Journalists from Macedonian A1 TV Attacked While Covering Demonstration

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 08 Mar 2017 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
08 Mar 2017 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

Two journalists from A1 TV in Macedonia, Aleksandar Todevski and camera operator Vladimir Zhelchevski, were beaten on 28 February 2017 in Skopje while covering demonstrations in front of the parliament and have been taken to hospital following the attack. The police have questioned 12 persons following the attack but nobody was detained or charged yet. There has been an unprecedented series of attacks against journalists these past few days after VMRO's leader Nikola Gruevski described his opponents as traitors. Journalists Borjan Jovanovski from Novatv was verbally attacked and spat on by a teenager, which incident was filmed and posted on social media ; Ana Petrusheva from BIRN was harassed on Twitter and her home address was posted well.

State replies

31 Aug 2017 : Reply from the Ministry of Interior of “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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