Journalists unions from across the former Soviet Union and South East Europe gathered to debate the status of journalism, union organising and violations and safety of journalists rights across the region.
The meeting was the third joint IFJ / EFJ meeting in the region to build greater collaboration and support for journalists unions across Europe. Discussions focused on labour rights, new forms of organising and recruitment, union campaigning, legal defense and new digital tools.
The meeting started by recalling the many hundreds of journalists that have suffered violence and persecution for their work since the 2013 conference in Kiev and held a minute silence for the journalists that have lost their lives in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
A solidarity evening attended by up to 100 journalists, was held in support of Tomislav Kezarovski, Macedonian journalist under house arrest since 2013. Earlier in the day a small delegation visited Kezarovski to discuss how we can support him in his appeal due 24 October.
The conference agreed statements on the following:
– Journalists Unions Condemn Workplace Intimidation of union members
– Journalists Unions Back Macedonian campaign to free Kezarovski and initiate Urgent media reforms
– Journalists Unions Call for Release of Detained Ukrainian journalists
• A final set of Action Points were agreed
The meeting would like to thank the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), our host affiliates, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and LOTCO for their assistance in supporting the programme.