Media freedom alerts

 

Azerbaijani Journalist Elchin Ismayilli Sentenced to 9 year in Prison

Update: 18 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 23 Feb 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
23 Feb 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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On 17 February 2017, Elchin Ismayilli, founder and editor of Kend.info, an on-line news portal known for its reporting on corruption and human rights violations in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan, was detained by police. He is accused of threatening a local government employee, and has been charged with extortion and abuse of a position of influence. Ismayilli denies all the charges. On 18 February, the Nasimi District court sentenced Ismayilli to pre-trial detention for an initial period of 24 days. Ismayilli is currently being held in the Kurdakhani pretrial detention centre. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

18 Sep 2017 : On 18 September 2017, the Sheki Court for Grave Crimes sentenced Elchin Ismayilli to 9 years imprisonment. The court found him guilty under articles 182 (extortion of money by threats), 308 (abuse of office) and 311 (bribery) of the Criminal Code.
03 Aug 2017 : Elchin Ismaylli`s preliminary investigation ended on 3 August 2017, but new charges of bribery were brought against him. He is now facing a jail sentence from 8 to 12 years.
03 Mar 2017 : On 3 March 2017 Elchin Ismaylli`s pre-trial detention time was extended to three more months.

French Journalist Detained at Iraq Border, Arrested on Terror Charges

Update: 15 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 03 Aug 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
03 Aug 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested in Şırnak on charges of assisting a terror organisation on 2 August 2017.The journalist was first detained on 26 July at the Habur crossing, where he was crossing into Turkey from Iraq. Authorities have said the French journalist was arrested on charges of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.” He was placed in Şırnak Prison and a gag order was imposed on his case. BBC Turkish reported that the journalist visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, and returned two weeks ago to Turkey, where he was detained under a prosecutorial warrant. An academic thesis he wrote on the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia force in Syria, and some of the photographs he had taken were used as evidence.

Updates

15 Sep 2017 : On 15 September 2017, Loup Bureau's lawyers announced that he had been released from prison and was soon to be expelled from Turkey.

Follow-ups

07 Aug 2017 : OSCE Media Freedom Representative addressed the Turkish authorities demanding immediate release of French journalist Loup Bureau and to drop charges.

Journalist Vladimir Otasevic Faced Insults and Death Threats

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Year 14 Sep 2017 Country Montenegro Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
14 Sep 2017 Montenegro C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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A Montenegrin journalist working for Dan daily newspaper, Vladimir Otasevic, reported that the Prime Minister's brother, Velizar Markovic, had threatened his safety during a phone call on Monday 11 September 2017. In the conversation, Otasevic was asking for the phone number of the Prime Minister's other brother when Markovic insulted and verbally threatened him, saying that he shouldn't be surprised if someone ended up dead at the end. According to a Balkan Insight report, Markovic also alluded to the 2004 killing of the Dan newspaper editor Dusko Jovanovic.

Follow-ups

13 Sep 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative calls on authorities in Montenegro to swiftly investigate death threats against journalist.

Blogger Rashad Ramazanov Jailed for Nine Years

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Year 14 Sep 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
14 Sep 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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The Azerbaijani blogger Rashad Ramazanov is serving a nine-year sentence in Baku Prison #2, which media freedom organisations link with his writings. Ramazanov was arrested on 9 May 2013, charged for drug possession, and on 13 November 2013 sentenced to nine years in jail. The Baku Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court later upheld this sentence. Ramazanov used to actively post micro blogs on social media networks, particularly on Facebook, in which he criticized the governmental policy and high-ranking Azerbaijani officials, including the President. After the arrest, he was unlawfully held in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Organized Crime Department for 11 days. His lawyer Aslan Ismayilov stated that Ramazanov was subjected to torture and beatings while in custody. Ismayilov's demands for investigation of the journalist's case yielded no results and he ended up being detained by police as well. Despite the repeated calls for release from local and international organisations, Ramazanov is still in prison. Alert : 1 detention

Israeli-Russian Blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to Be Tried in Azerbaijan

Update: 14 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 07 Mar 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner CPJ , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
07 Mar 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State CPJ , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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Aleksandr Lapshin, an Israeli-Russian travel blogger, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on 15 December 2016, at the request from Azerbaijan and extradited to Baku on 7 February 2017. Lapshin faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison on charges of illegally crossing Azerbaijan's state borders during his April 2011, October 2012, and June 2016 visits to Nagorno-Karabakh, and for making "anti-state calls to the public" and criticizing Azerbaijani policies. Currently, Alexander Lapshin is in the Kurdakhani Pre-trial Detention Centre of the Baku Investigative Prison Nr 1.

