The Association of Journalists of Macedonia condemns the damage done to the vehicle of the journalist Viki Klincharova, from the weekly newspaper Focus; such act is a direct attack on the freedom of speech and the right to be informed.
Our colleague Klincharova, prior to yesterday’s act, received two threats from a person with criminal record. Allegedly, the act was motivated by articles published in her newspaper. We are disappointed from the slow reaction by the police station in Negotino, which missed to interrogate the suspects, with an excuse that it was a national holiday.
The political will of the Government and the new Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski, to stop the attacks on journalists will not be efficient if this policy is not being followed by all police structures.
The best way to prevent future attacks on journalists is to establish an effective institutional mechanism for punishing perpetrators. This will discourage violators and will help to create safe working environment for journalists, without which, the state of media freedoms in Macedonia will not improve.
AJM in the last six years has registered over 50 attacks on journalists, and yet none of the attackers has been punished.