AJM-EFJ Project “Journalists’ Network for Media Freedom in Macedonia”

Macedonia: Free Zoran Bozinovski

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of detained Macedonian freelance journalist Zoran Bozinovski in a letter to the country’s President and public prosecutor. Zoran Bozinovski – a freelance journalist and founder of the online media Burevensik.org is detained in Macedonia since 21 April, after his extradition from Serbia, where he had spent another 18 months detained. The IFJ and the EFJ condemned the continued detention of the journalist who the Macedonian authorities accused of espionage, criminal association and blackmail. In the letter, the IFJ states: “The arrest of a journalist for criminal activities without…

Macedonia: five journalists beaten by police during protests

A journalist and four photo reporters were gravely injured by armed police forces on 13 April in the capital, Skopje, while covering an anti-government rally, IFJ and EFJ Macedonian affiliates SSNM and ZNM reported. The protests were sparked by President Gjorge Ivanov’s dual announcement of early elections and a halt to the inquiry into the wiretapping scandal that broke in February 2015 when it was alleged the government was illegally wiretapping over 20,000 people including journalists. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Skopje, demanding the President either revoke his decision or resign. The Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and…

Conference “Media Clientelism Index: Measuring the Reality”

Media Clientelism Index (MCI) is the first cross country comparative and country specific reporting on the state of media clientelism and politicisation based on empirical data. Experimental research, i.e. ground zero measuring of the Index was conducted in six countries of South eastern Europe (Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Romania). The event is organised under the framework of Civil Response to Clientelism in Media – MEDIA CIRCLE project financed from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance by the European Union (IPA) Civil Society Facility (CSF), implemented by Partnership for Social Development (Croatia)…

Journalists speak out against media violations in Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) and its members from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (in picture) spoke out against media violations in their countries and call for more actions in a conference held on 4 November in Brussels by the European Commission (DG NEAR) to highlight the media freedom situation and progress made in Western Balkans and Turkey. A high-level meeting, the “Speak Up conference on Freedom of Expression and Media in the Western Balkans and Turkey” was kicked off by the European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn. Unfortunately, hardly any progress is echoed by…

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“For the first time in my life I saw my colleagues – photographers and journalists – crying because of the situation”. Macedonian photographer Georgi Licovski, member of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM), an EFJ affiliate, told TIME magazine he was moved, after spending the day taking pictures at the border from Greece to Macedonia, on Friday 21 August. He added that it was also the first time he has cried while working. Hundreds of refugees trying to cross the border clashed with police lines, just a day after Macedonia closed the border. Georgi Licovski said to TIME magazine there were…

Violence against journalists in Macedonia is escalating

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM or ZNM), EFJ-IFJ affiliate, has issued a letter of concern (27/07/2015) addressed to intergovernmental institutions and non-governmental organisations regarding recent attacks against journalists in Macedonia. “Violence against journalists in Macedonia has escalated and taken dramatic proportions in the last several months. The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), over the period of four years, has registered 23 threats and physical attacks against journalists, of which half occurred in the first six months of this year, and the perpetrators have not been punished yet. The verbal death threats, the physical attacks and the destruction…

EFJ condemns attack on Macedonian journalist by government official

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. The EFJ demands the Macedonian authorities to bring the attacker to justice. Ivanovski is a journalist working for an online portal. According to media reports, Ivanovski was attacked while he was questioning Mr. Peshevski on a recent wiretapping scandal in Macedonia. The attack was recorded and widely reported in the media in Macedonia. The EFJ says, “Such behaviours towards journalists are utterly unacceptable. Violence against journalists…

“It’s dangerous to have your own opinions in Macedonia”

Tomislav Kezarovski, the investigative journalist at the daily Nova Makedonija, had been in detention and then under house arrest since 28 May 2013 for an article he wrote in 2008 for Reporter 92 magazine in which he allegedly revealed the identity of a witness in a murder case. Kezarovski was invited to speak in the Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held in Budva, Montenegro on 2 June. In his speech, Kezarovski highlighted the challenges he and his fellow colleagues face in Macedonia as journalists. He also thanked the EFJ and the journalist community in Europe for their solidarity during his…

EU Enlargement Commissioner: “further progress needed on press freedom”

In a meeting with delegates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Friday 20 March 2015, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn, has called for more progress made on press freedom in the West Balkans and Turkey. Commissioner Hahn expressed his concerns about media freedom in West Balkans and Turkey and pointed out that it was not satisfactory to see these countries receiving the same critical comments every year. He confirmed that the Commission considers media freedom as a fundamental right and as a key element in the transformation of countries into democratic…

Macedonia: over 100 journalists illegally tapped

Macedonian government stands accused of tapping the phones of over 20,000 citizens, including more than 100 journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Macedonian affiliates, the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia(ZNM), expressed grave concerns about the publicly announced allegations of the unauthorised mass surveillance of journalists and citizens. Zoran Zaev, leader of the center-left opposition party (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia – SDSM), has released yesterday many details on the mass wire-tapping of more than 100 Macedonian journalists for more than three years. “This violation of privacy directly affects…