SKOPJE, 03.11.2017 – The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety, representing more than 7800 members, strongly condemns the detention of TV cameraman from TV21 Ibrahim Mahmuti and photographer from Kosovo, Blerim Uka during the verdict of the case “Divo Naselje.”
It is devastating that this incident happened on November 2nd the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. This kind of attitude of the institutions towards journalists is completely unacceptable and aims to intimidate journalists and encourage self-censorship when reporting on certain court proceedings.
The two colleagues Mahmuti and Uka, were held at the police station for six hours, with the explanation that they were filming the judges at the trial. “We expect the police to seriously investigate this incident and to impose appropriate sanctions. Only with open dialogue between journalists and the responsible institutions we can change the bad practice of impunity for crimes against journalists.” said the President of AJM, Naser Selmani.
The Platform requests from the Macedonian authorities to immediately investigate this case and all previous attacks on journalists and sanction the offenders.
The Regional Network strongly supports the Association of Journalists of Macedonia and their efforts to protect journalists and freedom of speech. At the same time, we call on international organizations to put additional pressure on the Macedonian authorities to respect freedom of expression and freedom of media and to ensure journalists’ safety.
Each attack on journalists is attack on public interest, democracy and rights of all citizens.
Skopje – Belgrade – Podgorica – Prishtina – Sarajevo – Zagreb, 03.11.2017.
BH Journalists Association
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
Independent Journalists Association Serbia