Updates

14 Sep 2017 : On 14 September 2017, Alexander Lapshin left Azerbaijan.
11 Sep 2017 : On 11 September 2017 Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Aleksandr Lapshin.
20 Jul 2017 : On 20 July, Aleksandr Lapshin was sentenced to 3 years in prison by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes.

Follow-ups

11 Sep 2017 : OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the pardon and release of Aleksandr Lapshin.

Italian Journalist Lirio Abbate Faces Hate Speech in Courtroom

Update: 11 Sep 2017 Resolved
Year 04 Feb 2016 Country Italy Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
04 Feb 2016 Italy C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , RSF Level 2

Lirio Abbate, a journalist of the weekly L'Espresso, who has been under police protection since 2007 after he exposed an alleged network of corruption and mafia-related affairs in Rome, is now a target for hate speech and slander. He is one of the main witnesses in the on-going court case (dubbed Mafia Capitale). Abbate has been a constant target for the main defendant accused of mafia crimes Massimo Carminati.

Resolved On 11 September 2017, after consideration of the judgment of the Civil Court of Rome which dismissed the action of libel against Abbate, the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

Updates

04 Nov 2016 : On 4 November 2016 the judge of the Civil Court of Rome dismissed the action for libel against Abbate and sentenced Massimo Carminati to bear the legal costs incurred by the weekly ‘l’Espresso’.

State replies

21 Jun 2016 : Reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Journalist Brutally Assaulted in Melilla, Spain

Update: 11 Sep 2017 Resolved
Year 26 Jun 2015 Country Spain Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
26 Jun 2015 Spain A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 1

Spanish journalist Javier Garcia Angosto was brutally assaulted, on Thursday, 25 June 2015, in Melilla, following the publication of a series of articles denouncing alleged irregularities in the awarding of a public tender for the use of one of the beaches in the locality of Melilla to one Horeca agency. The journalist was attacked in front of his home, where the owner of the agency and one accomplice laid in wait for him. The journalist, who suffered serious physical injuries, was abandoned in a semi-cosncious state by his assailants. Local media, Cablemel TV, Luz de Melilla and Vinilo FM, as well as the Spanish Federation of the Journalists Unions (FESP), member of the IFJ and EFJ have condemned that savage assault which they regard as an intolerable violation of the freedom of the Press. The representatives of professional organizations have called upon law enforcement and justice agencies to make every effort to bring the aggressors to justice.

Resolved On 11 September 2017 the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

Updates

12 Dec 2015 : On 12 December 2015 a Melilla Court found Juan Carlos García Sola, the owner of the agency exposed in Angosto`s reports, guilty of assault against the journalist and sentenced him to a 2.400 euro fine.

Home of Novaya Gazeta Journalist Attacked With Noxious Gas

Update: 11 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 21 Jul 2017 Country Russian Federation Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
21 Jul 2017 Russian Federation A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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The home of Yulia Latynina, a prominent columnist and contributor to independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and radio station Echo Moskvy, was sprayed with noxious gas on 19 July 2017. She and her parents noticed a strong smell of an “unknown caustic gas” in her house near Moscow. She claimed her and the neighbours’ house was “full of unknown disgusting gas impeding our breathing”. Later it was established that the gas was sprayed over the windows and doors of the whole house. She reported that eight people including her parents and neighbours’ children were poisoned, saying it irritated eyes and upset stomachs. The neighbours said they witnessed an unidentified car driving away quickly from the house afterwards. Latynina said she is convinced the attack is related to her professional activities, but has decided not to file a report with the police. The editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Dmitri Muratov filed a complaint to the chief of the Public Council with the Ministry of Interior Anatoli Kucherena, who promised to investigate the case. In August 2016, unidentified individuals threw faeces over Latynina in the centre of Moscow. She connected the assault with her publications into Evgeni Prigozhin, alleged ally of the Russian President.

Updates

11 Sep 2017 : On 10 September 2017 Yulia Latynina announced she was fleeing Russia due to the series of threats received.
06 Sep 2017 : On 3 September 2017 Yulia Latynina reported that she found her car burning outside her house. She believes the act to have been deliberate and has linked it to the previous attack on her apartment that occurred on 19 July 2017. The police have opened an investigation.

The Website 888.hu Publishes a List of Eight Journalists Described as "Propagandists"

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Year 08 Sep 2017 Country Hungary Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
08 Sep 2017 Hungary E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2
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On 5 September 2017, the Hungarian internet portal 888.hu published a list of journalists accused of serving the interests of the American billionaire of Hungarian origin George Soros. The article explicitly names eight journalists, including a photographer and a producer who are Hungarian or of Hungarian origin, working abroad for Politico Brussels, the German public television ZDF, Bloomberg, and the Reuters news agency. These journalists are described as "foreign propagandists" and "spokespeople" of George Soros. The international media are presented as "biased” and “stigmatizing." Their only aim would be to "discredit" Hungary on the international scene.

