Ministry of Interior, the State Election Committee and the prosecution must react immediately to show that attacks on free thought are inadmissible. All these developments leave scars on the media scene and on the democratic atmosphere throughout the country. That is why we demand a reaction from the authorities immediately / at once, not tomorrow, but now.”

SafeJournalists Network, representing more than 8.200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, joins the efforts of its member AJM in raising the awareness about the problem of harming the rights of journalists especially in periods of elections because the right of information is essential and joins the calls for the competent institutions to resolve the incidents and punish the perpetrators. Only by prompt reaction by the institutions larger incidents in which physical integrity of journalists can be threatened will be avoided.

SafeJournalists Network will inform relevant national and international stakeholders about these cases.

Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy, and rights of all citizens.

Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Tirana, October 22, 2021

Association of Journalists of Kosovo

Association of Journalists of Macedonia

BH Journalists Association

Croatian Journalists’ Association

Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

Trade Union of Media of Montenegro

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