AJM: Strong condemnation of the public threats of violence against journalists and media workers, presented in a TV show on TV24

    photo: canva
    Country MK
    Name and Surname Ognen Janeski
    Gender Male
    Date 27/06/2023
    City / Location Skopje
    Type of incident Threats against the lives and limbs of journalists
    By whom To journalists by citizens
    Type of media Radio and television
    Media name TV24
    Public prosecutor Reported to the public prosecutor's office and a procedure initiated by a competent prosecutor
    Legal closure Ongoing (or case not closed)
    Judiciary status /
    Was journalist`s association informed Yes
    What was journalists' association reaction Free legal consultation provided, public condemnation with reaction release to media
    Were authorities informed? Case was reported to the police Case was reported to the Prosecutor’s Office

    The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) strongly reacts and condemns the public threats and hate speech towards all journalists and media workers and towards the journalist Ognen Janeski that were addressed by a viewer in two TV shows, yesterday on June 27, 2023, on TV 24.

    More specifically, during yesterday’s edition of the show “Vo tek” on TV 24, which is of a contact format, an anonymous viewer threatened to beat all journalists from the televisions, representing hate speech towards the entire journalistic profession, media workers, and televisions at all.

    The same person, through an additional call in the afternoon show “Ochi v Ochi”, verbally threatened Ognen Janeski with the words: “And those who call and support you, lift you up to the sky, will bring you down.” The same ones again. Thank you for the lawsuit you will file against me. And we will meet in another place, where you live”, an act that threatens his safety.

    We consider this procedure to be completely unacceptable and a direct pressure and threat to the safety of journalists and media workers, as well as freedom of speech.

    The case has been reported to the competent public prosecutor, and we request that the Public Prosecutor’s Office conduct a quick investigation so that such cases are sanctioned immediately.

    These comments can cause fear among journalists and media workers and threaten their safety by inciting violence. It is time to realize the seriousness of this kind of verbal attack and end the unsanctioned behavior of certain media workers.

    According to the legal amendments to the Criminal Law from February 2023, in the section on jeopardizing security, a new qualified form is provided for, which, apart from higher penalties for violating these rights of a journalist or other media worker or another person who performs work of public interest in the performance of professional tasks or with the performance of professional tasks, the prosecutor’s office will act ex officio.

    We remind you that according to the Criminal Law, whoever promotes or incites hatred, discrimination, or violence in public against any person or group is a criminal offense and will be punished with imprisonment from one to ten years.