The Association of Journalists of Macedonia strongly condemns the verbal assault and the inappropriate behavior of the Mayor of the Municipality of Novo Selo Blazo Velkov and the council member of VMRO-DPMNE Bozhin Jovanov against the journalist crew of TV Kanal Vis from Strumica. The colleague Stojne Miteva and the cameraman Kire Pilichev were insulted and prevented from reporting on the session of the Council of the Municipality of Novo Selo, held yesterday, on which the announcement of a referendum about the work of Ilovica was discussed.
For AJM, it is not acceptable for a mayor of a municipality, such as Blazo Velkov, to prohibit journalists from doing their job, especially when it is a public session in question, bearing in mind that all sessions of a municipal council should be public. It is even more unacceptable for colleagues to be offended by council members elected by citizens. Instead of advocating accountability and transparency in front of voters, and doing so best by means of media coverage of their work, they try to prevent journalists from fulfilling their obligations.
AJM requires responsibility for such misconduct of the mayor and councilor of the municipality of Novo Selo. The least that can be done is to publicly apologize for such actions done against colleagues from TV Vis. At the same time, we urge political parties to call on their members and activists to refrain from such behavior towards the media.