Hatay Journalist Ceren Taşkın Detained for Social Media Posts

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Year 07 Sep 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Ceren Taşkın, a reporter for the local Hatay Ses newspaper, was detained on the basis of her social media posts on 12 January 2017. On the same day, a court ordered Taşkın arrested for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist group” over her posts. Alert : 1 detention

Journalist Aslı Ceren Aslan Arrested Since February 2017

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Year 07 Sep 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Aslı Ceren Aslan, the editor-in-chief of the Özgür Gelecek newspaper, was detained on 9 Febuary 2017 in Turkey's southeastern Urfa province on charges of “border violation” and “being a member of an [illegal] organization”. She reportedly denied the charges and said she had been reporting on the latest developments in northern Syria. Aslan's attorney said that Aslan had been arrested for being a member of an [illegal] organization although there was no such evidence and noted that Aslan had been beaten in detention and was forced to strip naked for examination in Ceylanpınar Gendarmerie Command and Urfa Anti-Terror Department. Alert : 1 detention

Journalists Stripped of Press Accreditation and Victims of Police Violence During the G20 in Hamburg

Update: 06 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 12 Jul 2017 Country Germany Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
12 Jul 2017 Germany A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2

During the G20 summit that took place in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July 2017, at least 32 journalists were stripped of their press accreditation. Among them, 9 journalists were deprived of the accreditation that they had initially been granted, and 23 journalists were placed on a no-access list for the G20 press centre. On 7 July, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) confirmed on Twitter that, in accordance with the Federal Press Office, it had decided to reserve the right to withdraw in some cases accreditation from journalists. According to the Government Spokesperson Steffen Seibert, this decision was justified by “security reasons”. A photographer for the daily newspaper Weser Kurier had his press accreditation revoked “without any explanation”, the newspaper reported. Another photographer working for the same outlet was also stripped of his accreditation after taking pictures of the protests in Hamburg and “has not received any response as to the reason why, despite inquiring about it”, according to the same newspaper. The two main German journalist associations, DJV and dju in ver.di have contested these restrictions. Furthermore, in the context of the summit, numerous journalists have been victims of police violence while covering the protests taking place in the city. Freelance journalist Flo Smith, who was on the scene on 7 July, has reported that he and his colleagues were insulted by police officers and hit with tear gas, despite the fact that they were identifiable by their cameras and press cards. Newspaper Taz reported a dialogue between a police officer and a journalist during which the journalist was subjected to threats and insults. Other journalists also reported being victim of attacks by protesters.

State replies

06 Sep 2017 : Response by the German Federal Government

Extended Pre-Trial Detention of Journalist Zoran Bozinovski

Update: 01 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 22 Sep 2016 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
22 Sep 2016 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Macedonian journalist Zoran Bozinovski has been spending five months in detention in Skopje, after his extradiction from Serbia where he had spent another 18 months detained. The prosecutor's office in Skopje needed four months to deliver the formal indictment for alleged espionnage, blackmail and criminal association. The journalists' organisations in the country, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM-AJM) and the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), consider that the case against Bozinovski is not based on material evidence and is politically construed by the Macedonian Government with the intention to silence a journalist who covered many corruption cases in which public officials were involved. AJM and SSNM demand the court to abolish Bozinovski's detention and to drop charges against him.

Updates

01 Sep 2017 : On 14 July 2017, the Skopje Criminal Court released Zoran Božinovski on bail at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Two Reporters Injured During Storming of Parliament

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 05 May 2017 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , Index , INSI , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
05 May 2017 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , Index , INSI , IPI , RSF Level 1

Two Macedonian journalists, Dimitar Tanurov, a reporter for the online Meta news agency, and Nikola Ordevski, a cameraperson with the Makfax news agency, were physically assaulted during the 27 April 2017 protest in Skopje, which later resulted in the storming of the Parliament building by nationalist demonstrators. A total of 21 journalists were threatened and/or barred from reporting at the scene, reported the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM). Tanurov wrote on Facebook that protesters attacked him when they saw his press card: “They took my phone, and continued to beat and kick me while I was lying on the floor". Tanurov sustained multiple injuries to his face and head, but was not hospitalised. Nikola Ordevski was hospitalised with a concussion. During a press conference on 28 April in Skopje, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) called on the Macedonian authorities to investigate the attacks against the 21 journalists and media workers attacked or threatened during the storming of the parliament building.

