European Federation of Journalists

EFJ condemns death and rape threats against Brussels-based journalist Tanja Milevska

Credits: IFJ campaign "You are not alone"

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns the online harassment, including threats of physical and sexual violence, against journalist Tanja Milevska, working for the North Macedonia news agency MIA as a Brussels correspondent.

Milevska received dozens of verbal abuses, hate speech, death and rape threats on social network after she tweeted on 11 July asking whether Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament recognise the constitutional change of 2019 making “North Macedonia” the country’s official name.

Following the tweets, trolls and active political figures have been fuelling threats for the past four days in an attempt to discredit the journalist in the context of parliamentary election to be held on Wednesday 15 July.

The EFJ affiliates in North Macedonia, the Association of Journalists (ZNM) and the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) called on the authorities to “react quickly” and pointed out the political parties as triggers of this “dangerous trend”.

Milevska reported the threats to the police both in Belgium and North Macedonia. The EFJ urges the authorities to investigate the case and take action against the persons behind the odious sexist and hateful comments.

This statement is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism, which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project, co-funded by the European Commission, provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers.