The Association of Journalists of Macedonia condemns the threats and insults by employees of Communal Hygiene Skopje towards the journalist Ilinka Iljoska from the Meta news agency.
AJM requests that Communal Hygiene Skopje initiate disciplinary proceedings against the persons responsible for the verbal attack on journalist Ilinka Iljoska. We also demand this institution to make a plan for activities for the education of employees on topics of public interest and relation to citizens, because it is not the first time this institution has reacted in this way or in a similar way to citizens.
According to the information that colleague Iljoska shared with us, this morning while going to work, she took photos of the garbage and brooms that were leaning on the trash can in the park in front of her building. At that time, the employees of Communal – Skopje who were in the park, at a certain distance, noticed her taking pictures and started to walk in her direction.
“Just as I arrived at the bus station, a man in civilian clothes and one of the cleaners crossed the street. The man in civilian clothes, introduced himself to me as the manager, to which I introduced myself with my first and last name, I told him that I work at Meta News Agency and I said, “How can I help you,” says Iljoska. The person who introduced himself as working at this public institution asked the journalist to delete the photos or argue with her in a loud voice, telling her that she must not take pictures ever again. Iljoska said to him that she took photos in a public area and that there was no sign that photography was not allowed.
“He told me that he knows who I am and that another team, from the service that is in charge of mowing the green areas through the municipality, knows about me and takes pictures of me when I complain that they are not doing their job. I was told I would see what happens next time I walk the dog. They argued with me until the bus came to send me away with the words: „ Go on, get on the bus and don’t do that again” – said Iljoska.
Journalist Ilinka Iljoska, due to concern for her own safety and the safety of her family, will report the case to the police station, with already provided legal assistance and counseling by AJM.
“Not only do I personally not feel safe, but I realized the threat that they could poison or hurt my pet. And I fear that my children are also in danger because they often walk the dog. This is not the first time this has happened to them. And other times they call me and complain about their superiors when I take pictures of them not doing their duty. But today was the first time they dared to approach me and rudely ask me to delete photos and threaten me that something might happen to me if I continue doing my job. They not only know who I am, but they also know exactly where I live,” says the colleague.