The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) condemns the public humiliating attitude of the independent candidate for mayor of Kichevo Fatmir Limani towards the journalist Salije Sadiku from TV21 and urges public actors to pay attention to their attitude especially towards women journalists in the country.
Namely, while the journalist Salije Sadiku was reporting on the local elections in North Macedonia, when she faced an awkward situation followed by aggressive speech and accusations by the independent candidate from Kichevo, Fatmir Limani towards her personally and the TV 21. Our colleague Sadiku was present at the event in order to convey to the citizens information from the election cycle and instead of receiving an answer from the candidate, she was rudely insulted and then booed by the crowd.
According to colleague Sadiku, hundreds of Limani supporters who were present at the time of the incident, on the night of October 17, applauded when the incident took place. In her reaction to the AJM office, Sadiku clarified that: “On Sunday, the TV21 team together with the TV Klan and MTV teams were at Limani’s headquarters at 8 pm, from where the headquarters chief, Bejtula Emini told us that they are not ready and that will also wait for the results. A few hours after I returned to take a statement from the candidate, he stood up in front of the audience and started shouting at me with raised voice with words: “You are the worst thing that happened to the citizens, you are bloodsucker. It is your fault that Kichevo has reached this situation where it is. You are with the government, and you work unilaterally.” I stepped back and at that moment the audience, which was more than 100 people, started with loud applause and booed at me…” said Sadiku.
This attitude towards journalists who are on duty in the field is unacceptable and it is necessary to raise the awareness of mayoral candidates and all political actors in the election cycle towards journalists because at this moment follows the second round of local elections in several municipalities. We believe that if such incidents are tolerated in the future, there is a risk of encouraging new, more serious violence against journalists, thus further endangering their safety, the right to freedom of expression and the right to inform citizens.