The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) demands from the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office (BPPO) in Skopje to dismiss the criminal charges from the Intelligence Agency against journalists Goran Momirovski and Dragan Milosavljevic. A while ago, as the AJM points out, Momirovski and Milosavljevic were called to give a statement in the BPPO, and the occasion for this is the show on TV Alfa titled “Fall Asleep If You Can” that was broadcast on January 11, 2021.
– We point out that criminal prosecution against journalists for acts for which several years of prison are anticipated, particularly by security structures, can additionally endanger the already fragile freedom of expression in our country. Such actions can be interpreted as pressure on public criticism, especially taking into consideration that this show was broadcast in January 2021, and the affected persons were called to give a statement at the BPPO at the end of November, or almost nine months ago, indicates the AJM.
They add that journalists have both the right and obligation to deal also with topics related to national security, complying entirely to ethical and professional standards in their work and following the public interest.
– If the Intelligence Agency or any other institution is dissatisfied with the manner in which journalists or the media report on their work, we encourage them to use only regulatory mechanisms. Submitting complaints to the Council of Media Ethics or the Council of Honor is the best way to determine whether the reporting is in line with the ethical principles and standards of the journalism profession. Criminal lawsuits against journalists were a frequent practice in the past and because of them Macedonia drastically fell on all credible indexes for freedom of expression and was perceived as a country in which freedom of expression and the right to information is limited, is said by the AJM.
Translation: N. Cvetkovsla