Today, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) filed two complaints for obstruction of the work of the journalist Ferikan Iljazi Arifi from Euronews to the State Election Commission (SEC) as well as to the Department of Internal Control at the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA). The complaints refer to the unprofessional attitude of the representatives of the election commission and a police officer towards our colleague Arifi on election day while she was officially reporting on the election process.
Although the journalist neatly introduced herself and bore the journalist badge on a visible place, the chairperson of the election board Isnije Mirta in the polling station at the “Kiril Pejchinovich” High School in Tetovo did not allow her to film. “You don’t know the law and you should be ashamed for obstructing the election process.”
Another incident occurred during the day, again in Tetovo in the yard of the high school where an official representative from the Ministry of Interior, for whom a report has already been submitted to SIA Tetovo and the Department for Professional Standards, instead of allowing the journalist to work freely, obstructed her work.
At the moment when the journalist started the live video broadcast in the school yard, the police officer rudely insisted on the journalist to show her ID card and immediately to prove that she is the journalist whose name is on the badge or otherwise she will not be allowed to film. The journalist, although pointed out to the police officer that she did not object to his request for identification and asked him to allow her to finish what she had started, according to which she would provide the requested documents, she was not allowed. The police officer rudely ordered her to leave the schoolyard, thus preventing her from reporting as a journalist in the field. AJM will carefully follow the complaints for these cases sent to the competent institutions as well as for all others who arrived at the AJM Office and are related to the obstruction of the work of journalists during the election process for the local elections for 2021.