The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) welcomes the conviction brought by the Basic Court in Kavadarci on November 3, 2023, where the accused Lj. R. was found guilty of preventing an official from performing an official act under Article 382, paragraph 3 of the newly amended Criminal Code.
In particular, this court ruling follows the report by the cameraman of 24TV on 18.07.2023 that at the exit from Rosoman on the Gradsko-Prilep regional road, the accused Lj. R. by sending insults and using force, he prevented them from recording a report on a traffic accident while performing an official action.
The Basic Court in Kavadarci acting on the indictment submitted by the public prosecutor in Kavadarci on 02.10.2023 for the accused person Lj. R. for the crime mentioned above, he was sentenced to a suspended sentence by which he was sentenced to four months in prison, which sentence will not be carried out if the defendant does not commit a new criminal offense within a period of one year after the judgment becomes final.
AJM welcomes the quick and efficient procedure both by the prosecutor’s office and the court in Kavadarci, where with the application of the new provisions of the criminal code, the attack on journalists and media workers while they are doing their professional work is sanctioned.
This judgment is of particular importance because it aims to establish a positive judicial practice in the future with the consistent application of these changes to have the judicial authorities finally have a proactive approach in protecting the rights of journalists.
Only through a functional system for the protection of journalists is it expected that in the future, the attackers will be demotivated to threaten and attack, thus ensuring a safe environment as a basic prerequisite for the work of journalists and media workers in the country.