The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) condemns the action of officials at the Ministry of Interior against colleague Sonja Kolevska-Delevska from the digital newsroom sakamdakazam.mk, who was summoned today for an official interview at the police station Centre for the published text, and upon a complaint by a civil servant, head of Department at the Ministry of Justice.
AJM warns that calling journalists and media workers for an official interview with the police due to a published text leads to journalists’ censorship and self-censorship. This case with colleague Delevska can negatively affect the freedom of public information and speech. We warn that if this becomes a practice, it could seriously restrict journalists from reporting freely on issues of public interest and at the same time discourage them from working on issues related to corruption and abuse of power. That is why we ask the Ministry of Interior to conduct an urgent internal investigation into this case.
After the invitation was delivered last weekend by members of the police at her home address, the journalist Sonja Kolevska-Delevska went today to the police station Centre in Skopje for an “official conversation regarding a complain” for a previously published text.
The report, i.e., the call from the police is related to the published text “A lawyer claims that she was asked for a bribe by a head at the Department within the Ministry of Justice, and after she refused, she was blackmailed to give up her due money”, published on April 27, 2022, by SDK .МК. The lawyer won the dispute in the Administrative Court for the delayed payment from the Ministry of Justice. The money has not been paid yet, but that is why the Ministry deleted her name from the Register of lawyers who provide free legal aid for which the costs are covered by the Ministry, reads the text of SDK.MK.
We point out that if any citizen is dissatisfied with the way of reporting in the media, self-regulatory mechanisms are available. We believe that for cases in which a citizen complains about possible defamation or insult, members of the Ministry of Interior must not “discipline” journalists by calling for official conversations at the police station.