Macedonia’s state-owned news agency (MIA) suspended the prominent VMRO-DPMNE promoter Cvetin Chilimanov after he called for the rape of journalist Valerie Hopkins on Twitter.
The political tension in the Republic of Macedonia has increased in recent months ahead of the referendum, scheduled for 30 September 2018, on the agreement signed with Greece to solve the long-standing name dispute.
A campaign to frame civil society as criminals and traitors has severely affected the work, resources and reputation of activists in Macedonia.
Macedonian journalist can finally expect to be formally exonerated of political charges against him, after nearly five years.
From the beginning of 2016 until yesterday at least 21 attacks against journalists in Macedonia have been registered by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM), out of a total of several dozens within the last years.
Populist, nationalist politicians in Central and Eastern Europe are launching attacks on civil society; the aim is to silence criticism and undermine pro-democracy, anti-corruption groups that hold governments to account.
RSF condemns the many attacks against Macedonian journalists at demonstrations in the capital Skopje and provincial cities in recent weeks and urges the authorities to shed light on the violence.
Macedonian ruling party leader and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has pledged to ‘cleanse’ Macedonia’s long-embattled civil society sector.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) strongly condemn the attack on journalist Sashe Ivanovski by the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr Vladimir Peshevski, on 15 July.
“Policing demonstrations can be difficult, but beating people certainly isn’t acceptable crowd control,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “And beating a journalist covering a protest is not just unlawful, but an indefensible attack on press freedom.”
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is deeply concerned over recent attacks and threats against journalists in Croatia and the Republic of Macedonia/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as the case of a Serbian journalist denied entry to Russia.
PEN International and Macedonian PEN are deeply concerned by the recent revelations that the Macedonian state has reportedly been subjecting its journalists and various state institutions to mass, unauthorised surveillance.
Metamorphosis, the IFEX member from Macedonia, expressed grave concern about the publicly announced allegations of mass and unauthorized surveillance of citizens, performed through criminal association and official misconduct in state institutions and/or influential corporations.
Kezarovksi has been in detention and then under house arrest since 28 May 2013 for an article he wrote in 2008 in which he allegedly revealed the identity of a witness in a murder case.