State replies

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

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

01 Aug 2017 : Relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights

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 A. 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" A. 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”

Three Journalists from Kosovo Arrested in Skopje

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 21 Apr 2016 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
21 Apr 2016 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1

Despite being in possession of the necessary accreditations, three journalists from Kosovo from the daily "Express" Artan Haraqija, Leonard Kerquki and Halil Halili, were arrested by the police on 19 April 2016, in Skopje while they were filming the Macedonian Parliament. Police officers arrested them without giving any justification. They were held in a police station in Skopje, before being released three hours later. The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (APJK) denounced the detention, citing it as arbitrary. The three journalists, who, following their release, immediately returned to Kosovo, were in Macedonia to make a documentary about police violence against ethnic Albanians in Kumanovo.

State replies

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

28 Media Workers Detained and Fined for Illegal Border Crossing

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 15 Mar 2016 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
15 Mar 2016 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , EFJ/IFJ Level 1

On 14 March 2016, Macedonian police arrested around 28 journalists and photojournalists who were accompanying a group of refugees that were illegally trying to enter Macedonia from Greece, Deutsche Welle reports. Referencing to Twitter posts from the detained journalists, Deutsche Welle reports that the media workers were temporarily held and fined 250 Euros for illegally crossing the border. Macedonian media outlet, Nova TV reports that the journalists were fined 510 Euros. According to the Athens News Agency, the journalists were not exactly aware of their location while following the refugees. At the border, the journalists were reportedly taken to the Macedonian village of Moin and then sent to the police department in the town of Gevgelija. The majority of the journalists detained were from Greece and Germany, while a few were also from Macedonia.

State replies

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

Five Journalists Beaten by Police in Skopje During Protests

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 19 Apr 2016 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
19 Apr 2016 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2

A journalist and four photo reporters were seriously injured by security forces on 13 April 2016 in the capital, Skopje, while covering an anti-government rally. The protests were reportedly sparked by President Gjorge Ivanov’s dual announcement of early elections and the decision to drop the investigation into the wiretapping scandal that broke out in February 2015 when it was alleged the government had illegally engaged in wiretapping over 20,000 people, including journalists. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Skopje, demanding that the President either revoke his decision or resign. During the clashes, journalist Goran Naumovski, working for Plusinfo, and photo reporters Ognen Teofilovski (Vest), Nake Batev (Vecer), Tome Georgiev (Fokus) and Borce Popovski (Sloboden Pecat) were attacked by police officers , who wanted to prevent them from taking pictures of the violent protest. The IFJ and EFJ affiliate in Macedonia, SSNM, reported that all of the reporters were wearing distinctive press bibs and that their cameras were clearly identified, giving every indication that they were journalists covering the event. Other media workers, including Trajce Antonovski and Saska Cvetkovska, from NOVA TV, were injured by stones being thrown by protesters at the police, SSNM added.

State replies

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

Macedonian Journalist Faces Death Threat

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 22 Apr 2015 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
22 Apr 2015 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1

On 21 April 2015, Borjan Jovanovski, prominent journalist, editor and founder of Novatv.mk received at his home in Skopje a death threat in the form of a funeral wreath with the words ‘last goodbye’ on it. The wreath was brought by an unknown man claiming to bring it in the name of Todor Aleksandrov, a controversial hero celebrated by the ruling party, VMRO DPMNE. This gesture follows a multitude of other death threats Mr. Jovanovski and his family, who counts other journalists, has been receiving over the past years, both via emails and social media, but also at prominent TV shows. The European Federation of Journalists believes that the ruling party has for years created an atmosphere of hatred toward independent journalists labeling them as ‘traitors’ or ‘foreign spies’. Hate speech from TV personalities has never been condemned politically by the ruling party nor has any legal procedure been undertaken.

State replies

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

Follow-ups

22 Apr 2015 : Statement by Commissioner Nils Muižnieks

Macedonian Journalist Sashe Ivanovski Physically Assaulted by Deputy Prime Minister

Update: 31 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 16 Jul 2015 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
16 Jul 2015 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

On 15 July 2015, Vladimir Peshevski, Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, physically assaulted Sashe Ivanovski, a freelance journalist and editor of Maktel website. The journalist approached Minister Peshevski, while recording with his mobile phone, to ask him about a recent wiretapping scandal in Macedonia. Peshevski turned and physically attacked the journalist, throwing punches and chasing Ivanovski until he was restrained by a third person. Later on, the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE issued a statement justifying the attack on Ivanovski and warning other journalists that “Next time, SDSM (the main opposition party) and its mercenaries such as Politiko (Sashe Ivanovski’s nickname) and those similar to him should be aware of the consequences resulting from any threat to privacy, freedom and rights that every individual and entity has regardless of the position held.”

State replies

31 Aug 2017 : Reply from the Ministry of Interior of “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
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Factsheet on detention with a view to expel, return, transfer or extradite a person to another country